Rarely, lifts fail due to mechanical or
electronic causes, or as a result of external accidental elements.
During the last 60 years lifts have experienced stops that resulted in
the need for evacuation at average intervals of only once every 4 1/2
years worldwide. Locally (the Bow Valley) the Sunshine Gondola required partial evacuation once during the winter of 1988, and the
Sulphur Mountain Gondola has never required rope evacuation. Sunshine
has operated its gondola since 1978, and Sulphur its gondola since 1958.
Passengers stranded on gondola lifts are seldom
in danger when a lift stops. However they may require rescue by means
of rope evacuation if the lift cannot be repaired within a reasonable
time. While this activity is rescue, it is not usually considered to
be an emergency. Nevertheless, work will be carried out as quickly as
possible to minimise the discomfort and other concerns of anyone on the
lift. 
Gondola Rescue Team (Lifeskill Murphy Team);
A regional emergency response team for lift
rescue operations was conceived at the Risk Management Seminar hosted
by the Canada West Ski Areas Association in 1989. While everyone agreed
that lift accident or failure events were uncommon, it was recognized
that when some dimension of Murphys Law was set in motion, an army of
personnel trained and equipped to respond would be valuable. The
challenge was to form and maintain such a ‘Murphy Team’ in a
commercially reasonable manner given the need for standing a continuous
watch while at the same time serious lift stop events were so
infrequent. 
Murphy Team Membership level;
Variable with larger numbers during the winter months and never less than 14. 
Training exercises;
Conducted monthly at all lift locations with
small elements tasked to various technical sections. Exposure to high
spans, steep areas, sections that fly over challenging terrain
features, tricky access adjacent to complex lift structures, ground
work, and practising to solve special problems. Over time we work in all
weather and light conditions. 
Lift Data, Sulphur Gondola;
System 
Wallmansberger 


Lower Term Elev 
1,583 m (5,194 feet) above sea level 
Elevation Gain 
698 m (2,292 feet) 
Upper Term Elev 
2,281 m (7,486 feet) above sea level 


Number of Gondolas 
40 
Gondola Capacity 
4 passengers each 
Length of Track 
1,560 m (5,120 feet) 
Horizontal Length 
1,370 m (4,498 feet) 
Track Rope 
Diameter 34 mm (1^{11/32} inches) 
Hauling Rope 
Diameter 28 mm (1 ^{3/32} inches) 
Normal Lift Speed 
3.0 m (10 feet) per second 
Maximum Lift Speed 
4.0 m (13 feet) per second 
Length of Trip 
8 minutes 
Hourly Capacity 
650 passengers, each direction 
Number of Towers 
3 
Average Incline 
51% 
Max Height 
38 m (125 feet) at Tower #2 
Driving Unit 
250 H.P. Electric Motor, Diesel electric backup 
Construction Period 
Original – Sept1958 to July 1959,
Refit – Nov 1997 to Feb 1998 
Manufactured by 
Original – Bell Engineering Works Ltd., Kriens Lucerne, Switzerland
Reconstruction – Garaventa AG, Goldau, Switzerland 

Lift Data, Sunshine Gondola;
System 
LeitnerPoma 


Lower Term Elev 
1,658 m (5,440 feet) above sea level 
Elevation Gain 
567 m (1860 feet) 
Upper Term Elev 
2,225 m (7,300 feet) above sea level 


Number of Gondolas 
165 
Gondola Capacity 
8 passengers each 
Length of Track 
4539.64m 
Horizontal Length 
Approximately 5 km (3 miles) 
Hauling Rope 
Diameter 50.5mm 


Normal Lift Speed 
5.0 m (16.4 feet) per second 
Maximum Lift Speed 
6.1 m (20 feet) per second 
Length of Trip 
17 minutes 
Hourly Capacity 
2500 passengers, each direction 
Number of Towers 
38 
Average Incline 
11.17% 
Max Height 
40.8 m (134 feet) at Tower #1920 
Driving Unit 
xx H.P. Electric Motor, Diesel electric backup 
Construction Period 
Originally – 19761977

Manufactured by: 
Original – VonRoll, Switzerland
Reconstruction – LeitnerPoma 




Copyright 1991  2020  Lifeskill Rescue Services Ltd.
(Site updated July 1st 2020)
