Much to the delight of Kimberley’s skiers and snowboarders, and undoubtedly to the relief of resort staff and management, the Northstar Quad Chair at Kimberley Alpine Resort has been repaired and is once again loading people to the top of the mountain.
A bearing failure necessitated a repair to the resort’s main lift on Saturday, Jan. 2 and resort staff quickly leapt into action to get experts on the situation. A new part was needed, which was built by a manufacturer in Italy.
READ MORE: Kimberley Alpine Resort’s main chairlift down for at least a week
Initially KAR predicted it would be at least a week before they had the lift back up and running. Once the situation was assessed they determined the earliest time they’d have it ready to go was Sunday, Jan. 17. Unfortunately, the required part missed its connecting flight, causing further delay to the repair and subsequent testing of the lift that was needed.
While the Northstar Chair — the main access point to the entire hill — was out of commission, the resort did its best to keep people skiing. The other two lifts, Easter and Tamarack, were still running and were able to be accessed by hiking or skinning in.
The resort even set up a barbecue and attained a liquor license to serve beer at the top of Easter.
Plenty of snow fell while Northstar lay dormant, and those willing to make the trek were rewarded with incredible conditions.
The other two lifts ran every day, with the exception of last week’s storm.
On Wednesday, Jan. 13, the Tamarack chair was shut down due to a power outage, so people had to hike in even further to get to the Easter Chair. Then, high winds and falling debris forced the resort to make the decision to close Easter as well in order to keep everyone safe.
The part needed to fix Northstar, weighing in at 320 kilograms, arrived in Calgary Saturday afternoon, cleared customs and was then driven to Kimberley where the task of installing it awaited.
KAR’s teams put in a long day and managed to successfully install the new part and got the lift running.
Finally, after conducting all the proper testing required, KAR was ready to load people on the Northstar Chair once more, first thing on Monday morning.