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Group caught tampering with Apex Mountain Resort ski lift equipment

Global News 2022-09-29 Taya Fast
The incident happened earlier this month, but photos posted to social media on Tuesday show the group prying open a control box near the ski lift. © James Shalman / Facebook The incident happened earlier this month, but photos posted to social media on Tuesday show the group prying open a control box near the ski lift.

A group of young people was recently caught on camera tampering with ski lift equipment at Apex Mountain Ski Resort.

The incident happened earlier this month, but photos posted to social media on Tuesday show the group tampering with a control box, taking ladders up to the chairs and driving around the restricted area.

“Damage is actually fairly minimal but what really raised alarm bells with us is anybody that goes up there and plays with our actual gearbox or any working systems on the quad, it's a huge concern,” said Apex Mountain Ski Resort general manager James Shalman.

“We have no idea what they've done as far as tampering. Safety is our number one priority, not just safety for our lift system but we also everything's pretty expensive up there as far as maintaining and upgrading.”

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The group was able to pry open the control box containing operational controls and basic communications but wasn’t able to get the lift running.

“No operator controls were damaged beyond anything that was immediately fixable. Looks like they did manage to return our ladder safely, no damage was done to the lift,” said Apex Mountain Ski Resort millwright and utility worker Chris Nason.

Shalman posted the photos to Facebook looking for the group caught on the resort’s security cameras. He says the incident serves as a reminder to the public to stay away from restricted areas.

“We don't want anybody going into our controlled area meaning that it is out of bounds, it is a restricted area,” said Shalman.

“Let everyone know that we treat this very seriously. There are lots of places to have fun, off-road, go do what you want but this is a closed area. We have signs, we have gates.”

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According to Apex, although unauthorized people have made it to the top of the mountain before, this is the first time anyone has tampered with their lift equipment.

“Obviously a really big situation happened with the Sea to Sky gondola down in Squamish and that is putting this whole safety risk element into a higher level with all ski resorts and we're being extra vigilant about safety at our lips services,” he added.

Shalman was able to identify the individuals involved and has since spoken with them.

“I've talked to them now and I understand that they were just out there to have a good time but they were actually prying into the control panel. And that's just a complete no-go zone and that could compromise our lift system,” said Shalman.

“Once I got them to understand the seriousness of the situation and they understood it from our perspective, they just apologized profusely.”

At this point, no charges are expected to be laid.

“Ultimately my goal was finding out who these people were reach out to them, have a conversation with them, let them know how serious it was, and just make sure that this never happens again in the future,” said Shalman.

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