Squamish community pulls together as RCMP investigate Sea to Sky Gondola sabotage

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2019

In an email to Narcity, a representative of the RCMP said, "While the investigation is still in its infancy, we are pursuing a number of investigative avenues which include following up on tips, evaluating the physical evidence and reviewing the digital evidence and working alongside other key agencies assisting us in this technical investigation".

The Squamish community, meanwhile, is pulling together to help lessen the impact.

Canadian police are investigating after a cable auto gondola was sabotaged in an apparent act of vandalism.

Technical Safety B.C., which oversees all the tramways, gondolas, chairlifts, rope tows and passenger conveyors in B.C., and WorkSafeBC are also investigating.

According to Technical Safety B.C., there have been two inspections of the Sea to Sky Gondola so far in 2019.

"We recognise the potential of what could have been and are thankful that no-one was injured", the statement said.

Mounties added: "At this time, the RCMP is asking for anyone with information or anyone that was in the area at the time to please come forward".

It's unclear when the ride will resume normal operations: A notice on the website indicates, "the Sea to Sky Gondola is CLOSED for the foreseeable future due to a major lift incident".

Between 1,500 and 3,000 guests visit the gondola each day during the summer season, Bailey said.

"We rally when someone needs our support, so I would expect that if the staff need to find new employment temporarily, this community will come in behind them and figure it out".

One wedding was booked for Friday.

And luckily there are a couple of alternate options available. "We don't believe that it would just snap".

She said an employee working at the summit heard a loud bang and discovered the cable had broken.

Sea to Sky is "a lovely venue and we love working with them", Lythe said. "It can be quite the experience for people".

She had a special message for the Sea to Sky Gondola employees. If these need to be relocated, she said she'll look to Whistler, where the receptions are already booked, as another mountaintop option.

"We will continue our investigation and release updates to you as soon as possible".

"The Sea to Sky Gondola has been a great addition to Squamish's tourism industry and has been very successful at delivering on quality experiences for their guests since they opened", said Tourism Squamish executive director Lesley Weeks in a statement.

Ainslie Cruickshank is a Vancouver-based reporter covering the environment.

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