Sea to Sky Gondola

13
Aug

2019

Saboteur Apparently Behind Sea to Sky Gondola Accident

Sea to Sky Gondola Accident
A Sea to Sky Gondola cabin rests on the ground after an act of vandalism halted system operation over the weekend. Image by Squamish RCMP

Over the weekend, in an incident the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are treating as a criminal matter, an apparent saboteur somehow managed to sever the haul rope of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, British Columbia.

Thankfully, the vandal acted in the dead of night thereby avoiding any human casualties. This person’s actions, however, still managed to cause millions of dollars of damage, throw hundreds of system employees out of work during the busy summer season and create uncountable amounts of grief for a whole slew of people. 

And for what? 

My gut says this is (hopefully?) nothing more than garden-variety vandalism—albeit an extreme version—but one never knows. What’s most disturbing about this is the degree of preparation one would need to execute such a maneuver. One doesn’t just find themselves wandering in the British Columbia hinterland at 4am in the morning with the tools necessary to cut through an industrial-strength cable. 

This took planning — which tends to follow intention and motive, in that order. Thankfully that motive doesn’t appear to include a desire to see a loss of human life. 

We here at Gondola Projectdon’t shy away from discussing events in our industry that cast a negative light on Cable-Propelled Transit technologies. This situation, however, is so beyond the pale it’s hard to even wrap one’s mind around it. After much internal discussion, therefore, we’ve decided not to offer any opinion on the matter nor speculate on the intentions or sequence of events that led to these circumstances. There’s simply not enough information to warrant real comment.

We would, however, like to point out the remarkable safety record of cable car technology throughout the ages. Even if one included what occurred at Squamish over the weekend, cable car systems would still be amongst the safest transportation technologies around the world and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. You can read an entire post here outlining the considerable data and analysis that exists in support of that position.

Updates on this situation will be made available as things develop. 



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Safety / Sea to Sky Gondola
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27
Jan

2015

Touring the Sea to Sky Gondola

To the summit we go! Image by Nicholas Chu.

Ascending to the summit at Sea to Sky Gondola. Image by Nicholas Chu.

For a country that is as large, rugged, and beautiful as Canada, one might assume that the landscape would be inundated with sightseeing cable cars.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the Great White North has only a handful of gondolas (i.e. ropeways with fully enclosed cabins) located outside ski resorts.

Luckily for those visiting the west coast, the Sea to Sky Gondola has helped expand the list of scenic aerial systems in Canada. Since the gondola launched in May 2014, it has effectively “opened up” some of the country’s most breathtaking vistas.

Location and System

The gondola is a 1.9km MDG system, situated in Squamish and is located immediately off the famous Sea to Sky Highway — a major freeway travelled by over 9.5 million cars each year. The town has a small population (17,000) and is a mid-point between the bustling urban centre of Vancouver and the world-renowned ski-resort, Whistler. Read more


Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.