Sea to Sky Gondola Deliberately Severed Again

The Sea to Sky Gondola‘s haul rope was cut again this morning in an intentional act of destruction. The horrible news comes just 13 months after the first such crime occurred the morning of August 10th, 2019. “At 04:00 hours the Squamish RCMP was contacted by the security team at the Sea to Sky Gondola stating that the line to the gondola had been cut and had crashed into the mountain,” read an early morning statement from police. “Squamish RCMP members attended immediately and began to assess information and contain the area.” The lift was not operating at that hour and there are no known injuries.

The criminal(s) responsible for the original downing were never apprehended and the gondola reopened six months later with enhanced security including 24 hour remote monitoring. Squamish RCMP is working alongside partner agencies including the West Vancouver Police Department and more will be arriving as the day goes on.  There is an extensive amount of resources in the area and law enforcement is asking the public to stay out of the vicinity.

“We are in shock,” General Manager Kirby Brown told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “This is a repeat incident of what happened last year.” He said the attraction plans to rebuild again, just as it did last fall. That included millions of dollars of work including new cabins from CWA, a replacement 55 millimeter haul rope from Fatzer and new security infrastructure.

The Sea to Sky Gondola employs 120 people and hosted 400,000 visitors per year before the recent setbacks. Anyone with information on either crime is asked to contact the Squamish Royal Canadian Mounted Police at 604-892-6100 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Update: According to Brown, the cable was cut in a similar manner to last time with a skilled individual quickly climbing a tower and cutting the rope. The person was captured on surveillance footage which shows clearly what happened. There were 39 cabins on the gondola this time, six of which were in stations and undamaged. A rope specialist is en route to determine whether a new haul rope section can be spliced in or if an entirely new rope is needed. The gondola was insured and the company is already in the process of ordering what is needed to rebuild again.

23 thoughts on “Sea to Sky Gondola Deliberately Severed Again

  1. skier72 September 14, 2020 / 9:49 am

    This is horrible!

    Like

  2. skitheeast September 14, 2020 / 9:52 am

    This is absolutely ridiculous. At this point, there is some group or individual set on destroying the Sea to Sky gondola. Have there been any vocal groups against its original construction?

    I really hope they installed security cameras since their last vandalism so the suspects can be apprehended.

    Like

  3. Jackson Nunnally September 14, 2020 / 10:05 am

    Not again… This is terrible.

    Like

  4. Kaden K September 14, 2020 / 10:33 am

    Do they at least have security cameras now to see what happened???!!!! Hopefully they do!

    Like

    • Jamie B September 14, 2020 / 11:23 am

      You would certainly think so this time. Also, do they still keep cabins on the line at night? It’s difficult to tell from those images

      Like

  5. Cameron September 14, 2020 / 10:52 am

    My jaw droped when I saw the title I said really again. This is absolutely horrible hopefully they don’t have to replace all the cabins! 2020 keeps getting worse and worse

    Like

  6. Myles Svec September 14, 2020 / 12:16 pm

    It could of been the same person that did it last time. But why don’t they store the cabins at night? Honestly to stop this from happening they would need lights that are on at night and security cameras on every tower that rotate 360 degrees. People can just walk from the forest climb up the tower and cut the cable! My jaw dropped when I was reading it.

    Like

  7. Keith Scothern September 14, 2020 / 1:31 pm

    They do not have cabin storage so they were on the line. They beefed up security with better cameras etc. but the news reports say it happened around 4 am, so it would have been dark plus there is a lot of smoke in the air right now. So not sure they would have good images but they are saying they have more evidence than last time,

    Like

  8. Ben Wegrzyn September 14, 2020 / 2:30 pm

    why on earth were the cabins on the line?

    Like

  9. Carson September 14, 2020 / 3:49 pm

    My heart sinks when I saw the caption

    Like

  10. william Pauline September 14, 2020 / 5:28 pm

    What a tragedy–What’s wrong with people today— Bill Pauline—40 yr veteran employee from the ski industry.

