Welding Nears Completion –
Progress on our summer projects continues to move along, especially on the snowmaking side of things. Over this past week our primary contractor completed welding together long sections of pipe, many of which have already been moved into position within the Huckleberry terrain pod. The majority of welding took place at a staging area in the vicinity of our new reservoir, along the Roundup Traverse.
While some welding still needs to take place, in order to weld together the long sections of pipe to form a continuous line, the bulk of welding work is completed. A cap is welded to one of the ends of the pipe, as you can see in the photo below, so that an excavator can then drag the sections of pipe into place. The cap is then cut off when the pipe is in place and welded to the rest of the line.
Snowmaking pipe (waterline) awaits movement into its new home
Snowmaking Pipe Moved Into Position –
Once the pipe is ready to be transported, an excavator pulls long sections of pipe into place like the sections below. Despite the very solid, thick walls that our pipe has, you can see that it becomes somewhat flexible once several lengths are welded together. Upwards of 400 feet of pipe can be welded together in a section before being moved up the mountain.
Welding many lengths together in the base area has many advantages such as allowing welding to take place very quickly due to not having to move welding equipment and personnel. This practice minimizes the number of welds that have to occur up on the mountain.
Looking down Lone Ranger in the Huckleberry terrain pod
Trenching (Ditching) Begins –
Starting at the top of the Huckleberry Chairlift, a trench or ditch is dug in which the pipe and associated electrical line will be dropped into and eventually covered back over with rock and earth. Crews have made their way down Tumbleweed from the top of the chair and are now working their way down Lone Ranger to the base area. Both the snowmaking waterline and electrical line are buried approximately 4.5 – 5 feet underground.
With our maintenance road winding it’s way through the route of the pipeline, crews are careful to quickly dig up sections of the road under which the pipe will travel and replace it in the same day. This way, our maintenance crews are able to go about summer maintenance work on the Huckleberry Chair, just as they normally would. With a keen eye, you can now spot construction work on Tumbleweed / Lone Ranger, from a few km’s down Highway 774.
What’s Next? –
This week crews are expected to continue trenching and laying pipe / electrical down to the bottom of Lone Ranger and will likely reach Roundup Traverse and the reservoir by the weekend.
After finishing up this section, crews will then make their way over to Whiskey Jack run, in an attempt to finish off all the pipe installation on steeper sections of the mountain before the end of the month.