In the summer of 2020, Technical Safety BC received an incident report from a large ski area operator about a damaged ropeway. A haul rope, which was a non-operating surface rope at the time, was hit by a dump truck driving on a mountain road—leading to a non-detained deropement and major damage to the overall ropeway.

Technical Safety BC’s investigation into this incident found that the dump truck shouldn’t have been operating on this road and was on the operator’s property without permission.

While the operator was not at fault for the damaged ropeway, this incident is a good reminder that unexpected events can always happen, and that it’s important to have a plan in place to control on-hill access during the off-season.

Some options include:

  • Signage
  • Gates
  • Mandatory training for anyone driving on mountain roads
  • Height markers on roads (like you would see at parking garages)
  • Training all staff for vehicle traffic requirements on mountain roads.
Haul Rope Deroped
Haul rope deroped after being hit by dump truck

As we approach summer, now is a particularly important time to make sure you are prepared to mitigate any off-season risks to your ropeways.