No Loon hasn’t announced plans to replace the gondi. Tom
wants to upgrade it. At least in my mind. Now being built in 1988, it’s a
stretch to put much into it. But I’m having a little fun. So, what would it
take to make it a 4/4 chondola? My intent is to boost its modest capacity and
do it for under $1 million. I’m clearly ignorant of some of the engineering
issues. Hopefully a few SJers can chime in.
I’m thinking of doubling the 1000 pph capacity by adding used
HSQ chairs. If used 4 passenger gondi cabins are available, that would be better.
But I’m sure many chairs are available. A thicker/stronger haul rope is needed.
Killington may have a perfect fit available this summer. It would have to be
lengthened by 500’. I’m assuming gondi and chairs grips can be adjusted to accommodate
a slightly thicker cable. Also, I assume the equipment moving the carriers
through both terminals will fit. That’s the easy/cheap part. From here on, any
of the follow issues will making “building new” more realistic. Current sheaves
and bullwheels will have to accommodate a greater diameter haul rope. Also,
existing towers, perhaps with a few additions, must have the capacity to
support the greater weight. I know that at least one of the current 22 towers was
an addition to the original gondi towers.
Assuming a greater horse power drive motor would be needed, perhaps
a rebuilt one could be installed. Some electrical work would be necessary. The
final big issue is tension/support. Even if the larger cable could fit in the bullwheels
grooves, could the wheels and their supports handle the greater weight and
tension? If not, new wheels and stronger supports systems would be expensive.
Now after all that, another idea just came to mind. Loon
could buy Killington’s old cabins and haul rope. All the fit and support issues
still exist. However, changes to the terminals areas to accommodate skiers/riders
using chairs (I think simple) wouldn’t be needed. A 4/4 chondola would be
unique. However, buying Killington’s cabins or finding more used cabins would be
a simpler way to boost capacity.
cap. pph vert length hp speed
Loon Doppelmayr 1988 1000 1738 6970 500 1000 71 22
K-1 Poma 1997 2800 1642 6454 800 1000 24