Those who are able are asked to make the hike up to the Tamarack chair to free up snowcat space for families with young children and older skiers. Paul Rodgers file

Those who are able are asked to make the hike up to the Tamarack chair to free up snowcat space for families with young children and older skiers. Paul Rodgers file

Kimberley Alpine Resort moving some skiers to lifts with borrowed snowcats

Snowcats borrowed from Revelstoke and Kicking Horse are helping out while quad chair is down

As the cause of the fire that damaged the lift hut at the top of the Quad Chair at Kimberley Alpine Resort continues to be investigated, KAR staff are doing everything they can to get skiers and riders to the runs and chairs on the back side.

The lift hut damaged in the fire was the lift control building and contained all the specialized electronic equipment that runs the quad. In a Christmas Day update Area Manager Ted Funston noted that the difficult reality is that it is going to take some time to get the lift operating again. That time will likely be measured in months, rather than weeks, he said.

Meanwhile, KAR has probably the best Christmas-week snow conditions that have been seen in many years and the top priority is getting skiers to the slopes.

To that end, neighbouring resorts, Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, have stepped up to lend people-mover snowcats to KAR and service began on Boxing Day and amped up on Monday.

Much hard work by Lloyd Steves from Dreadnaught Ski Racing and Rob Duncan and the Winter Sports School crew, has put in place nearly three kilometres of safety fencing on the Main, where the snowcats will run. Guests are picked up at the Conference Centre. From the top of the Main guests can take the Caper (a green run) to the Easter and Tamarack chairs.

Skiers are asked to stay out of the blue fenced areas.

The Resort is asking those who do have the ability to walk up to the back side to please do so, which allow families with younger children, and older skiers who find the hike more difficult to access the snowcats. You can reserve a ride online

There will also be four unreserved walk on seats available on the 12-seater cats. A valid lift ticket is required to load.

Local businesses have also stepped up to assist. Chad Jensen of New Dawn Developments Ltd. brought a crew up to help build a tent village on the top of the Easter Chair. The two larger tents were provided by Ken Bridge of Bridge Interiors, and will be heated by heaters provided by New Dawn Developments. KAR staff is very grateful for the support from the community, Funston said.

READ: Kimberley RCMP says fire at ski hill will be investigated as suspicious



carolyn.grant@kimberleybulletin.com

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