Big White clearing ice so Falcon chair can fly again

Before and after de-icing (Michael Ballingall/Submitted)
(Michael Ballingall/Submitted)
(Michael Ballingall/Submitted)
(Michael Ballingall/Submitted)
(Michael Ballingal/Submitted)

The final chair to be opened at Big White Ski Resort has been an ice queen, but staff is determined to get it running.

The Falcon chairlift, a favourite for many riders at Big White, has been closed so far this season due to exceptionally icy conditions.

Michael Ballingall, Vice President of Big White, said that staff has been working hard to de-ice the chairlift and cables.

On Monday, Jan. 2, a team of experts was dispatched to try and get the chair operational.

Ballingall said that three team members were working on the top three towers, the bullwheel and the shack of the lift for over three hours.

He said that there is still a lot of work to do.

Staff from the resort explained that the team of de-icers will first clear the rope line and the wheels of ice. Then they will run the lift very slowly and every time a chair comes into the station “they will bang it with a big steel rod until all the ice is gone.”

On Dec. 27, the icy conditions shut down the Powder Chair and riders had to be evacuated off the lift.

“We had a major lift closure on the Powder Chair due to ice falling on two safety pins simultaneously,” said Ballingall.

“This safety system is on our newest chair and is state-of-the-art. We haven’t experienced it before, although we have trained for it.”


@Rangers_mom
Jacqueline.Gelineau@kelownacapnews.com

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