Snow King’s Summit lift reopens to skiers
By Miller N. Resor, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Date: February 12, 2013
The Summit chairlift at Snow King Ski Resort will carry passengers to the top of the ski area today for the first time in nearly a month. The lift has been shut down for more than three weeks after operators noticed a strange squeaking noise Jan. 19.
Although ski lift mechanics at first thought the sound was the result of a deteriorating seal within the main bull wheel, the noise was finally attributed to a bearing that was not getting enough oil, said Ryan Stanley, Snow King Resort recreation director.
Stanley said mechanics from Doppelmayr, a ski lift manufacturer based in Salt Lake City, were able to fix the problem.
“The lift maintenance crew has worked hard,” he said, “and they picked up on a small thing before it became a big thing.”
The Summit lift was tested Sunday, and the chair will return to regular operation hours today.
The bull wheel is the large disc that the chairlift’s cable wraps around as it carries passengers to the top. To repair the wheel, mechanics removed it from the lift and out of the weather. A large crane lifted it onto a flatbed truck and transported it to the fairgrounds, where mechanics were able to work on it.
In March 2010, Snow King was forced to close the Summit lift to replace the bearings in the bottom bull wheel, which were worn out after 30 years. A year earlier, in May of 2009, the resort replaced the bull wheel at the top of the lift as well.
Stanley said this month’s repairs would cost Snow King more than $25,000 in parts and labor alone.