Fallout from Timberline

Timberline Four Seasons Resort plans to have the Thunderstruck lift re-opened Saturday after last weekend’s incident with help from Partek, Aerial NDT and Ropeway Construction.  A new crossarm will be installed to replace the one that fell from tower 12 and the lift will be load tested before it re-opens.  “We have assembled a world-class team of manufacturers, engineers, and safety inspectors who have been working diligently since the event took place to assess and repair the lift, with multiple levels of oversight at every step in the process,” the resort said in a statement posted to Facebook.

Sugarloaf temporarily closed its Snubber lift (a 1985 Borvig triple) for inspections Monday after news of the incident at Timberline.  Sugarloaf notes it completed Borvig’s recommended reinforcement of towers on affected lifts in the late 1980s, as did Sunday River.

IMG_8547
In this photo from Sunday River, you can see the U bolts that were added in the late 1980s as a second connection between crossarm and tower tube on this 1986 Borvig triple (the same year and make as Thunderstruck at Timberline.)  Borvig issued a bulletin in 1987 calling for this modification on certain lifts.

The State of Vermont ordered the closure of the 2,000 foot double chair at Suicide Six after cracks were found on two of its towers.  This lift was manufactured by Borvig in 1975 and has a different tower design than the ones at Timberline with no lifting frame. Because this particular lift provides the only access to the majority of the mountain’s terrain, the resort is closed until the towers can be repaired.

By my count there are 176 Borvig lifts remaining in operation in 26 states and 3 Canadian provinces.  The company built 260 lifts from 1962 to 1991.

Added 2/25/2016: Sugarloaf announced today they performed non-destructive testing on the Skidway double’s towers this week in addition to inspecting Snubber.  Skidway is a 1988 Borvig double.  While the NDT found no problems, Sugarloaf will voluntarily install U-bolts connecting Skidway’s tower tubes and crossarms this week out of an abundance of caution.

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