News Roundup: Long-Awaited

No Injuries Reported in Cypress Mountain Tower Flying Incident

A helicopter pilot was forced to release a tower head bound for Cypress Mountain’s new chairlift Friday when weather conditions became unfavorable. The Sikorsky S-61 helicopter landed safely but the uppermost section of tower 6 was damaged beyond repair. “A fog bank moved quickly and unexpectedly into the work zone as the assembly was being set,” read a statement from the resort. “During the helicopter’s exit from the fog – as required by safety protocols – the load was jettisoned to allow the helicopter to safely reposition to an area with greater visibility, then navigate back to and land at the base area,” the statement continued. The helicopter was being operated by VIH Aviation Group of North Saanich, British Columbia and had been hired by Doppelmayr Canada to install towers at Cypress. Work was temporarily suspended after the incident and Worksafe BC as well as aviation authorities are investigating.

“Safety protocols were strictly followed, and the critical and fortunate outcome is that no one was injured,” said Russell Chamberlain, president and general manager of Cypress Mountain. “We expect this incident will alter the schedule, but not in a way that causes an actual setback in timing.” Doppelmayr is working to replace damaged components at factories in Salt Lake City, Utah and St.-Jérôme, Quebec.

The SkyQuad is replacing a 1968 Mueller double on the upper mountain. Cypress said that despite the setback, Doppelmayr expects to have the new lift operational as planned in mid-December.

News Roundup: All Good Things

New Quad to Debut at Cypress Mountain

All of Cypress Mountain’s terrain will become accessible by quad chair next season following replacement of the summit lift. Dubbed SkyQuad, the new Doppelmayr fixed grip quad on Mt. Strachan will feature a loading conveyor and move up to 1,800 guests per hour. The lift replaces a 1968 Mueller double relocated from Apex Mountain Resort to Cypress in the late 1980s.

This is the fifth new lift project announced by Boyne Resorts for 2022-23 as part of a major infrastructure push. “With the huge new heated outdoor dining plaza beside the Cypress Creek Lodge, more upgrades to the snowmaking system and now the new loading conveyor equipped SkyQuad chairlift, Cypress Mountain is making great strides in transforming the resort facilities to better accommodate our valued season passholders and four season guests,” said Russell Chamberlain, President of Cypress Mountain Resort. Construction on the new lift will begin in April and be complete before the start of next winter.

News Roundup: Retirements

News Roundup: Back Up

  • Berkshire Bank seeks to foreclose on the Hermitage Club, saying the private ski area owes $16.6 million on $17.1 million in loans taken out between 2014 and 2017.
  • Hunter Mountain apologizes to season pass holders and explains in detail why two of its lifts went down for much of Presidents’ Week.
  • Mt. Snow’s Bluebird Express is down with a damaged gearbox.
  • Similar story for Cypress Mountain’s Lions Express, which reopened on Tuesday.
  • Harmony at Whistler also went down for much of last week..
  • Big Sky’s Six Shooter was rope evacuated last week, sparking an interesting conversation about why that lift turns a few degrees.
  • HeliOps profiles Brian Jorgenson of Timberline Helicopters, who explains why even at $1.50 per second, the UH-60 Black Hawk has become the gold standard for western ski lift missions.
  • The largest urban gondola system in North America will open this May in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic.
  • Boston’s proposed Seaport gondola has a new route.
  • A conference center in Wisconsin called Forest Springs plans to expand its ski area with a new chairlift.
  • Silver Star’s new gondola is on track for a rare July opening with the top terminal and all foundations complete.