Cannon Mountain Tram Evacuated

The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway was evacuated on Sunday for the first time in its history.  The tram’s two cars stopped around 1:50 pm, only about 75 feet out of the stations due to a yet-to-be-specified mechanical problem a bearing issue with the electric motor.  After an hour and half, tram operators began lowering passengers by rope with the temperature hovering around zero. It took another hour and a half for all 48-passengers to make it safely off the red and yellow tram cars.  Great work by the two operators who performed under pressure with minimal outside help.

Each tram cabin normally carries up to 70 passengers just over a mile between stations. Aguido (now merged with Leitner) built the Cannon Mountain Tramway back in 1979, replacing one built in 1938.    The State of New Hampshire owns and operates Cannon Mountain as part of Franconia Notch State Park.  Mountain management hopes to have the tram back open tomorrow morning. These things always seem to happen on a holiday weekend!  (not far away at Sunday River the workhorse Chondola has also been down all weekend.)

Update 2/15: The tram will remain closed at least through the first part of this week.

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News Roundup: Rope Evac at Big Sky

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Ski patrollers lower guests from the Challenger double at Big Sky Resort on February 5, 2016.
  • I’ve ridden lifts thousands of times and last Friday at Big Sky was the first time I never made it to the top of one.  A part in the gearbox on Challenger failed around noon with myself among 120 or so riders on line.  Big Sky Ski Patrol did an awesome job getting everybody down safely in about an hour.  Challenger is a reconditioned Riblet double built for Big Sky by Superior Tramway in 1988.  Three days after this incident, it’s still down. This particular lift saw significant downtime last season due to a broken bearing.
  • The Forest Service seeks comments on Arapahoe Basin’s latest master plan.  It includes a fixed-grip triple or quad chair serving the Beavers expansion, a Zuma access surface lift, replacements for Pallavicini/Molly Hogan and removal of Norway.
  • The Gondola Project asserts that cities now account for one in five gondolas and tramways built worldwide.
  • The first new lift for the 2018 Winter Olympics, an 8-passenger gondola, opens in South Korea after months of delays.  Two more detachable quads will be added this summer at the Jeongseon Alpine Center, which is hosting the Downhill and Super-G.
  • The New York Times confirms North Korea’s Masik Pass ski resort got a Doppelmayr 4-passenger gondola this summer.  It’s not new; according to Doppelmayr it came from Ischgl, Austria via a broker called Pro-Alpin who sold it to the Chinese.  The gondola is in addition to the four counterfeit Doppelmayr lifts that appeared to be brand new in 2014.