On the heels of the King Pine lift rollback two weeks ago, Sugarloaf has taken a second, similar lift out of service. The Timberline lift, the most similar to the design of the King Pine, was found to have abnormal wear on the driveshaft, which was the component that failed and initiated the King Pine incident.
Following the initial findings in the investigation of the King Pine lift, Sugarloaf’s lift maintenance team conducted a thorough inspection of the gear box on the Timberline lift this past week. While many of the components in the Timberline lift, including the braking systems, were updated to newer designs when Timberline moved to its current Snowfields location, the gear boxes remain essentially identical to those found in the King Pine lift.
The inspection did not reveal any damage that would suggest a similar event was imminent or at all likely, but it did reveal an abnormal level of wear and tear to the drive shaft. As a precautionary measure, Sugarloaf has taken the lift out of service until a new drive shaft can be installed.
“We are hopeful that we will be able to locate one in time to reopen the lift this season,” the resort said in a prepared statement.
The Timberline lift is important at this time of year, as it provides primary access to Sugarloaf’s famous Snowfields. While the lift is out of service, “We will provide transportation via passenger snowcat from Spillway Crosscut to the summit on days when summit conditions are favorable,” the resort said. The summit will also remain open to hiking when conditions allow.