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Why did we stop? An update on King Pine
If you happened to be riding the King Pine lift, or waiting to load, around noon on Tuesday you may have experienced a significantly longer-than-usual lift stop and are wondering why.
The short answer is that the lift's computer system in the load terminal stopped receiving information from the top terminal through the communication lines strung atop the lift's towers.
As a safety precaution, the lift is designed to immediately shut down when communication between the two terminals is lost.
After the lift has stopped, the computer at the base of the lift requires an "all clear" signal from the top terminal before the computer allows the lift to turn again. As it was not receiving this signal, our lift mechanics needed to power up the auxiliary back-up motor to offload the skiers and riders still on the lift. This took longer than usual as the mechanics had to locate and bypass the circuit that was preventing the lift from spinning due to the communication problem.
Now why weren't the lift's communication lines transferring the message from top to bottom? Our lift mechanics are looking into it as I type, however they're fairly certain that damage to the communication line from wind, snow, and ice is likely the culprit. There are sections of the line that are very exposed to the elements, and it's likely that somewhere the wires became exposed to moisture.
Issues with communication lines are not a terribly unusual occurrence in our business; as you may remember over the summer, our lift mechanics replaced the communication line on the SuperQuad for similar reasons.
Our team is looking into the possible damage to help prevent a stop like this from happening again.