Alyeska got lucky early this morning when a fire broke out at the Glacier Bowl Express chair parking facility but did not spread to the lift itself. Girdwood Fire Department and Alyeska crews responded at 5:27 am, accessing the scene by snowcat and using the mountain’s snowmaking system to fight the fire. “We are actively investigating the cause of the fire and will know more details later today when investigators can access the scene,” said Mountain General Manger Di Whitney in a statement. “We are grateful for the speedy response and support from Girdwood Fire Department which did a fantastic job putting out the fire.”
Due to unforeseen circumstances, mountain operations are tentatively scheduled to open at 1PM today.
The Glacier Bowl Express is a 2013 Doppelmayr detachable quad built to replace another high speed quad installed in 1988. Considering the barn is at the drive station, this fire could have been much worse. The lift’s operator house is a separate building on the other side of the terminal. Alyeska re-opened much of the mountain at 1pm today and says it will have the Glacier Bowl Express back in action soon.
Update 3/25/16: GBX is still down. Alyeska’s snow reports notes, “we have initiated a plan to resume operations of Glacier Bowl Express this season. The fire investigation and preliminary mechanical inspections have been completed, and equipment and tools to make the repairs have arrived. Experts are on site today to assist with repairs, and inspectors will be in place to confirm successful repairs and oversee the return to safe operations.” From the below post on Instagram, it looks like the fire damaged the haul rope, requiring repair.
The Versant du Lac detachable quad at Bromont, Quebec will carry skiers tomorrow morning for the first time since Feb 3rd. That’s when a fast-moving fire started in the bottom operator house and spread to the return terminal before being put out by firefighters with help from Bromont’s snowmakers. The operator building housed a snowmaking compressor and lighting equipment, which may have led to the fire. For the past three weeks, the resort has been working with Doppelmayr to get the lift back in service as quickly as possible despite the lack of snow in Quebec. If there’s a silver lining, that bad weather was the reason no guests were riding Lift 5 the night of the fire.
Doppelmayr fabricated and painted a new operator house in Salt Lake City which arrived in Quebec on Feb. 19th, just two weeks after the fire. The lift was load tested on Thursday and while terminal damage is still visible, some burned out windows at the return won’t prevent operation for the final month of the season. Presumably, Doppelmayr will return this summer and replace the remaining fire-damaged components. The exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation but in the meantime, congratulations to Bromont crews for getting this key lift back up and running in 24 days.
We are proud and happy to announce the reopening of the chairlift #5 at the Versant du Lac tomorrow, Saturday, February 27, around 8 am !
The return station of a detachable quad burned last night at Ski Bromont in Quebec. The 2003 Doppelmayr CTEC lift is called Versant du Lac or Lift 5. More pictures of it can be found here. This is the third such terminal fire in Eastern Canada in as many years. The drive terminals of high speed quads at Mont Tremblant and Marble Mountain burned in 2014 and were subsequently repaired. The good news for Bromont is the Uni-G terminal model is still in production so it shouldn’t be too hard to get a new one this spring. Doppelmayr’s St. Jerome factory is less than two hours away.