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Heavenly Valley Hauling Line Replacement

Posted 21 April 2023

Have you ever thought about what it takes to keep a ski lift turning? So many of us enjoy riding them with little thought to the fact that they work up to nine hours a day, seven days a week for nearly four months straight – it’s no easy gig getting 2,400 skiers and riders up the mountain every hour!  

So, all season long, and during the summer, our crew are working hard to maintain our lifts and keep things running smoothly for all of us to make the most of the snow season. 

This summer it was time for our marquee lift, Heavenly Valley, to have some major works in the way of the hauling line being replaced. What is the hauling line you ask? It’s the cable or wire rope that moves the chairs up the hill, supporting the weight of the chairs and its passengers. It’s a pretty important piece of the puzzle, if you ask us.  

Hauling lines are non-destructively tested (x-rayed if you like) every three years and Heavenly’s hauling line had been in service since 1987 when the lift was commissioned. At its last test, it was showing signs of approaching the end of its life, so it was time for a replacement. It can take up to twelve months for the supply of a new line and is a turnkey project contracted to Doppelmayr, the absolute experts in this field. Doppelmayr have worked with the likes of the Skyway Cable Car in the Blue Mountains and Arthurs Seat Eagle 8 Seat Gondola, so they know their stuff!  

At the start of the month, the Doppelmayr crew arrived and over four days replaced the hauling line on Heavenly Valley with their cable truck and team assisting. Once the cable has been run through the lifts sheave trains, it needs to be spliced together - splicing refers to the joining of two ends of the rope or cable. It’s a delicate and manual operation that ensures the cable forms an endless loop and is considered an art in the world of cable transportation - it’s always performed by specialists. The splice needs to be 1,200 times the nominal diameter of the rope, so in the case of Heavenly Valley, a 41mm diameter cable, the splice is 50m long.  


  • The HV cable is 1778 metres long  

  • The cable weighs around 11,000kg 

  • The chair takes skiers and riders up 314 vertical metres to the top station which sits at a height of 1828m above sea level 

  • The original, and manufacturers name of the lift was “Slalom Gully” 

So, when you’re riding the Heavenly Valley chair this season, have a think about what it takes to keep her turning and see if you can spot where the splice was made! We can’t wait to see you out at First Tracks this season. 


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