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Municipality of Crowsnest Pass council meeting

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Jul 12, 2023

During a routine three-year inspection of the Lower Lift Haul Rope at Pass Powderkeg, significant damage on the rope was found. 

Replacement of the lift rope at Pass Powderkeg was on the agenda at the council meeting on July 4.

During a routine three-year inspection of the Lower Lift Haul Rope at Pass Powderkeg, significant damage on the rope was found. 

“While not currently in contravention of the safety code, we are within one damaged wire of not being able to operate in five different locations along the rope,” said the report from administration. 

The testing is done every three years due to the age of the rope and was last done prior to the lift extension in spring 2020. The first priority is to replace the haul rope to ensure the viability of a full season on the lower portion of the hill. 

“With that in mind, Administration is recommending to pre-emptively order a rope and schedule the rope splice (connect the end of the rope into a loop) in advance of the 2023/2024 season in order to avoid letting it go to failure, which would cause an operational closure that could last months. The ropes currently take 10-12 weeks to manufacture and import and are very specific to the lift,” said the report.

Once on site, the rope replacement will only take approximately two days. Wire ropes for the ski lift are manufactured in Switzerland and are custom made when ordered. The cost of the rope and installation is approximately $35,000 excluding tax. Haul ropes generally last 15 or more years and can keep being used until there are too many broken wires or deformities. 

“Our current rope is approximately 7 years old. The damage on the rope is caused by the de-rails that have been an ongoing issue since the lift extension in 2020. This damage occurs when the rope comes off of the sheave assembly and runs along the rope catchers on the tower until the lift comes to a stop. This then breaks the wires in the strands and causes external damage,” said the report.

Pass Powderkeg staff have taken steps to reduce the number of incidents that cause damage. The permanent solution to this problem, in order to significantly reduce these issues, is to move the unload area. This move will require earth work, removal of the tree island to the east of the top station on the lower lift, and relocation of a snow making pipe. 

The area will still allow skiers and snowboarders a pathway to the lodge and will not affect the run to the Upper Lift. If the rope is not replaced and one more wire break occurs, the ski hill will not be able to operate the lower lift until it is replaced. This is the most utilized lift and would severely impact the winter operations according to the administration’s report.

“I’m going to make the motion that Council moves to approve the purchase of new haul rope to the maximum of $35,000 and that Council also moves to approve the cost to relocate the unloading area to a maximum of $30,000, excluding GST, from the Mill Rate Stabilization reserve,” said Councillor Dean Ward. 

Council also reviewed Bylaw 792, 2010, the Community Organizations Property Tax Exemption Bylaw, with administration directing that all organizations reapply for the 2023 year to confirm their eligibility.

This was passed unanimously by council, with the information being required this fall for the next tax season.

The existing Municipal Credit Card Policy 1703-01 was also reviewed and updated by Administration to the latest policy format and was presented to Council for review, passing with a unanimous vote. 

Discussion was held at the June 20 Council Meeting regarding signs being erected at public use areas where people are allowing their dogs off leash. Councillor Sygutek asked for this to be on the agenda, where discussion resulted in council agreeing to bring back the dog bylaw at a future council meeting.

Visit for more information about future and past council meetings. Council Meetings are held in Council Chambers in the Municipal office at 8502, 19 Avenue, Coleman.

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