With the close of November came the
opening of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Teewinot and Après Vous opened on
Saturday with about 70 inches of snow on Rendezvous Mountain.
And while crowds get their ski legs
ready, crews are busy making sure the new 100-person aerial tram, which hangs
from its cables already at Teton Village, is safe for skiers and riders by its
December 19 unveiling.
Garaventa and Jackson Hole Mountain
Resort crews spent the week of November 17 performing "acceptance tests" for
the tram. Representatives from the Bridger
Teton National Forest,
Parametrix Consulting and Frey were present as well.
Test loads per carrier will be 110
percent of the design line load. The goal is to prove that every element and
function on the tram works adequately under the most adverse conditions.
"To simulate a fully loaded cabin
we use 55 gallon plastic barrels, filled with water," says Tim Mason, VP of
mountain operations. "Each barrel weighs approximately 456 pounds. The load
capacity for each cabin is 19,700 pounds."
What are they testing?
·All manual and automatic stops.
·Acceleration and deceleration rates.
·Braking systems and drive systems.
What gives the tram its power?
·The primary drive system: Two 1,000 horsepower
AC electric motors a 2,400 horsepower diesel generator powers the drive in the
event of a power failure and two hydraulic evacuation drives.
·The three-part braking system: The most powerful
of these are the motors themselves. There are also two service brakes that work
together and two emergency brakes.
·Electronic controls. State of the art technology
containing multiple processors to control the critical systems
New this time ‘round: Load weighing
system for each cabin, to allow resort crews to monitor each car load, though
there will never be more than 100 guests per car.
"We're doing all this now, but we
also employ trained mechanics and electricians to conduct tests and routine
maintenance throughout the year," Mason reassures. "What does this mean to you?
Rest assured you can ride this lift with confidence knowing it was built
professionally with your safety in mind."