This summer, we will be replacing the haul rope on the Funitel. The haul rope is the main cable you see carrying cabins to and from the upper mountain. This project has been scheduled for over two years: it is a major and necessary maintenance project that requires significant advance planning. Crews from the lift manufacturer will be coming to assist with this project as well. This is the first time the haul rope is being replaced since the Funitel first opened in 1998.
We’ll be posting updates to this blog each time something exciting happens with this project. Save this URL, or sign up for our Operations Blog Email List to stay up-to-date throughout the summer.
June 6th, 2023
Today, we started the exciting work of pulling the new haul rope through the Funitel while spooling up the old haul rope simultaneously. Each haul rope is nearly 12,000 meters long. That’s more than 7 miles!
The new haul rope is being unspooled behind Members Lockers.
The old haul rope was spooled up in front of the Funitel.
The winch pulled the old haul rope through the bottom terminal of the Funitel.
These are some of the spools of the old Funitel haul rope. Each bundle is about 1,500 feet and weighs around 9,000 pounds.
June 5th, 2023
Over the past two days, some exciting work has been going on with the Funitel project. We began by cutting the old Funitel haul rope in half. This was done in the motor room at the bottom terminal, and a tensioning system was set up on the rope between Tower 1 and Tower 2 to ensure that the rope did not simply “fall” down when cut.
Meanwhile, we also began to unspool the new haul rope that arrived. It was laid out over the Gondola Plaza and over the roof of the Funitel building so that it could be spliced (or woven) into the old haul rope between Tower 1 and Tower 2.
Yesterday, we also did the work of splicing the old rope into the new rope. This essentially means that we are weaving each strand of both the old rope and the new rope together to be one continuous rope. The splice is done one strand at a time, as you can see here. The darker-colored strands are the old rope, while the light, silver-colored strand is the new rope being woven in.
Once the splice is complete, we will pull the new rope all the way through the lift, to the top terminal of the Funitel, and back down again. The old rope will get spooled up and removed as it comes back down to the bottom terminal.
This is the core of the old haul rope underneath the core of the new haul rope. The core is removed in the areas that we splice.
Photo Gallery: Rope Splice
May 31st, 2023
Today our Funitel crew (along with some help from members of our other Lift Maintenance teams) worked on removing stabilizer bars from the Funitel. Half of the personnel started at the bottom of the Funitel with Tower 1, while the other half started from the top.
There are 4 stabilizer bars on each one of the Funitel towers. Removing these bars allows assemblies to move independently from one another.
This drone footage was taken when the crew was working on Tower 2.
May 27th, 2023
Today we moved the spools of rope for the Funitel to a new location near Members Lockers at Palisades. The spools won’t get closer to the Funitel than this; the rope will run from this area over to the Funitel once we start working. As a refresher, though the rope arrived as 2 separate spools, the Funitel haul rope itself is really just 1 rope. We will be splicing these two spools together in June.
MAY 25th, 2023
This morning, more equipment for the haul rope replacement project arrived. Two of the main components for the completion of this project are now here: a winch and a spooler. Over the coming week, you’ll see this equipment and other project infrastructure be moved into place around the Funitel. Please be mindful of any signage or fencing and do not go into closed areas.
MAY 23rd, 2023
Monday, May 29th will be the last day of operations for the Funitel. Immediately after closing, work will begin on the haul rope replacement project. Here are some impacts you should expect to see:
- The entire work zone surrounding the Funitel will be fenced off with construction fencing. No access will be allowed in this area.
- Anything located underneath the path of the haul rope will be closed. This includes the KT Deck, KT Base Bar, Tram Car Bar, and the side of the Olympic House with Bluebird Chicken.
- The Via Ferrata will have a delayed opening (due to both this project and the existing snowpack). It is scheduled to open on June 24th, 2023.
The first piece of work we will be doing on the Funitel is removing the stabilizer bars. These are bars that go from one assembly to the other and there are 4 of them on each lift tower. Two of them are highlighted in red in the photo here. Once they are removed, it allows assemblies to move independently from one another. Once this is complete, our next step will be setting up rigging and equipment for the install.
MAY 3RD, 2023
The haul rope arrived on Wednesday, May 3rd! The rope arrived in 2 separate spools, but will eventually be spliced together into 1 single rope. Each spool weighs nearly 140,000 pounds. They arrived individually on a 13-axle truck and were moved via crane into an area near the Funitel.
Here are some other photos of the process:
Like these updates?
In the winter months, we typically release an Operations Blog every 10 to 14 days. In the summer months, we keep you informed on lift maintenance and major projects that will affect the next winter season. If you want to keep learning about mountain operations at Palisades Tahoe, sign up for our Operations Blog Email List to get these updates right in your inbox.