The Sea to Sky Gondola south of Squamish has collapsed and is currently closed as an investigation is ongoing. “Our investigation is in the preliminary stages and the cause is undetermined,” said Const. Ashley MacKay. “Right now we are looking at all possibilities which includes those criminal in nature.”
The damage occurred this morning before sunrise when most of the gondola’s 30 cabins crashed to the ground. The company that operates the gondola said a five-centimetre cable snapped. “What we do know at this point is not a ton, other than there was a catastrophic failure of the haul rope, so that’s the cable that the gondola is on. We inspected it last week, it was in great shape,” said Kirby Brown, Sea to Sky Gondola general manager.
“We had a great day operating yesterday, there was nothing extraordinary about the temperatures or anything environmental that could have caused this.” The RCMP are investigating for possible vandalism.
Photo of the broken cable at the gondola pic.twitter.com/3LFdFNNWwh
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“There’s no evidence of a rock slide and all the towers are intact,” said Brown. “So it’s not that. We’ve seen both ends of the cable now from the top and from the bottom where it pulled apart, or broke, or was cut, and that’s what we need to figure out — how that could have happened.”
The Sea to Summit trail underneath the gondola route was closed Saturday. In February, 2014, before the gondola opened to the public, an empty gondola cabin fell to the ground.
There are a number of rock climbs, alpine routes, hikes and more accessed from the gondola.