Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snowbowl lift issues

A recent article was published in the Missoula Independent that I thought might stir up some opinions. The article addresses some of the mechanical difficulties that Snowbowl has had at the beginning of this season and a local Rep's idea on dealing with them. If you take the time to read the comments, there are some great rebuttals.

As for my opinion on the matter (not that you probably care), I think Mrs. Hands heart is in the right place, but is going down the wrong road. We don't need government to rectify Snowbowl's issues with the lift. We need the owners to take responsibility.

From the Independent:
Montana Snowbowl opened Nov. 27 to a crowd of some 1,000 skiers and snowboarders in what co-owner Brad Morris describes as "the strongest start we've had that I can remember." The near tripling of the resort's opening day average resulted from the onset of what is expected to be a major powder year; snow depth at Snowbowl's summit has already reached 54 inches. But a day-one mechanical glitch on the Grizzly chairlift set the tone for a more troublesome early season trend: lengthy delays.

Morris confirmed that in the first four days of the season, Snowbowl's Griz lift shut down three times due to separate mechanical issues. The first incident, which led to the evacuation of several passengers by rope, occurred after ice formed on the lift's haul line, something Morris says is extremely uncommon at the resort. Concerns over a faulty brake and loose drive belt led to the second and third shutdowns respectively.

"It could happen any time, and those things are tested and the lift is inspected by the engineers from the insurance company before we even operate it," Morris says. "That was the first time we've ever had ice on the lift. It's a common problem in the West, where there's more precipitation. We've never even on the Lavelle [Creek] lift had that problem.".........

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