For a second time now, the cables on the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, B.C., have been expurgated. According to Mounties, at around 4 a.m. on Monday, they were called by the attraction’s security team. In partnership with the West Vancouver Police Department and the Integrated Police Dog Services, they are examining the damage. Squamish RCMP Sgt. Sascha Banks told reporters hours later that it was a deliberate cut and not an accident.
Sascha said it was done by someone, or a group of individuals, who cut the gondola cable similar to last year. On Monday morning, there was a notice posted to the attraction’s website calling the incident an “act of vandalism” and saying the main cable was cut. The post reads, “No staff or guests were on the line. We are working with the RCMP, and our efforts are focused on the well-being of our staff at this time. The gondola will be closed until further notice.”
Lines at the Sea to Sky Gondola were intentionally cut over a year ago. This made the attraction’s cable cars to crash to the ground. As a result, around 75 staff members at that time were laid off. Mounties stated that they are looking into whether the two are connected while the investigation into that incident is ongoing. After more than $5-million in repairs, the gondola re-opened in February, but briefly closed due to COVID-19 in March. In May, the attraction re-opened with new safety procedures.
Gondola management touted enhanced security measures at the February re-opening. This included sensors, a very loud alarm, and cameras. Campers in the area heard the alarm activated in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. Zoe Desjardins, who also heard the cable cars crash to the ground on Monday morning, said that about two or three weeks ago, she heard a sound like an alarm “Meep! Meep! This is the Sea-to-Sky Gondola. You are trespassing.” Zoe added that it was like a tree was falling, and some metallic sounded pretty badly and she was like, “oh, I hope it’s not the gondola again.”
Sgt. Banks said that three weeks ago, officers responded to an alarm and learned that two people had climbed one of the towers. She said they identified the two people, and at that point, they didn’t deem them to be at risk of cutting the gondola. She also stated that they didn’t have tools to cut through the cable like it happened that day. However, she noted that that was an avenue they would be looking at. Kirby Brown, Gondola general manager, said he was sure the new security improvements unveiled this year would assist the investigation progress faster than last time.
Kirby said she was utterly confident that it was a new world compared to the information the RCMP had last time. She added that she thought that it was probably all she could say about that by then, and RCMP investigators would be on site for a few more days. Besides, Banks confirmed they were only a few hours into the investigation, and they requested the public to stay out of the area. While police investigate, some trails in the area, like those at Shannon Falls Provincial Park, have been closed. You can contact Squamish RCMP anonymously at 604-892-6100 if you have any information about the incident.