Last week I wrote ‘blog’ updates on season ticket sales and the status of the Black Lift. Both were distributed to the e-mail lists but only the season pass note was put up on the blog. First I want to report that we had a very positive response to our season pass note. We restarted the season pass sales on the Magic Online Store. Thank you if you bought and if you want to buy but have never use the Magic Online Store try it out, it’s all self-explanatory. Go to the bottom of the www.magicmtn.com and click on the “VISIT THE MAGIC STORE”. You will then be on a page where we collect your name and address data and then you move on to selecting your ticket(s). Then it’s off to completing the order. Enter your credit card and go to ‘Complete the Order’. It’s very self-explanatory. Two days later your money will be out on the slopes preparing everything for Christmas. Again ‘thank you’ to all that are helping.
I don’t want to repeat the Black Lift Status Detail that was in last week’s e-mail but I will summarize:
1. Last Jan 17th the VT Tramway Board ordered that a problem with the Black Chair be fixed and requiring a special daily and weekly inspection and test procedure to be used if the lift was to be used last year.
2. This July we employed a Professional Engineer that specializes in ski lifts to determine the problem cause. We found the problem was the way the chairs banged against the rub rail as it went around the bottom bull wheel.
3. In Sept we applied to the VT Tramway Division Board of Directors for a “Variance” on the January order. The application was tabled until the Board could meet with all expert parties. At the follow up board meeting we volunteered to fix the rub rail and then determine if the experts agreed it was a fixed --if so the board would take the Variance off the table for a vote.
4. On 12/1/14 the lift inspector and the PE rode the lift and climbed all over the drive train. It was determined that the path we were taking to fix the ‘rub rail’ was correct and if we just took one more step the original ‘Banging Problem’ will be resolved. A new problem ’Limited ‘Chair Swing’ was added to the list. But the good news was – both the Lift Inspector and the PE agree that if we are working through the 10 point Action Plan they presented, the Tramway Board will probably approve the “Variance” conditioned on completing the list to the Inspectors satisfaction. We will be back in the mode of getting the normal seasonal lift inspection. (Most of the items on the action list are things we have to do every year to get the lift inspected.)
I don’t want to make this long enough to include the action list but the key points are: (1) Finish adding adjustment capability to the Rub Rail, (2) Replace the two bearings between the chair and the grip, (3) Add grease fittings to the chair hanger head.
Matt Cote and Travis have been working the rub rail problem and Matt has a design that will fully satisfy the requirement.
The lift inspector asked that we replace the greaseless polyimide type sleeve bushings with a ‘Glassier’ type bearing. I have contacted GGB Bearing and they recommended a particular bearing number. We are currently working the details of the order to reduce the lead time. The initial quote said lead time would be 4 to 6 weeks and I’m attempting to get a commitment for 3 to 4 weeks lead time. We will use the lead time to develop and manufacture a tool to easily push out the existing bearings and replace it with the new bearings.
We will start in advance of getting the bearings by installing a grease fitting on each chair. Prior to the lift being converted to a triple it had a grease fitting but it was on the top and would have interfered with the bull wheel modifications. They addressed that problem by removing it and converting to the polyimide grease-less bearings. However, they neglected the fact that grease must feed the side surfaces. Hence the chairs are binding rather than swinging. We will plug the original hole and add a new threaded hole and fitting on the back of the chair head.
Several of the tasks on the action list are already complete. For example, an unusual noise was detected in the top bull wheel. We investigated and the lower bearing housing was full of ice. It took a bit of effort to drag scaffolding and ladders to the top but once there the fix was easy. The requirement to change two sheaves going into the Bull Wheel was equally easy to complete. We calculated the required chair gripping force on 12/1 and the next step, experimentally determining the corresponding gas pressure for slip testing, will require only an hour or two.
In summary I expect that we can have the upgrade done by Feb 1st although that completion date is dependent upon an expedited delivery of the bushings for the chairs.
We did get a lot of snow this week. On my deck there was still 6” of crust that I had not gotten around to shoveling. Then there was about 12” more, then rain that shrank it to 8”. But Wednesday night we had another foot. Based on trying to shovel it I will tell you that it should make a fine base. But along with the snow we had a 22 hour blackout and lost a full day’s work. We are targeting to open on 12/20.