Gold Coast Funitel – Squaw Valley, CA

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Towers 1 and 2.
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Bottom terminal building.
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View up towards Gold Coast.
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Tower 1.
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T2.
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Terminal closed up for the summer.
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Tower 3.
Turntable at the turnaround allowing cabins to be parked in the middle of the terminal.
Arrival side of the top station.
Each hanger features four detachable grips.
Top station turnaround.
Top terminal building at Gold Coast.
Tower and cabin.
Downhill side of the top station.
Cabins passing.
Gold Coast building.
Middle part of the line.
Protect Our Winters livery.
Cabins inside the top station.
Side parking area.
Toyota cabin livery.
T10.
Upper part of the line over Big Blue.
Arrival side at the top.
Breakover towers.
Tower 9.
A tower from above.
Cabins pass tower 6.
Tall tower.
View down the lift line.
Lower portion of the line.
T3.
A huge section of rock had to be blasted away to make room for such a large lift.
View up the line with cabins out.
POW and Toyota liveries.
Cabin departing the bottom station.
Acceleration equipment.

14 thoughts on “Gold Coast Funitel – Squaw Valley, CA

  1. Duncan N. March 22, 2018 / 11:40 am

    Since the hangar was completely free standing in the terminals, how did they insure alignment when it entered into the acceleration setup? And if this worked, why do modern terminals suspend the cabins instead of using this tech? As a side question, how do double grips work? It seems like there would be a lot of conflict in the acceleration/deceleration portions when one grip is being driven by a tire running at a different speed from the other.

    Like

    • Teddy Hubbell April 15, 2018 / 5:34 pm

      I don’t know, but it’s pretty cool to have the grips be free standing like that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • John November 8, 2018 / 8:03 am

      If you notice, one of the photos shows a single traction plate in the centre of the four-grip suspension platform. The tyres drive this and not the grips as a single detach grip normally is driven.

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    • chip0 November 10, 2018 / 7:00 pm

      I’ve always thought that was a terrible design. On Doppelmayr Funitels, the cabins have two hangers, each with the grips on the outside and the rollers on the inside, so it’s fully suspended in the terminal. Of course, Funitels have been more or less superseded by 3S’s anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tijsen January 24, 2020 / 1:30 pm

      In some funitels, like the Gletscherbus 3 at Hintertux, all tires run at the same speed and a motor makes all tires accelerate together. To get the grips back on the rails correctly first the traction plate moving against the tires moves the cabin left or right to the correct spot, and then the wheels on the grips go on the rails and lifts the cabin slightly, like how any detach grip goes into the station.

      Like

  2. themav April 22, 2019 / 5:43 pm

    Does this system use only a single splice? Basically, is the haul rope one long continuous piece that snakes it’s way up and down the mountain twice? Thanks.

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    • Billy B. April 22, 2019 / 7:45 pm

      I think that it is a single splice with a unique bullwheel configuration that creates the parallel ropes running at the same speed. The link below is a report about the system shortly after it opened (click on “Download/View” after heading to the link) with a nice diagram of the haul rope setup on page 4, as well as plenty of other information about the system. Hope that helps.

      1. https://mountainscholar.org/handle/11124/70548

      Liked by 2 people

      • themav April 22, 2019 / 10:11 pm

        Thanks for that, very helpful!

        Best I could tell it looks like the drive station has a double-grooved bullwheel. The tension return station has a couple of bullwheels, and it looks like the rope crosses over itself; outside to inside, inside to outside. What a monster lift.

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        • Kirk April 23, 2019 / 8:01 am

          One 50 mm continues rope, 2 splices due to shipping. Approximately 36,300″ of rope.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Donald Reif October 17, 2019 / 6:21 pm

    Nice distant view of the Crystal Express at Diamond Peak there.

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  4. Phoenix February 10, 2020 / 9:04 pm

    These cabins look a lot smaller than 3S cabins which are almost always either 28 or 30 person cabins. Do these actually fit 28 people?

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    • julestheshiba February 16, 2020 / 2:09 pm

      They do tend to fill the cabins to the max on weekends and I feel like there have been days where there are 28 people in those cabins, but normally they fit around 20 people

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  5. julestheshiba February 16, 2020 / 2:08 pm

    I wonder if Peter can go back to get some pictures of the drive and machinery on this lift because on some days they have the door to the lower drive room open and you can see the bullwheel setup.

    Like

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