High Country Double Evacuated for Third Time This Month

in NELSAP Forum Posts: 1,798
Waterville Valley High Country Chairlift Evacuated for Third Time this Month

The High Country is closed, pending evaluation by resort and state.

Sunday, January 22, 2017, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com


Twenty two people were evacuated from the High Country double chairlift this morning, according to a Waterville Valley statement.

According to the statement, the incident "is being investigated with the cooperation of National Forest Service and New Hampshire Tramway Safety Board" and further evaluation will take place this week. As of the 4 PM Sunday snow report, the lift is listed as closed.

The evacuation is the third to happen on the chairlift this month, all of which have occurred during the 10:00 AM hour. The lift was previously evacuated on January 2 and January 6, reportedly from deropement due to guest misloads.

One of Waterville Valley's original Stadeli brand double chairlifts, the High Country was installed 50 years ago. Though largely unmodified, the lift did receive a new electric drive for the 2011-12 season. The lift serves short, high elevation intermediate trails.

Though no new Stadeli installations have taken place in New England since the 1980s, the lifts continue to operate to this day in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Meanwhile, though three Green Peak trails have debuted this month, no opening date has been announced for the Green Peak Triple. The relocated lift also has Stadeli components.

http://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=534
- Sam

Comments

  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 790
    Am I reading that right... that both early January evacuations were due to deropements? Yikes!
  • CannonballCannonball advanced
    Posts: 103
    "...deropement due to guest misloads."  
    Really?  If your lift deropes 2-3 times in a month you can't exactly blame it on the guests. 
  • LiftGuyLiftGuy advanced
    Posts: 124
    Generally "deropements" caused by misloads are the cable coming off the guide sheave at the loading point. My experience with these type of deropements is they are caused by 1) Improper load point 2) Poorly trained operators 3) Bad ramp design.
    $0.02
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited January 23 Posts: 1,549
    How about "kids" bouncing the chairs? I say "kids" because I'd hope adults would know better.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 956

    "...deropement due to guest misloads."  

    Really?  If your lift deropes 2-3 times in a month you can't exactly blame it on the guests. 
    yeah I'm gonna do a "+1" on this.  I know nothing about lifts but I've skied long and been in the PR biz long enough to say that "guest misloads" sends my BS meter to eleven
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,553
    While I agree with Cannonball and rickbolger regarding chairlifts, guests screwing around on the surface lifts, especially zig-zagging in the track, would derail some pomas and T-Bars.
  • newpylongnewpylong advanced
    edited January 23 Posts: 453
    Unless you guys know where the deropements were you cannot say it isn't due to misloads. "Misload" doesn't mean it is the guests fault either.
  • ski_itski_it expert
    edited January 23 Posts: 1,549
    What is a misload anyway? Is that when the chair runs you over? Saw that at the CM Rocket this season when a young tyke dropped his pole, then turned around, bent over to pick it up without noticing the chair was just turning the corner while we, the next in line were all screaming, "No-o-o-o don't do that!!!" The lifty got him to flatten out & the chair went over him before he got creamed.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 956
    newpylong said:

    Unless you guys know where the deropements were you cannot say it isn't due to misloads. "Misload" doesn't mean it is the guests fault either.

    Agreed!  I don't know what deropement means, and I don't know what misloads mean.

    But I do know press releases, and I know how to mislead the reader.  

    The implications of "guest misloads"  are much different from  "misloading of guests"  or even "misloaded guests"  

    It was 10 am, were the guests loaded?   Or was this merely a case of reader misleads?
    ;)
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,553

    newpylong said:

    Unless you guys know where the deropements were you cannot say it isn't due to misloads. "Misload" doesn't mean it is the guests fault either.

    Agreed!  I don't know what deropement means, and I don't know what misloads mean.

    But I do know press releases, and I know how to mislead the reader.  

