Timber Chair will not open this summer due to major maintenance work. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Timber Chair to undergo makeover

A popular chairlift at Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) will run more smoothly next winter after major maintenance work this year.

The Resorts of the Canadian Rockies-owned resort has announced Timber Chair will not open this summer to allow for the “extreme makeover”.

Built in 1998, Timber offers access to the White Pass and Polar Peak chairs, and more advanced terrain at FAR.

The maintenance project will involve specialist crews from Leitner, the lift manufacturer, and the replacement of the motor drive and operational control systems.

A FAR spokesman explained this happens once in a lift’s lifetime. The 24,000lb gearbox will also be rebuilt, which is done every 20,000 operating hours.

“For guests, this should reduce the occurrence of nuisance stops,” he said.

Scheduled maintenance will also include the installation of new communication lines from top to bottom and an additional safety/control circuit to minimize unplanned lift stoppages.

FAR will provide regular updates on the project, which is expected to be completed by the 2019-20 winter season.

“We invest a considerable amount of people time and resources into lift care,” said the resort spokesman.

“We are very proud of our highly skilled and very professional team responsible for the care and operation of our lifts.”

FAR will continue to offer biking, hiking, the aerial park, outdoor programs and events over summer, despite the closure.

The Elk Quad Chairlift will be in operation from June 22 to September 2, providing access to 26 bike trails and eight hiking trails with another three multi-use trails available directly from the resort base area.

FAR is offering early bird summer season passes at special rates for this season only, visit Skifernie.com for more information.

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