A Vancouver Island Helicopter lifts towers to be placed along the SilverStar Mountain hillside for the new gondolas Wednesday, which will replace the old green Summit chairlift. A crew member (below) goes for a little ride as he tries to grab hold of one of the towers being put in place. For more on the milestone event see the full story on page 3 and visit www.vernonmorningstar.com for video of the spectacle. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)

SilverStar reaches new heights with gondola

Vernon ski resort installing new feature, with opening date set for July 7

The installation of gondolas at SilverStar Mountain is no small feat.

In fact, reinforcements from Vancouver Island, Quebec and even Russia were brought in to assist.

The installation of 11 towers for the resort’s new gondola got underway Wednesday alongside the old green Summit chairlift.

A Komov KA-32 helicopter from Vancouver Island was flown in, equipment built in Quebec was shipped up and a team of professionals made quick work of the large task. The massive red and white chopper, adorned with maple leaves, was an impressive sight for all, as this type of aircraft was originally a military helicopter developed for the Soviet Navy. These machines had a weight capacity of 8,700 lbs while making short work of the tall order.

“These helicopters are specially designed to carry heavy loads,” said Wesla Wong, media, sales and communication for SilverStar. “The targeted time is four hours to fly in the 11 gondola towers.”

While that target wasn’t quite reached, the towers, tower heads and assemblies were slated for completion by the end of the day Wednesday after starting that same morning.

Dopplemayr Lifts Limited and Vancouver Island Helicopters worked together for the milestone day alongside the local ski resort. The $10 million budgeted project is aimed for completion by July 7, when a celebration including free gondola rides will take place.

“A gondola is really exciting because we fell the gondola will be able to not only move more people up and down the mountain, but it will also open the door to hikers, for example, in the summer who may not want to take a chairlift, they can take a gondola. And for skiers there are ski racks outside of the gondola,” said Wong.

“It’s just more efficient and it’s very scenic as well. Now that it’s at SilverStar we hope that people in the Okanagan valley will come and check out the gondola and do something fun with the family. Both kids young and old can come enjoy a scenic ride the sky.”

There are 21, eight passenger cabins which that will be installed initially, but a maximum of 42 cabins could be realized. That means between 1,200 and 2,400 people per hour will be whisked up the mountain.

The ride time at the maximum line speed of 5.08 m/s is 4.4 minutes. At that speed there will be a cabin loading every 24 seconds.

The gondola will travel 1,063 metres up the Summit at a vertical rise of 293 metres.

Save the date as the gondola opens July 7 with a special party at the Star.


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Social media flooded with love for woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“We lost a sister. Because that is what we are it is a sisterhood and I can’t help but feel anything but sadness.”

Revelstoke volunteers needed for Patient Voices Network

There will be an information session next week

BC Timber Sales in Arrow Lakes passes audit

An audit of BC Timber Sales and timber sale licence holders in… Continue reading

Letter: Caribou recovery and the Section 80 application

There are three herds in our Revelstoke Planning Unit

Rain to continue for Revelstoke today

Road events from Drive BC as of 7:40 a.m.: Highway 1 east:… Continue reading

VIDEO: Okanagan fire victim Amy Hansen speaks out on the loss of her four pets

A gofundme page has been started for Hansen, with $1,140 raised of a $5000 goal to help her rebuild

Okanagan Rail Trail a popular place

Thousands pack North Okanagan section over long weekend

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Kelowna driver searches for man who allegedly tried to run him off the road

The driver said he just missed a biker trying to avoid a collision

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

Organ donation push on as Okanagan officer fights for life

Those interested in becoming an donor should visit taketwominutes.ca to sign up

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Most Read