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PCMR Lift Troubles

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just read at
That over this past busy weekend, PCMR'S Silverload 6pak, went belly up? Any Utah locals help out here?
post #2 of 21
It is showing as a "Maintenance Hold" on the PCMR website:
post #3 of 21
Trib story link didn't work for me. Is that a Doppelmayer six pack? Where I work, the Dopp six pack, which was the first in the country, has had an issue with motor bearings. They had to shut the lift down for several days a couple weeks ago to replace the bearings. Ours has the motor at the top terminal, so they had to drag a big crane up there to get the motor out.
post #4 of 21
Here's a direct link to the story:

It's mostly an article about how good everything was at Utah resorts over the Presidents' Day weekend. The part about the lift is buried about 2/3ds of the way down: "And the crowds flocked to the resorts. Unfortunately for Park City Mountain Resort, its high-speed Silverlode Lift broke down. With the loss of that main artery in the center of the resort, clots formed at Payday and Bonanza lifts. To get to the top of Bonanza lift at midmorning took almost an hour."

Waiting an hour for good snow sounds like heaven right now. Me? I spent Presidents' Day dodging rocks at Crystal Mountain here in WA. The good news is that lift lines were nonexistent. The bad news is that my brand new skis (and my only skis) are now also my rock skis.
post #5 of 21
Dadbear I feel your pain. I was up Sat. and ended up climbling to the top of the Throne just to get some decent turns in.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Here is what the Park record in Park City wrote about.

Ski lift closed indefinitely

Resort keeps terrain open and is confident skiers can navigate slopes


Park City Mountain Resort said this week that its Silverlode lift will be closed indefinitely as a result of mechanical problems, leaving the resort without a key transit option between mid-mountain and the upper elevations of the resort just weeks before spring-break crowds arrive.
Still, the resort is confident that skiers and snowboarders will not be hindered by Silverlode's shutdown and said that PCMR will not be forced to close any of its runs. The runs normally accessible off Silverlode can be reached with the Motherlode, King Con, Bonanza and Thaynes lifts, resort spokeswoman Krista Parry said.

"The way you access the mountain and the Silverlode lift area and the ability to lap the area has changed," she said. "It doesn't diminish the experience."

PCMR announced steps in the middle of the week in an effort to manage the flow of skiers and snowboarders under the new conditions.

PCMRs Silverlode lift is closed indefinitely after mechanical problems forced its shutdown on Feb. 18. A 12,000-pound part of the lift known as the bull-wheel assembly was transported to the manufacturer in Salt Lake for repairs. Jason Hunter/Park Record

"I don't know if there is anything that is most problematic," Parry said, adding that perhaps skiers and snowboarders will choose runs that they usually do not use.

Some of the measures the resort has taken include changing the grooming schedule, opening the Ski Team lift to regular skiers throughout the week and posting staffers on the mountain to assist skiers and snowboarders navigating the lift closure.

Parry said PCMR will groom up to 10 runs that are normally mogul trails. Most runs at the Silverlode lift will not be groomed, a change from the resort's normal practice.

Meanwhile, regular skiers and snowboarders will have access to the Ski Team lift every day. Ski Team is normally closed on weekdays. The lift takes people from nearby the resort's base area to a point at the top of terrain known as the Ski Team ridge. From there, they can get to other lifts to access the rest of the resort.

Parry said PCMR will groom six or seven runs on a rotating basis accessible by Ski Team. The resort usually does not groom that terrain.

Silverlode, a six-passenger lift, broke down on Feb. 18, the Friday of President's Day weekend, with close to 200 aboard. Parry reported that it took a little less than 2 hours using ropes to evacuate the people from the lift, which experienced the problems at about 2:30 p.m.

Parry said nobody was injured during the operation and few of the people stuck on Silverlode were angry. One woman on the lift when it stopped, Polly Mohr, from Indiana, described the experience to The Park Record as "eerie" and that the skiers were "dangling in the air."

Peter Curtis, PCMR's president and general manager, in a prepared statement praised the resort staffers who assisted.

"The uniqueness of this situation presented our lift-maintenance crew with challenges that not only tested their expert mechanical skills but also their imagination and ingenuity," Curtis said in the statement, released by the resort on Wednesday.

The resort installed the lift before the 1996-1997 ski season. It was PCMR's first six-passenger lift. Its uphill capacity is close to 3,000 people per hour.

Bill Malone, the executive director of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, said the typical PCMR visitor will not notice that the lift is out of operation.

"If you're not a local, I'm not sure it negatively impacts your experience," Malone said.

Malone also said he doubts that the breakdown will influence people as they make decisions about whether to travel to Park City during the remainder of the season. He said the area's three mountain resorts offer lots of options.

"I've never heard of anyone changing their ski vacation based on the fact one lift out of three resorts was inoperable," Malone said.

According to a statement from the resort, the mechanical failure occurred in the lift's gear box. The component that failed is what is described as "an intricate piece of the 12,000 pound bull-wheel assembly."

The resort transported the bull-wheel assembly to a Salt Lake City warehouse, where the manufacturer will rebuild the equipment. Parry said the resort is unsure how much the repairs will cost and the price tag will not be known until the manufacturer determines the nature of the repairs.

A timeline for the lift reopening is delayed until the manufacturer, Doppelmayr CTEC, evaluates the problems.

Mike Beeley, the vice president of marketing for Doppelmayr CTEC, the successor to a previous company, said a ring gear inside what is known as the bull-wheel planetary drive fractured, causing a loud noise.

He said lift attendants stopped Silverlode and found that the gear box had become locked, forcing the resort to close the lift. He said the problem occurred in the upper terminal of the lift.

Beeley said such breakdowns are "extremely rare."

"We build the lifts to last 20 or 30 years without this type of failure," he said.