    The implications of "guest misloads"  are much different from  "misloading of guests"  or even "misloaded guests"  

    It was 10 am, were the guests loaded?   Or was this merely a case of reader misleads?
    ;)
    I agree that the phrasing at least to the casual reader, is blaming the skier.  But I've been around long enough to know that I have never heard of a properly operating chairlfit that experienced three deropements in a season, much less, in a month.
  • SnowmasterSnowmaster advanced
    Posts: 157
    Deropement means the wire rope to which the chairs are clamped come off some of the shelves. As relates to loading the chair, usually the depression sheaves just uphill of the bottom terminal would be the ones. If the weight and movement of two guests can cause the chair and cable to be pulled down and away from this sheave train, I'd suspect a tensioning problem. Uniquely, Stadeli liked to snake the tension cable around to a corner of the terminal. Perhaps one of the large sheaves used to do that or the counterweight itself has frozen up or otherwise been prevented from moving?
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,553

    Deropement means the wire rope to which the chairs are clamped come off some of the shelves. As relates to loading the chair, usually the depression sheaves just uphill of the bottom terminal would be the ones. If the weight and movement of two guests can cause the chair and cable to be pulled down and away from this sheave train, I'd suspect a tensioning problem. Uniquely, Stadeli liked to snake the tension cable around to a corner of the terminal. Perhaps one of the large sheaves used to do that or the counterweight itself has frozen up or otherwise been prevented from moving?

    Or put more simple: Something mechanical in the loading area ain't right :-) and a misload triggers the mechanical flaw.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 563
    Not sure why anyone would bother with that lift anyway. Very little terrain up there
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited January 23 Posts: 1,553

    Not sure why anyone would bother with that lift anyway. Very little terrain up there

    It allows them to claim 2K vertical and gives them an option for early season skiing.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 563
    Do they use it early season? I have not heard of them opening it first and downloading. 
  • Bkroon9175Bkroon9175 intermediate
    Posts: 51
    The High Country double is often the terrain the WV opens first. Also, it does give you access to the trail Tangent which is a nice an arrow run which is seldom skied
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    edited January 24 Posts: 236

    Do they use it early season? I have not heard of them opening it first and downloading. 

    Not sure how often they do but it definitely has been used for early season up and downloading. I haven't done early season there in quite a few years but I have done an early season up/down load at WV. 

    As I recall, the year I skied early season at WV they had both High Country and their north side double both running. So skiing off the High Country in that configuration could give you a decent length run for early season but you still needed to ride two lifts including the dreadfully slow High Country to make that happen.

    The picture on Rocket's site looks like they have a small park on one of those trails. Those trails are a bit steep for a park I think but that is probably the best use for that area, perhaps race training as well (though there isn't enough vert for actual racing).

    From the average skier perspective, there really isn't much reason to take that lift and ski the upper mountain. If the lift was faster, it might be worth it for getting in the full 2k vert. But considering the lift is so slow, it just isn't worth the effort or time except maybe if you wanted to get a view from the summit.

    Probably one of the most useless pods in New England. I'll leave it up to joshua_segal if that topic deserves its own thread. :)]
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 790
    riverc0il said:

    Do they use it early season? I have not heard of them opening it first and downloading. 

    dreadfully slow 

    ...

    If [...] faster

    ... 

    so slow
    From my experience, your critique is unnecessarily harsh. It never seemed slow. Perhaps the wide-open exposed feeling does that on a blustery day?

    From a YouTube video, average chair spacing is 7.6 seconds. 1966 lift survey lists High Country as 450 fpm and 1000 pph (7.2 second spacing). Assuming no chairs have been removed, that's 426 fpm. Slightly on the slower side, but certainly not rising to your level.  Isn't it quite common to run a lift about 25 or so fpm slower than design speed? There are certainly plenty of longer FG lifts that run slower. It's only 1550 feet long!
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 162
    The wide open slopes make the wind up there hard to deal with sometimes. That's why the hsq got shortened.
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 236
    obienick said:

    riverc0il said:

    It's only 1550 feet long!

    Could have fooled me!

    Certainly up there with Tenney's double as one of the slowest lifts I have ever rode. Definitely not being unnecessarily harsh. That thing is a dog. Maybe it has been improved since the last time I rode some 7 or 8 years ago. I've never taken the ride on anything but a nice day so I can't speak to the ride seeming longer due to the elements.
  • Posts: 1,798
    riverc0il said:

    obienick said:

    riverc0il said:

    It's only 1550 feet long!

    Could have fooled me!

    Certainly up there with Tenney's double as one of the slowest lifts I have ever rode. Definitely not being unnecessarily harsh. That thing is a dog. Maybe it has been improved since the last time I rode some 7 or 8 years ago. I've never taken the ride on anything but a nice day so I can't speak to the ride seeming longer due to the elements.
    It can now run at 525 fpm.
    - Sam
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