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

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

RCMP’s weekly most wanted

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP are looking for four people wanted on various, outstanding warrants

Contenders to return for Okanagan tour

Valdy, Gary Fjellgaard and Blu and Kelly Hopkins will perform at six venues

Vernon waste pile fire labelled suspicious

Crews called to property off Pleasant Valley Road in Vernon north of Butcher Boys at 6 a.m.

Greater Vernon Cultural Centre Yes vote rally goes today

Those who support planned new cultural centre in Vernon to meet at Greater Vernon Museum at 11:30

Cough cough: Kelowna MLA gets flu shot to prep for the cold season

Steve Thomson got his flu shot from Lakeside Medicine Centre Friday

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of B.C. girl

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Most Read