Basin’s Montezuma Bowl chairlift gets spliced
Ryan Summerlin October 13, 2007
Watch how the splicing process works and see how the Zuma chairlift is coming along by clicking the link under “web extras”.
ARAPAHOE BASIN ” Justin Knight doesn’t just splice chairlift cable for a living; it’s a craft that has been passed down in his family for generations.
On Saturday, Knight lead 16 men, including some students recruited from CMC, in splicing the Zuma chairlift cable in A-Basin’s new Montezuma Bowl, set to open this season.
This lengthy process can take up to 35 people and two days, depending on the size of the cable.
“As far as the splicing goes, it’s pretty basic: You’ve got two dead ends and you overlap the two, set them together and cut so much off on each side,” Knight said.
“You set them together in the middle then run half of what you cut off downhill and the other half uphill. Then since this is a six-strand rope, you’ll have six different locations spaced out throughout the cable.”
From there the two ends are twisted together by hand. According to Knight, Zuma lift is an average size project and will likely take a day to complete.
Kight’s Grandfather started splicing cable in the 1920s and handed the craft down to his father, who took over the company in 1972. Justin now runs the Missouri based business, Knight Equipment, and is one of only a few companies in the country that knows how to splice chairlift cable.
“It’s just more or less handed down to family members that carry on the process,” Knight said. “There are a lot of European splicers that are in the industry also, but there just so busy over in Europe obviously.”
Knight has completed this process all over the country including Columbia and Australia.
“The guys are always fun to work with, beautiful scenery and it’s just a fun job.” Knight said.
After the process is complete, the crew will be putting the chairs on the lift early this week.