188 days after someone brazenly cut its haul rope in the middle of the night, the Sea to Sky Gondola will again lift sightseers above Howe Sound on Valentine’s Day. The weekend will be a celebration of hard work by many people to get the nearly six year-old gondola back in action. Fatzer and CWA fast-tracked a new rope and cabins from Switzerland while the Sea to Sky team and partners worked to remove damaged components by helicopter. The new haul rope arrived October 24th and was pulled and spliced in just a few days. By December, thirty new cabins had reached Squamish. Final certification by the BC Safety Authority is scheduled for the first week of February. In a silver lining, nine of the original undamaged cabins will be saved to bring the gondola to final capacity some time in the future.
“We are opening earlier than anticipated and the task has been huge,” said Kirby Brown, Sea to Sky Gondola General Manager. “Our industry partners were there every step of the way, from assisting in the clean-up and assessing needs to delivering major components with absolutely no notice. Our amazing team rose to the challenge and have done everything required to get us back up and running as quickly as possible,” he continued. “Our community stood by the gondola and showed us overwhelming support, confidence, and love through the last six months, and for that, we are so grateful.”
The culprit(s) have not been publicly identified or apprehended but security has been increased. “The fact that the main haul cable was completely severed was, and still is, shocking, and the investigation with the RCMP is ongoing,” said Brown. “However, we want our guests to know they can travel to the summit on the Sea to Sky Gondola with complete confidence. Our protocols would never allow the line to run if there was any damage to the cable and the security measures installed since the incident will ensure the gondola is secure and protected from any other criminal activity.”
To celebrate its reopening, the gondola will offer 50 percent off tickets all Valentine’s weekend.