On 16 Apr 2001, at 17:42, Stuart Cole wrote:

> It was a tourist ride, mainly, for the summer. And wasn't It actually
> a pull gon/tram? I.E: a stationary cable on which the cab hung from
> and rolled on, pulled by another cable? Like what Vail used to have
> (before a horrible accident with it) --  Stuart Cole

Hmm... I never rode it, but as a lift junkie I suspect I'd have noticed,
driving by, if it was anything other than a monocable design.
Perhaps someone driving by could give us a report - it's pretty easy
to recognize the difference.

Monocables, as the name implies, are lifts on which the carrier
(chair, gondie cabin, T-bar etc.) is both supported and moved by
one wire rope - known as the haul rope.  The old Wildcat gondola
was a monocable, and it was certainly of older vintage than that of
Whittier's, so monocables in that era were certainly being built.

Dual-rope lifts are another matter.  These lifts used a smooth wire
rope - called a track rope - and a second wire rope as haul rope.
The carriers themselves have sheave wheels atop, which ride on
the track rope (supported by the crossarm at the towers); the
separate haul rope runs over a more or less conventional sheave
train at towers. In addition to the old gondie at Vail, Mammoth's
original gondola used this type of system, and jigback trams are
still built this way (although they typically use two track ropes and
one haul rope).

Principal advantage from an engineering standpoint seems to have
been long spans - in other words, if for some reason a long span
was required without a support tower (going up a cliff face etc.) the
track rope/haul rope system was preferred... although advances in
wire rope technology have helped.  Nowadays, most modern lifts
except jigbacks use some variant of monocable design, even
extending into dual monocable formats, such as the funitel lifts at
Squaw Valley and several Euro resorts.


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