SHUNIAH, Ont. — After years of hard work and contending with the COVID-19 pandemic, a new ski lift at Mount Baldy is almost ready to go.
“We finally got the chairs on last week, spliced the cable, which was really exciting and very unique to see. Things are looking good around here,” said Daniel Kardas, the co-owner of the Mount Baldy Ski Resort..
“There's a couple more things. We’ve got to do some load test and we also have to do a pull test and [Technical Standards and Safety Authority] will come in and hopefully inspect everything and everything is tickety boo and we're ready to rock'n'roll.”
It’s taken almost three years to get to this point with the project with most of the engineering work being done just last year, according to Kardas, who attributed much of the delay to the pandemic.
“It really slowed things down, especially when it came to parts. Everyone knows that around the world when it comes to car parts and chips, waiting for this new computer system that we have on this quad chairlift right now,” he said.
“Everything is ready to go, the electricians are going to come in, put the motherboards on and, like I said, we're just going to keep our fingers crossed, everything looks good, and see what happens and everyone excited for our new season at Mount Baldy.”
Kardas said that it’ll very rewarding to get to see people and families enjoy time on the mountain, even if it’s been tremendous amount of work.
“This is a huge thing, a huge endeavour. I'm going to say one of the biggest things I've ever worked and built in my life,” he said.
“And when you look it up, I'm pretty sure you'll see that, when it comes to building a chairlift, it's one of the hardest things in the world and we're really, really close.”
Mount Baldy will also be featuring a new snow system and an upgraded cable on the T-bar, but Kardas said that the new lift will be the gamechanger for them.
“[For} a lot of people, especially your snowboarders and young kids, it's a little bit harder to get on the T-bar, I mean, everyone loves the T-bar because it's on the ground and you cruise up the hill and it's a little bit warmer,” he said.
“But now we're going to have some nice cushy seats, it's a four-pack. I think it's going to be a big change and we'll finally realize what a ski hill is with the chairlift.”
Once electrical work is completed, all that will remain for the lift to open will be an inspection. The inspection could take a while depending on scheduling, but Kardas said he’s excited for the new season and is hoping to start getting the mountain ready soon.
“Generally, I'm known for making my snow pretty well today. I wish I could have in the last couple days considering it's cold, but I looked at the long-term forecast next week, supposed to be pretty warm, so I decided not to,” he said.
“We're really excited to try this new snow-making system, so I'm going to say [in the] next couple weeks you're going to see some snow start flying and I'm sure we'll see you back.”