Géolocation has developed through the years a well-known expertise in the field of ski lifts thanks to the combination of its multiple areas of activities. Surveying a ski lift requires a strong planning of technical and logistic activities in order to respect the specifications of accuracy for the field operations and installations as well as the security of the teams involved.
Our health, safety and environment handbook includes specific security procedures for potentially hazardous sites. It describes the framework our field crews must necessarily comply to in such environments. It is also relevant to note that this handbook is fully integrated into our management system based on the latest ISO 9001: 2015 standard. Thus, it is subject to all the procedures of revision, validation and audit specific to this internationally recognized norm.
As far as technical challenges are concerned, the survey and installation of stations, substations and pylons must be carried out with great precision. Typically, it requires a relative accuracy in the range of 0.05m in the axis of the lift and 0.01m in its perpendicular direction. Given the length of the routes and the height differences involved, a network of operating stations is established on the mountain by both traditional and GNSS geodetic positioning techniques as well as first-order leveling. For the steep slopes, we also need to take into account the effect of the curvature of the Earth by the use of a combined scale factor that varies depending on the position on the mountain. The well-recognized proficiency of Géolocation in positioning and geodesy is therefore used to establish the basic framework required for these ski lift projects.
During our mandates, our expertise led us to carry out surveying work for the installation of the Massif Express, a gondola lift ending at the top of the Massif de Charlevoix with a 2800m length over a height difference of 663m (average slope 23.6%). This is the second facility of its kind in Canada by length and height difference after the Whistler Village in British Columbia. The lift in Whistler rightly deserves the first prize with a length of 5012 m, a height difference of 1157 m, but a slightly lower average slope, at 23.1%. The Whistler Village should not be confused with the Peak 2 Peak which is more like a cable car: the cabins have indeed more than one cable contrary to gondolas which are supported by a single cable. The Peak 2 Peak is one of the most impressive ski lifts in the world. It connects the summit of Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb, the nearby mountain by flying over the Fitzsimmons Valley. It is such kind of experience that awaits you near Quebec City, with the Massif Express. This gondola will take you to the top of the mountain while giving you a breathtaking view of the St. Lawrence River, the valleys and the mountains.
More recently, Géolocation has completed the survey operations of brand new ski lifts at the Relais du Lac Beauport and at the Station Stoneham at the request of Doppelmayr Canada. The one at Stoneham was successfully put into service in December 2017.
With its highly ubiquitous and competent workforce, Géolocation continues since 1980 its ascent to the highest peaks ; all this by allowing you to safely enjoy the most beautiful summits of Québec and their ski lifts erected in perfect alignments.
This post is also available in: French