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# Ski lift trivia

Anyone know how long a typical splice is in a ski lift haul rope? They just installed the new haul rope on Stowe's gondola, so now I know.

Cool slideshow showing the process at a local hill: http://www.mtspokane.com/blog/?p=134

1000 (can't remember the exact number but it's a big one) x the diameter of the rope.

Google search indicates I was way off.

I did some quick math and using 1000 X dia of a 1" rope equals about 83 feet. That's one long splice. That can't be right.

Actualy Bill, that's pretty good. I'm not sure the diameter of the rope, but the splice was 250' long. If the diameter is 3" then you are right.

I knew they were spliced over distance but I always thought each splice was welded.

Like a chinese finger puzzle. The harder it is pulled the tighter the joint becomes.

How long does it takes to make a 250' splice?

They did the whole thing in one day. Spliced one end of the new rope into the old rope and spun the lift to get the new rope in place, then they unspliced it and completed the loop. Then they put one end of the old rope onto a spool and reeled the whole thing in.

That's impressive.

Now can anybody guess how much the new cable for Stowe's gondola cost? I was told at the Ski School orientation, so I found out.

I bet the total lenght of the haul rope and estimated weight is figured into the equation of the splice lenght also. As far as cost goes on the gondola cable i know the total project cost is 230g's, i would guess 150,000?

Was there anything wrong with the old haul rope?    Or is this something all chairlifts get done periodically?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF

Was there anything wrong with the old haul rope?    Or is this something all chairlifts get done periodically?

30 years old. It's just something you do. The Gondi's rope gets more wear than most because it runs year round too.

I can't remember how long the splices were that I did in Lake Louise exactly, but they had to be around 175' (1.875" rope) 1996 was a long time ago, plus there were a lot of, um, self induced hazes.

I do remember however that they were a real pain in the ass. having about 12 guys all swinging the strands around the core, then one or two guys walking the length of the splice with a pair of hammers making sure everything was seated properly. at the end of it all, we were all exhausted..

as for frequency, I"m sure I heard someone saying it was every 12-15 years depending on service. But I could be wrong (has been know to occur)

Years ago at Tod Mountain (now called Sun Peaks) half the cable needed replacement so instead of hiring an expert the know it all German Manager decided to supervise the job himself. He unknowingly spliced a twist into the cable so as skiers got off the chair at the top of the lift, the chair would pop off the cable with them. They had to take all of the chairs off the lift and then run the lift 24/7 for a week to try and get the twist out. They then bought new (used actually) chairs with a different style attachment grip. It worked.

Oh, I think IIRC it was a long/short splice with the long tail being 65 feet in each direction.

There are only a couple of people in the entire country that can splice haul rope and they work with the local lift maintenance staff.  This time of year, these guys are criss-crossing the country splicing haulrope.  The one guy I met works about 3 months a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn

There are only a couple of people in the entire country that can splice haul rope and they work with the local lift maintenance staff.  This time of year, these guys are criss-crossing the country splicing haulrope.  The one guy I met works about 3 months a year.

Sorry but just about any experienced West coast logger (grapple yarder or tower) can splice cable but there are only a few certified inspectors that are required to inspect the splices on cable lifts that carry people. In Canada the inspectors don't have to do the actual splice work.

I watched them splice the original cable for the Aspen gondola.  They were all French guys that worked for Poma and they used a chain saw with a special blade.

The cost of the haul rope for Stowe's gondola came in at just about \$200k. Makes me feel good knowing I'm being carried up the mountain on something that costs as much as a two bedroom house.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanoT

Sorry but just about any experienced West coast logger (grapple yarder or tower) can splice cable but there are only a few certified inspectors that are required to inspect the splices on cable lifts that carry people. In Canada the inspectors don't have to do the actual splice work.

Ah.  Interesting.  I never knew much about it because I hadn't been around it until a few years ago when we replaced the haulrope on our Headwaters lift.  We have a pretty experienced lift maintenance team who loves to do as much work as possible in house, but we brought this guy in who specializes in it.  He was the one telling me about how he just travels around in the fall and does that.

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