Kimberley Lift Fire Was Deliberately Set

Last month’s fire which destroyed a lift operator house at Kimberley Alpine Resort was no accident, police revealed today. The blaze torched key electrical components of the Northstar Express the morning of December 18th, rendering the lift inoperable on just the second day of the season. “Further investigation that included scene examination has led investigators to believe this fire is arson and was deliberately set,” said Kimberley Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment Commander Sgt. Steve Woodcox.

The fire has limited operations across Kimberley Alpine Resort, which relies on Northstar for out-of-base capacity. Faced without its key chairlift, the ski area has been utilizing a passenger snowcat from sister resort Kicking Horse, another on loan from Revelstoke Mountain Resort and third from a local logging company to move guests to two backside chairlifts. Another option for skiers is to hike 20-40 minutes to the base of the Tamarack double. The resort has also set up temporary food and beverage operations and warming tents on the backside of the mountain for guests while the frontside remains inaccessible. Tourism Kimberley estimates that despites these efforts, there has been a roughly 40 to 50 percent decline in bookings due to the situation with the quad chair.

“Resorts of the Canadian Rockies and Kimberley Alpine Resort’s maintenance experts have been in constant contact with the lift manufacturer, and they are putting a plan together to get the Quad Chair up and operating as soon as possible,” said General Manager Ted Funston in a late December update. “The fire completely demolished the lift control building, along with all the specialized electronic equipment that runs the lift, and so the difficult reality is that it is going to take some time to get the lift operating again, most likely measured in months rather than weeks,” he continued. The Kimberley RCMP requests anyone with information that could assist in their arson investigation to call (250) 427-4811.


17 thoughts on “Kimberley Lift Fire Was Deliberately Set

  1. charlie (theincsupport) January 10, 2022 / 11:57 am

    Really is a shame. Hopefully they can get the quad running again soon

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew Estrada January 10, 2022 / 12:09 pm



  3. Peter Landsman January 10, 2022 / 3:57 pm

    Kimberley posted an update this afternoon saying the Northstar Express will not run for the rest of the season. Season passholders can continue utilizing the backside lifts, defer their pass to next year or request a refund.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anthony January 10, 2022 / 5:38 pm

      So, so sad.

      I love how creative they’ve been with the snowcat service, the backside barbecue, and other amenities. I kind of hope they can get enough financial compensation or insurance funds to replace the lift completely given this and all the issues they faced with it last year. That or repairs + a backup T-bar.


      • skier72 January 10, 2022 / 6:12 pm

        Yes, I think at very least, once Northstar is running again, they should install (new or used) a T-Bar going partly up the Maverick line. Apart from being a very useful backup lift in case of (not so) rare failures of Northstar, it could also be used for things like race training and night skiing operations. Just a thought…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Donald Reif January 10, 2022 / 8:23 pm

          I bet someone in management is really regretting removing all those lifts that used to parallel Northstar.


        • LH January 10, 2022 / 10:25 pm

          Totally agree that it should be there for redundancy. However in this case, whats to say that a backup lift wouldn’t be sabotaged as well? Darn hard to secure a lift against people with bad intentions. At least a T-bar would most likely be a quicker return to service than a detachable chair.


  4. Douglas January 10, 2022 / 6:14 pm

    My worry, in light of the Sea to Sky Gondola, is who did this and why? If it was ‘just’ a person or persons who wanted to create s**t, or even someone angry at RCR or the mountain, then we can move on from it. If however this becomes seen as an effective way to protest environmental or Indigenous issues I am very worried for all our mountains.



    • Somebody January 10, 2022 / 6:46 pm

      This isn’t new but seems to have taken off in popularity in BC in the last couple years.

      In 1998 some dude protesting blue sky basin lit a bunch of fires atop Vail and damaged #5, #14, as well as two others (likely #4 and #11), and Two Elk Lodge.


      • pbropetech January 11, 2022 / 10:23 am

        It wasn’t ‘some dude’, but a semi-organised group of ecoterrorists called Earth Liberation Front.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jake January 10, 2022 / 7:05 pm

    Why would anyone do that? Kimberly is a great ski area and the people there are nice!


  6. Blame Vail January 10, 2022 / 7:56 pm

    So what you are saying is this is vails fault… They set the precedent. F-YOU VAIL


    • pbropetech January 11, 2022 / 10:24 am

      No, what he’s saying is there happened to be a similar incident *at* Vail.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jake the snake January 11, 2022 / 10:27 am

        I wish there would have been cameras so they could find the creep who set the fire.

        Liked by 1 person

        • askifan January 11, 2022 / 11:56 am

          I would be very surprised if they don’t have cameras. Many places have cameras on the lift shack (not necessarily filming the shack itself) pointed at load/unload ramps for litigation defense.

          But that doesn’t help if the perpetrator doesn’t go by the ramp.

          Liked by 1 person

        • LH January 11, 2022 / 11:05 pm

          There were definitely cameras up there… they had a cam on their webage pointing downhill mounted on that shack. If the camera server was also in the shack any potential footage would be burnt up.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Yair January 17, 2022 / 12:08 pm

    The gossip I read is that it was someone that was mad he was not allowed to ski because he is not vaccinated.
    RCR thankfully and smartly have a very strict guidance in terms of requiring covid vaccination to access their resorts.
    This policy makes people feel a lot safer while using their resorts and allows to load chairlift much more efficiently.
    None of the RCR resorts had the terrible outbreaks that other resorts that allow non vaccinated people, making it for a great skiing season this and last year.

    Liked by 1 person

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