News Roundup: Rope Evac at Big Sky

Ski patrollers lower guests from the Challenger double at Big Sky Resort on February 5, 2016.
  • I’ve ridden lifts thousands of times and last Friday at Big Sky was the first time I never made it to the top of one.  A part in the gearbox on Challenger failed around noon with myself among 120 or so riders on line.  Big Sky Ski Patrol did an awesome job getting everybody down safely in about an hour.  Challenger is a reconditioned Riblet double built for Big Sky by Superior Tramway in 1988.  Three days after this incident, it’s still down. This particular lift saw significant downtime last season due to a broken bearing.
  • The Forest Service seeks comments on Arapahoe Basin’s latest master plan.  It includes a fixed-grip triple or quad chair serving the Beavers expansion, a Zuma access surface lift, replacements for Pallavicini/Molly Hogan and removal of Norway.
  • The Gondola Project asserts that cities now account for one in five gondolas and tramways built worldwide.
  • The first new lift for the 2018 Winter Olympics, an 8-passenger gondola, opens in South Korea after months of delays.  Two more detachable quads will be added this summer at the Jeongseon Alpine Center, which is hosting the Downhill and Super-G.
  • The New York Times confirms North Korea’s Masik Pass ski resort got a Doppelmayr 4-passenger gondola this summer.  It’s not new; according to Doppelmayr it came from Ischgl, Austria via a broker called Pro-Alpin who sold it to the Chinese.  The gondola is in addition to the four counterfeit Doppelmayr lifts that appeared to be brand new in 2014.

Gondola Lift at the Masikryong Ski Resort. #NorthKorea #masikryong #winter #ski

A photo posted by DPRK 360 (@dprk360) on

Gondola lift at the Masikryong Ski Resort. #NorthKorea #masikryong #winter #ski

A photo posted by DPRK 360 (@dprk360) on


6 thoughts on “News Roundup: Rope Evac at Big Sky

  1. julestheshiba February 7, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    That must have been scary not knowing what happened stranded up there.


    • Peter Landsman February 7, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Not at all. Every resort has trained staff and a plan to get people off lifts in situations like this. Machines break on occasion and lift evacuations happen just about every week.


  2. RMurphy February 10, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    I can’t imagine Challenger being easy to evacuate. Props to patrol for doing it in a timely manner.


    • Peter Landsman February 11, 2016 / 7:54 am

      Very true, Challenger presents some challenges! I don’t even think it’s possible to get to the top on a sled or in a cat. The Headwaters chair saved the day.


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