Poma back to work
FALLS Creek’s International Poma is up and running again after the lift was temporarily closed following the derailing of its cable at the infamous Tower 9 bend known as “The Corner”.
The Poma was derailed just after lunch on Sunday, August 2, when about 280 metres of cable was damaged after a user attempted to propel themselves through the air and around the corner; an action that is not permitted on the mountain’s pomas.
As a result the Poma was closed for almost two weeks as Falls Creek Lifts were forced to source a replacement section of cable from Sweden as the damage sustained was more than the length of cable that is kept in reserve for general maintenance.
Falls Creek Lifts’ Anthony O’Shea said the cable arrived on the mountain by air freight on Monday, August 10, and repairs were completed by the end of that week with the lift reopening on the Saturday morning.
“It took us a day or two to source and then a couple more days to get freight organised, but by the time it arrived we had things ready to go,” he said.
“There was a fair bit of work in it, the damaged cable had to be de-tensioned and taken down before it could all be rigged back up.
“We started testing it on Thursday and had it all going properly by the end of Friday.”
Mr O’Shea said that although the Poma has the ability to slingshot smaller statured folk around its tight corner the speed in which it now operates was the reason for it derailing.
“It’s not uncommon for surface lifts to be derailed but to do this much damage about 280 metres is quite a lot,” he said.
“It used to be easier to get air around the corner but we have actually slowed the speed of the Poma.
“It used to run at about five metres per second but it runs at about 3-3.5 metres now.
“From all reports it was an honest mistake, there are signs along the Poma asking people to stay in their tracks and this is an example of why people shouldn’t try it.”
With just under a month remaining in the ski season Mr O’Shea said it was good the Poma was operating again after fears it would be out of action for some time.
“It’s the people’s favourite surface lift, it’s the first thing people ask before they come up or when they get here,” he said.
“It’s usually a barometer for a great season so if it’s operating you know there is plenty of snow.”
BACK TO WORK: Falls Creeks International Poma was derailed in early August but is now up operating once more following repairs.