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calling all lift experts - wind

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
so with all the high winds over the past few days and the ton of videos currently doing the rounds on facebook and youtube of lifts getting blown around like a fiver at a subway station, it got me thinking...at what point will the chair detach from the cable?

obviously the cross section of the cable means it will be very difficult for the cable to leave the runners / wheels but if a chair is between two towers and therefore at its most vulnerable surely at some point the chair will detach from the cable, perhaps less likely with an old fixed grip lift but a new modern hi-speed detachable lift might be more prone to coming off the line?

Thoughts?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I would have thought the wind load would cripple the towers before it took the chairs off the wire. Similarly, I would imagine the wire would detach from the tower, before the chairs blew off.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Having seen the size of the clamping springs on most detachable chairs I doubt there's much real risk of the chair leaving the cable. The bigger risk would be chairs hitting chairs going the other way/pylons/lift stations causing injuries to passengers, or passengers getting ejected from the chair.
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@Strax, the first photo in the article (from Livigno yesterday) below shows this not to be the case Shocked

http://wepowder.com/en/forum/topic/252547
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denfinella wrote:
@Strax, the first photo in the article (from Livigno yesterday) below shows this not to be the case Shocked

http://wepowder.com/en/forum/topic/252547


Best bit of that first pic is you can see 2 people on a chair by the pylon. Things you don't want to see looking down from your chair lift #1 I think!

Wonder if that was a chair detaching from the cable or a structural failure on that chair (though I accept the result is the same)?
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Being a bit cynical, I’d say that with 100mph gusts in the forecast some lifts shouldn’t have been open at all and it’s all to do with resorts avoiding closure refunds during one their busiest weeks of the year. We shouldn’t need to find out by trial and error at what point a chairlift detaches due to the wind, it should be in the operations manual somewhere.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Trees are a factor as well, during the summer most lift runs in the La Plagne area have some tree pruning done.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Once saw the cable for the OLD Rochasson chair in Chatel depart from the runners in wind and with people on it. It wasnt catastrophic and the speed that the lifties rectified the situation suggested in was a common occurance. They had a device that looked like a hydralic trolley jack that hooked around the cable and then dragged it backed over the runners, took about 10 minutes .
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Not just chairs are vulnerable
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@boredsurfin, a falling tree hit the cable for the gondola in Abondance last year knocking a cabin off. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4295596/Ski-couple-amazing-escape-cable-car-tree-crash.html
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I love the way the mail have the story of the accident on the Abondance bubble, but have a picture of a different gondola ( La Chapelle) in their story.
Top journalism - well done.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
A tree fell on the maronne cable last night so as others have said falling trees also a danger.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
OMG, this from Silvretta Montafon yesterday

https://www.facebook.com/TheSkiClub/videos/10156209514488109/
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
achilles wrote:

Not just chairs are vulnerable


I have been in the jandri2 lift with winds almost as bed as that. We were over the high part and they were swinging out wide. It was really scary and when the lifts were coming in the opposite direction you felt like they were going to collide.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
OMG, this from Silvretta Montafon yesterday

https://www.facebook.com/TheSkiClub/videos/10156209514488109/


Hope Mrs endo doesn't find that! Hope they got down ok, looks horrible.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Chairlift and Gondola grips are a key component that are expensive in time to design and make. There is pages of discussion about them on the remontee mechanique website. They are regulated and inspected as part of cableway regulations, because the implications of their failure are so serious. I would agree that cable derailment or injury whilst sitting on a flailing chair is probably a bigger risk.

One answer is to retain more surface lifts although as has been pointed out before you reach the point where the weather is so bad you have to query whether people really still want to ski ? The answer however appears to be yes !

This is what happens if your anti roll back mechanism fails:

http://youtube.com/v/u4WPSZojtyE
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
FWIW. I do NDT amongst other things, and from what I've seen when on such lifts they are definitely surface tested for fatigue cracks in welds and pins and whatnot. How accurate and thoroughly they are tested however, could theoretically be flawed, due to people possibly rolling dice instead of actually doing the job correctly. I'm not in any way suggesting this is the case, but if the testing is done as I would hope, there is very very little chance of things just 'failing'.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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endoman wrote:
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
OMG, this from Silvretta Montafon yesterday

https://www.facebook.com/TheSkiClub/videos/10156209514488109/


Hope Mrs endo doesn't find that! Hope they got down ok, looks horrible.


That must have been terrifying. Imagine being on that with children. I'm worried about small kids slipping under the bar at the best of times.
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@Themasterpiece, Indeed, and I have witnessed that happening more than once, fortunately without any serious consequences!
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It happened in Cervinia Christmas 2016, a guy in our hotel was caught on it. The gondola connecting Plan Maison and Cime Bianche came off the pulleys in massively high winds. We didn't get stuck on it as we were already stuck on the clunky chair without a windscreen up from Goilet Shocked

It made the tv news here - it looked and sounded horrific.
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After a big night of wind I have seen a chair on top of a lift tower. This happened while the lift was stopped. Lots of damage around the mountain including roof of one building
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
OMG, this from Silvretta Montafon yesterday

https://www.facebook.com/TheSkiClub/videos/10156209514488109/


Would that have happened if they’d sat in the middle of the chair i.e balanced? Puzzled
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
suec wrote:
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
OMG, this from Silvretta Montafon yesterday

https://www.facebook.com/TheSkiClub/videos/10156209514488109/


Would that have happened if they’d sat in the middle of the chair i.e balanced? Puzzled



I thought the same - although one at either end - would have led to less gyration...
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Once in strong sideway winds (not nearly as strong) I was instructed not to sit in the middle, but on one side as then the 4-seater was supposed to swing less... Puzzled
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Chevagi wrote:
Once in strong sideway winds (not nearly as strong) I was instructed not to sit in the middle, but on one side as then the 4-seater was supposed to swing less... Puzzled

..or was it so you fell a slightly shorter distance ? Toofy Grin
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somthing about the design of the clamp must protect the chair from falling off the line.

but with all engineering of moving parts somthing in the system must be a weak point which if it goes will release the hanger.....it does every time the chair arrives at the station.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Pretty much every modern chairlift/gondola has one or more sensors on a tower or at the top station that measure wind speed, the lifts all have a wind speed they will not operate above, however there can always be exceptions, it's rare for the cable clamps to fail, but not at all uncommon for the chair or gondola to act as a sail and pull the cable off one or more pylons, this is more dangerous than a single clamp failure as it can result in multiple chairs or gondolas dropping to the ground. In general the higher the pylon the lower the wind speed required to shut them down. The two main risks are unexpected strong gusts and particular wind speeds and directions that can cause a form of harmonic motion that just gets worse, this latter one is what causes the dramatic chair spins or bounces beloved by Youtube enthusiasts, if you see a lift with this sort of motion starting to occur take my advice and find another lift !
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I would not worry about a bit of wind..



http://youtube.com/v/8eXKi6aiGlg
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