Beeley said the company is dismantling the equipment and waiting for replacement parts being manufactured in Switzerland. He is unsure how much the repairs will cost.

"We're hoping assembly will take place next week, starting Monday," he said.

He is confident that the lift will be operating again during the current ski season.

The resort does not plan to cut the number of lift tickets it sells each day, nor does it plan to lower lift-ticket prices, Parry said.

"The entire mountain is open. There is still a great experience out there to be had," she said.
post #7 of 21
Originally Posted by dadbear
The bad news is that my brand new skis (and my only skis) are now also my rock skis.
And your racing skiis, and your powder skiis, and your bump skiis, and your cruising skiis, and your .....

Nice thing about having only one pair is you can claim that you have "a pair" for whatever the conditions are.
post #8 of 21
As of This Past Sunday the feb 28 the Silverload lift was still down. Seems that with this lift down. People are discovering other parts of PCMR. In a way thats a good thing and for people who alrady knew the mountain a bad thing.
post #9 of 21
I just spent a fabulous week skiing with out of town friends at pretty much everywhere but PC. Sorry folks, the Silverlode chair is the heart of the mountain no matter how they spin it. Even if you don't ski off it, the lines were nuts. Bailed on Monday and Tuesday to an uncrowded Deer Valley- spent a nice blizzard Sunday at Alta and again Wednesday- by Thursday PC was manageable even without Silverlode as the crowd went home- then Friday at the incomprable Sundance with Mrs. crab and the kids!
Bear with me- I'm trying pics for the first time- two Sundance, one Alta.
That's me on the left wih my friend Dan from NY...
post #10 of 21
I'll try the other two...Big Alta, big Dan, big fat Chubbs- thanks for the REI closeout tip on these, people- they were loved, especially in giant fluff crud!
post #11 of 21
I guess it's one at a time for this luddite... (Mrs. Crab and Crablet at sunny, uncrowded Sundance.)
post #12 of 21
As long as I'm stealing the thread for a slideshow, here's one more Alta for the road for everyone who waited an hour in line at PCMR! (new camera...)
post #13 of 21
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab
...Sorry folks, the Silverlode chair is the heart of the mountain no matter how they spin it. ...
Um...I'm not sure what that says about you and your skiing. There are MANY days, in fact weeks, that I never even cross by Silverload. You ought to try that sometime. You will be supprised how good the areas are that you you seldom ski.

As for the long lines, don't know, I was in Jackson

post #14 of 21
I for one can attest to Mr. Crab's skiing ability. The guy rocks. And he knows the ins and outs of PCMR. I think he's just saying that Silverlode being closed really affects the fluidity of the resort, not necessarily that you need to use Silverlode, but that having it closed affects every other part of the resort.
post #15 of 21
Gosh, Inester, thanks. My take on it is this; We saw a helatious line on Monday (Pres day) at Payday so went down to Eagle, usually a short line full of racer kids training. The line was a good 45 minuites long- after 15 minutes word came down that Silverlode was out. We bailed before they punched & wasted my friend's comp ticket- I have a pass. Then went to DV, which was sublime with the new snow--the problem is that with Silverlode out, everyone drains down to King Con with just those runs or Black Diamonds on the frontside like Willy's or Erica's Gold and nowhere else to go- except the catwalk. Tough on mom and pop from Florida. That means long lines on Con and everywhere else too as Silverlode tends to concentrate the intermediate vacationers. Sure you can ski Jupe, Mckonky's, Blueslip bowl and take the slow Thaynes, Motherlode and Pioneer chairs, or the slower Ski Team, but on a non pow day it's not my thing. Silverlode links everything up. I hear there were hour long lines at Payday and Bonanza- you can't get anywhere without going through them first, even with fast-tracks. Mega bummer, if you ask me. I can't believe this happened on the busiest days of the year and it's out indefinately. By the way, I've not stood in line more than ten minutes anywhere this season including Alta on a powder day- so this wasn't much fun... Solitude anyone?
post #16 of 21
We stood in unbelievable lines for 45 second rides at Disney World this fall. We looked at each other and swore we would NEVER whine about a lift line again!!!
post #17 of 21

I know how it all started...

I live in the DC metro area and was skiing in PC over Presidents' Day. A couple of friends of mine were skiing Silverlode while me and my dad skied Jupiter. When we called them to meet for lunch, they took Silverlode up to meet us at the top. One of them skis with a big backpack on and, as it turns out, it caught on the chair's armrest as he was unloading. The notoriously inept lift operator ran to press the panic stop button (after my friend was off safely) and broke the lift. My friend is pretty bummed out about it and would like to offer his apologies to the thousands who he has affected. He is very sorry for being such a big jerk and he wants it all to be over with. If you want to offer him your support or tell him what a moron he is, e-mail me at effopish at g mail dot c o m and i'll pass it on to him
post #18 of 21
Skied PC on Monday and the lift was still down. Luckily my buddy worked patrol there this year and got us around. I think we skied every chair that worked.
post #19 of 21
Mr. Crab: loved looking at your last picture of Alta with that ridge line. That picutre is the same one sitting on my mantle from our honeymoon in 1992. I look at the picture often and hope to get back out someday. Somedays Vermont has some incredible skiing (MRG this past Wed., 30"+ of powder) but it is never Alta!
post #20 of 21
My wife and I skied PCMR from March 1 to March 4. Silverlode started running again at the end of the week. Unfortunately, it brokedown again within 8 hours of starting with a full load of people on it. I heard that the people had to be removed with a rope system (after almost 2 hours sitting there). You can imagine what happened to King Con after that occurred. Additionally, McKonkeys lift was also out of service at the end of the week for some reason.
post #21 of 21
Silverload is back up today. PCMR swears it won't break down anymore. Yeah right
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