Vandalism of ski lift at Penticton-area resort no laughing matter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Vandalism of ski lift at Penticton-area resort no laughing matter

Two of the people causing damage at Apex Mountain Ski Resort.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Apex Mountain Ski Resort

It may have seemed like a fun thing to do at the time but a group of people playing around with Apex Mountain Ski Resort equipment now understand how serious their actions were.

James Shalman, the Penticton-area resort’s general manager, posted photos of their behaviour on the hill’s Facebook page last night, Sept. 27, asking if anyone could identify the culprits. Within three hours he had the names of some of them.

“We had a group of people that went into a closed area and went to the top of the mountain and started tampering with some of our equipment,” Shalman told iNFOnews.ca. “They were tampering with our control box that operates our detachable quad chairlift. They grabbed one of the ladders and went up onto the chairs and did some stuff.”

The video showed exactly what they did so the systems are being double checked. No serious damage was done.

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Apex Mountain Ski Resort

“The bottom line is, I really just wanted to talk to these people,” Shalman said. “I wanted to let them know just how serious it was and to make sure they didn’t do anything further. They thought it was a bit funny and a bit of a joke. They now understand how serious it is and understand our perspective on how and why we treat these things so seriously.”

The group of drove up the hill in four vehicles and there were, maybe, eight of them in all. Shalman would not say where they were from and said he will not get the police involved or ask for charges to be laid.

Apex has numerous video cameras all over the mountain. Aided by the power of social media, that means vandals are not likely to escape notice.

“If you do something like this. the odds are we’re going to find out and we’re going to find out who you are and, if it is serious, depending on the situation, we definitely will get the police involved if we need to,” Shalman said. “It’s a good reminder to everybody else  too, that we treat this seriously and you shouldn’t be tampering with any equipment at any ski resort anywhere because we depend on that as a lift service and safety is our number one concern.”

Given the recent incidents of tampering on the Sea to Sky gondola near Squamish and other incidents at other ski hills, all operators are on a “very heightened sense of security,” Shalman said.

The cable on the Sea to Sky gondola was cut in 2019 and again in 2020 causing more than $10 million in damage.

Sea-to-Sky Gondola – Criminal Investigation - Surveillance video

On Sept. 14, the RCMP released a video showing the cut cables narrowly missing a security guard. The operators also doubled the reward for information leading to a conviction to $500,000.

READ MORE: Reward increased to $500,000 for conviction in B.C. gondola vandalism

Four people were sent to hospital in 2014 when three chairs crashed on the Chrystal Mountain ski hill near West Kelowna. It never reopened.

READ MORE: Report makes 7 recommendations on Crystal Mountain chairlift crash


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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