    Like

  11. selkirks September 14, 2020 / 5:50 pm

    In considering motive, it’s worth noting that many people in the area were not thrilled about the idea of the gondola when it was first proposed. The environmental angle was significant.

    Hopefully they can catch the person. And hopefully they can find a way to install a cabin storage facility.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif September 14, 2020 / 6:50 pm

      And maybe make it so it’s harder to reach the towers, like fencing them off.

      Like

      • Jeffrey September 14, 2020 / 7:50 pm

        I would even remove the lower part of the towers ladders!

        Like

  12. Tim F September 14, 2020 / 5:58 pm

    It’s infuriating to see this happen again. They really need to invest in a cabin storage facility this time since it’s clear these criminals won’t be deterred from trying again.

    Like

  13. ALT2870 September 14, 2020 / 9:30 pm

    It has to be most certainly the same person or “group”. Guess this is a statement from them and their thought is that maybe they’d shut it down for good this time. Obviously that isn’t happening so maybe they learned their lesson. Hopefully the video is clear enough.

    That being said Sea to Sky is partly to blame. While I’m sure a cabin parking facility is now in the works, there was one big thing they could of done that doesn’t cost much. Put a ladder box on each tower similar to Glenwood Caverns. Those were put on partly for this exact reason when it was built in 2002/2003. You can’t access the towers that way. Other option like someone said was to remove the bottom portion of the ladder but not sure if that flies with a safety board.

    Like

  14. Prest September 14, 2020 / 9:33 pm

    I haven’t seen any reporting about motives. There has been pushback from environmental groups, because the gondola is in a provincial park. A lot of these groups are climbers/hikers coalitions and we’re mostly concerned about increased usage. I think most people don’t have a ton of sympathy for that.

    There was also a lot of push back from First Nations groups for the 2004 proposal: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler-news/squamish-gondola-stopped-by-squamish-nation-2468247

    I think most people are more sympathetic to the idea that native people should have autonomy (or at least profit from) their lands. But there’s no evidence that this, or anything else, is the motive.

    I can’t believe that this has happened twice without anyone claiming a motive, and I can’t believe that when they didn’t add cabin parking or at least restrict access to the towers. Although I guess if someone’s going to chop a haul rope they’ll make it thru a gate.

    This certainly makes me uneasy about our lifts. Lord knows people get upset about the $20 hamburgers…

    At the end of the day though, I just feel bad for the mechanics. To recover and then to have this is heartbreaking

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Portland September 14, 2020 / 11:46 pm

    There is no justification for this kind of violence! Let’s call it what it is; a VIOLENT ACT.
    SABOTAGE, DESTRUCTION. INTIMIDATION. IMMORAL. UNETHICAL.
    When good people wring their hands and “try to understand” the motives of others rather than take action and CONDEMN, society ends up with ANARCHY, be it riots in the streets of Portland, or cutting of cables in BC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt September 15, 2020 / 3:05 am

      Any coincidence that the pier in New Westminster was set ablaze and a train carrying potash derailed all on the same day?

      Like

  16. Flo September 17, 2020 / 11:54 pm

    Have been to the s2s gondola many times over the years, what a great place and nice setup. Absolutely shocked that it happend again.
    I hope after all this they go for an automated cabin storage. Shouldn’t take much longer than 15 minutes to clear the line in the evening.
    Maybe keeping the rope moving all night is also going to prevent something like this in the future. But with all those extra hours on the machine and added wear and tear it’s going to add more financial pressure in the long run. Should still be cheaper than having this scenario over again, pretty sure insurance is through the roof now after the 2nd attack.
    Hope they catch this idiot/those idiots this time and they get what they deserve. If they do it’s most likely the don’t own anything personally nor have a penny in their pockets to come up for the damage done.

    Like

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