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Signs of fall

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Chairlift evacuation training on a bluebird autumn day:
A4F0CF68-536D-4BBA-B0EF-454E5852675B-214-00000024A21DD9AC.jpg
post #2 of 9

I've always been curious...  How do chairlift evacs work anyway?  Or, more specifically, how do they get the belay cable up there in the first place?  And how does the person being lowered get onto the cable in the first place?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Where I work a pilot line gets thrown over the haul cable (the cable the chairs are attached to) either attached to a beanbag, or a slingshot, or a projectile launched by a .22 shell. Then the pilot line is used to haul an 11 mm rope over the haul cable and that is used to haul a J chair up to the evacuees. The evacuees get into the J chair and are belayed down to the ground. That's the details-free explanation.

Other areas use different methods to get the rope over the line, but basically a belay system is used to take the evacuees down.
post #4 of 9

We all practice an underarm, uphill throw for the guide line with an attached weight.  We have the 22 pistol, but the few times I have seen it used, the person's aim was off and it still took two/ three shots to get it over.

 

I'm sure Bob will attest that the biggest pain isn't getting the rope over the cable, it's getting the  guide off the cable as you move from chair to chair.  An older patroller who was a patrol director at Snoqualmie  showed me a great trick, to use a bamboo pole wrapped through the rope when you are trying to loop the guide off the cable-"It's like having an 8 foot long arm" he said said, and he was right.

 

 

Bob, back in Massachusetts we are still 4 weeks away from training days.

post #5 of 9

The bean bag process is similar to what is done to get a rope in a tree that is going to be dropped and needs some directional encouragement.  I found that a tennis ball with some lead weight (little lead balls I took from an old SCUBA weight I had) works better than the bean bag.  The tennis ball handles better and is more predictable.  If you look at some arbor sites, they sell sling shots that will put that bean bag 100' up.  Some even have a LASER sight.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post

We all practice an underarm, uphill throw for the guide line with an attached weight.  We have the 22 pistol, but the few times I have seen it used, the person's aim was off and it still took two/ three shots to get it over.

It takes a certain amount of practice to figure out how to aim that contraption so that it goes over without ending up in the trees or tangled in cables or towers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post

I'm sure Bob will attest that the biggest pain isn't getting the rope over the cable, it's getting the  guide off the cable as you move from chair to chair.  An older patroller who was a patrol director at Snoqualmie  showed me a great trick, to use a bamboo pole wrapped through the rope when you are trying to loop the guide off the cable-"It's like having an 8 foot long arm" he said said, and he was right.

You can use a ski pole for that too, which is nice because you usually have a ski pole handy. Throw a hitch in the rope around the shaft below the basket and grasp the rope by the handle, then swing in a huge side-to-side windshield wiper motion. You have to have a lot of slack in the rope so that you throw a big loop up to lift the rope saver up and over the chair duckbill on the haul cable. That one's worth practicing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post

Bob, back in Massachusetts we are still 4 weeks away from training days.

There are usually some things going on in the fall like prepping the area and running the chair for hikers when the aspen are changing so a few people come on for refresher and training.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Bump for lift evac refresher/training today, preparing for running the chair this fall:


Kind of gets me in the mood.
post #8 of 9

When my son trained for lift evacs (Red Dog at Squaw) patrol climbed the lift tower and zip lined down (slowly) to each chair and lowered the evacuee from the chair. That lift must be too high to throw a line in a lot of places. Very high percentage of safety bar use.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

When my son trained for lift evacs (Red Dog at Squaw) patrol climbed the lift tower and zip lined down (slowly) to each chair and lowered the evacuee from the chair. That lift must be too high to throw a line in a lot of places. Very high percentage of safety bar use.

I've heard they do that at Breckenridge too. The highest span where I work is about 65 feet, and we have guns that use a .22 blank to lob a Nerf Ball kind of projectile over.

Today we practiced rope ascension (essentially jug up to a chair with Jumars and Gri-Gris), self-evacuation, and tower climbing. Kind of fun.

I think we're supposed to call them 'comfort bars' instead of safety.
Edited by Bob Lee - 9/1/14 at 6:02pm
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