Cabins and Towers for Park City’s Quicksilver Gondola

The first Uni-G terminal at Park City looks mighty nice in red and silver.
The first Uni-G terminal at Park City looks mighty nice in red and silver.

The most anticipated new lift of the year is starting to look like the really big gondola that it is. The drive terminal for Park City’s Quicksilver Gondola is largely complete and all 27 towers were set last weekend.  Doppelmayr opted to use the same K-Max heli they’ve been using for other projects even though gondola towers are huge.  The biggest towers – 23 and 24 – were actually set by crane.  In fact, a two-mile long road was built just to access T21-23 on the edge of Thaynes Canyon.

Tower 24 on the edge of Thaynes Canyon is a big one.
Tower 24 on the edge of Thaynes Canyon is a big one.
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There are now 4 lines over Thaynes Canyon, none of which are the final ones.

The towers that were flown were split into in as many as six pieces because of the limited capability of the K-Max at 9,000 feet.  At least two towers have 16-sheave trains that must weigh a ton.  Some towers were flown without catwalks and railings just to make weight.  I was surprised Doppelmayr did not use a heavy-lift helicopter like the Chinook but I’m sure it all came down to price and what was available.

Overview of Miners Camp with a whole lot going on.
Overview of Miners Camp with a whole lot going on.
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Everything extra, including the tower number apparently, were taken off for the K-Max to be able to carry this tower in sections.

Most interesting is that the two halves of Quicksilver have completely different tower heads.  The Park City section has 14 European-style crossarms and lifting frames while the 13 towers on the former Canyons side are the Doppelmayr CTEC style.  Perhaps some of the towers were manufactured in St. Jerome or Wolfurt while others came from Salt Lake.  There’s no question parts for this lift are coming from all over the world.

Most of the cabin parking will be at the other end but the drive terminal is going to have a parking rail as well.
Most of the cabin parking will be at the other end but the drive terminal is going to have a parking rail as well.  The lift shack is on the other side by the rock wall.
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The northern section has 13 towers including some really tall ones.

Speaking of parts, the remaining portions of the Miner’s Camp terminal are in Park City’s parking lot while everything for the mid-station is staged along roads in The Colony.  A couple dozen cabins have arrived from CWA and more were being delivered today.  I’m guessing CWA is still building them and shipping a handful at a time.  The cabins arriving today were numbered in the 30’s.

Omega cabins fresh off the boat.
Omega cabins fresh off the boat.
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Almost time for steel at the Pinecone Ridge angle station.

Quicksilver will have only one haul rope so the mid-station will have three mini-bullwheels to deflect the rope. The turn is apparently too sharp for horizontal sheaves but the bullwheels are smaller than the line gauge.  Even though there is no mid-station yet, there is already a sand line the entire way from Miner’s Camp to Pinecone Ridge.  The big span over Thaynes Canyon has two other lines strung between tower bases.  It will be interesting to see what the evacuation plan is for this section.

I've never seen so many tire banks in one place. These are all for the angle station.
I’ve never seen so many tire banks in one place. These are all for the angle station.
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Two of three bullwheels that will be in the mid-station.

The terminal is still about half done at the Park City station with windows being installed.  All of the footers for the cabin parking rails are finished and back-filled but there isn’t going to be a building this winter.  It looked like the contractor building the loading platforms was gearing up to start work.

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Another view of the drive terminal.
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Tower 6 in The Colony.
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That depression tower #7 has 32 sheaves!
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These cabins are really well hidden in the backwoods of The Canyons I did a lot of walking to find them.
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Breakover towers 14-16 with the town of Park City below.
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A future cabin parking facility will be on the far side of the return terminal.

Park City opens in 73 days and I think the gondola may be ready before there’s snow to ski to it.  Stay tuned for an update on the King Con Express.

4 thoughts on “Cabins and Towers for Park City’s Quicksilver Gondola

  1. Benjamin Bartz September 8, 2015 / 9:08 pm

    Has there ever been another lift with an angle station built using only one haul rope? Or is this a first of it’s kind?

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    • Peter Landsman September 8, 2015 / 9:15 pm

      Quite a few. The BreckConnect and Sunshine Village Gondola each have four stations and only one rope. The Peak 8 SuperConnect, Riva Bahn at Vail and Christie Peak Express at Steamboat are other examples.

      Unless you need to run sections independently it’s the way to go.

      Like

      • Benjamin Bartz September 8, 2015 / 9:21 pm

        Hmm very interesting. I was under the impression that lifts with angle stations were always built with separate haul ropes and mechanical connections which powered each section off of the previous one. It does however seem to make sense to utilize a continuous loop if possible. Thanks for the info.

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