Crystal Mountain ski hill to remain closed

Report expected this week detailing how a swinging chair could cause the chairlift cable to fall off its tracks

  • Sep. 17, 2014 3:00 p.m.

To the best of the BC Safety Authority’s knowledge, Crystal Mountain has not done any of the repairs it outlined in a report delivered this summer.

Several people were injured in March when a chairlift derailed, forcing the safety regulator to suspend the operating licence on the mountain’s three ski lifts.

“In July, we issued a number of instructions to Crystal Mountain in terms of regulated work that would need to be done (to re-open the lifts),” said Quinn Newcomb, spokesperson for BCSA.

“We did that in July so they would have time to complete the work before the 2014-15 ski season. To our knowledge, none of the work has been completed.”

Efforts to contact mountain manager Mike Morin have gone unanswered, although the small resort did announced it will not open for the 2014-15 season on its Facebook page this past weekend.

Two weeks after the chairlift accident, the mountain was granted an extension for a rezoning application on phase one of a development to include new lifts, lodge and residential housing.

The mountain owners, the Switzerland-based Tschantz family, spoke through Pheidias Development Management Corporation president Oberto Oberti, citing a volatile international finance and investment community as the reason they have not pulled together the necessary funding.

Pheidias was back before the Central Okanagan Regional District on Sept. 11 and was granted a one-year extension to pursue the same extension again.

Meanwhile, the BCSA is planning to issue a statement later this week, which will detail specifics on the investigation.

To date, it is understood a chair was swinging wildly, hit a tower and caused the “deropement” of a raft of chairs. A critical tension systems was also not working and considered a contributing factor.

A 16-year-old ski instructor suffered a broken arm and his 45-year-old student sustained broken ribs in the incident.

A husband and wife, who work for the mountain’s ski patrol, also sustained minor injuries.


Kelowna Capital News