Kimberley Alpine Resort’s main chair lift, the Northstar Quad Chair, is down for a week or more, due to a bearing failure in the lift’s gearbox.
According to a release issued from the resort on the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 2, they had completed a fully rebuild of said gearbox less than two years ago.
Staff heard a “strange noise” emanating from the gearbox, so KAR stopped loading skiers on to the lift for the duration of the day and cancelled night skiing that evening.
After the lift maintenance team investigated the source of the noise, they discovered the bearing failure and were forced to make the decision to shut the chair down completely, in order to prevent further damage.
Though teams are working on the problem and industry experts are en route to assist in the repair, the resort estimates it could be a week or more before it’s operating again.
“We understand this will be very challenging for many people living in and visiting the community,” KAR said in a release, “but please know we are already doing our best to get it up running safely as soon as possible.”
With snowfall forecasted for Saturday evening, KAR said they plan to allow for skiing and riding in whatever way possible.
The resort’s other two chairlifts, Easter and Tamarack, are intended to run on Sunday, allowing anyone who’s willing to walk or skin up the Ridgeway Road.
“We ask that people only skin up Boundary and/or Ridgeway, not elsewhere on the mountain, so that we are not mixing up and down traffic,” read the release. “We estimate that it is about 300 m up from the maintenance yard to where you can slide down to the Tamarack base. We hope to have a BBQ going at the top of the Easter Chair.”
The Owl T-Bar and Magic Carpet will be open for regular hours and lift tickets will be on sale at a reduced price.
Additionally, both KAR seasons pass and lift ticket holders are able to ski for free at RCR’s sister resorts: Fernie, Kicking Horse and Nakiska, until the Northstar Quad is running once again.
“Once again we apologize for this. Hopefully we will see you up on the backside, or at one of our sister resorts tomorrow.”