The "flying" Sunkid Wonder Carpet
Star Lifts USA constructs the first Wonder Carpet with hydraulic hoist for the entire length of the system
Year after year, Sunkid (Star Lifts) is presented with new challenges that require innovative solutions. For instance, last year the first conveyor belt on supports up to 12 meters high was constructed in Keystone (CO). This winter, Sunkid (Star Lifts) constructed the first Wonder Carpet with a hydraulic hoist system for the entire length of the 84-meter system (276 feet)!
50 feet (15 meters) of fresh snow fall!
On Mt. Hood (Oregon), Sunkid faced an extraordinary challenge along with sister company Star Lifts USA. Hood Meadows sees record snow fall winter after winter. Up to 50 feet (15 meters) of snow falls over the course of the winter. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that the installed system can be adjusted to the snow height. The technology that Sunkid (Star Lifts) has already employed for the Mega Star and Swiss Cord lift systems was also successfully applied to a 276-foot (84-meter) Wonder Carpet.
Six towers equipped with hydraulic hoisting devices of 8 feet (2.4 meters) each were constructed at the children's area at distances of 50 feet (15 meters) apart. The Sunkid Wonder Carpet was finally laid on an iron substructure. Consequently, the conveyor belt can reach a maximum height of 11 feet (3.4 meters) in completely operational condition.
Already as early as the first winter season, 2009, the Sunkid Wonder Carpet on Mt. Hood was tested to the limits of its abilities. During the winter season, the conveyor belt was increasingly raised to adjust to the snow volume. The record snowfall required the Wonder Carpet to be hoisted to 11 feet (3.4 meters) off the ground.
No snow clearing necessary
No snow clearing necessary thanks to the Sunkid Gallery Enclosure
Because of the large snow volume, the operators at Mt. Hood Meadows also decided on a Sunkid gallery enclosure for the conveyor belt. This simplifies operational start-up by eliminating snow clearing. In addition, the conveyor belt enclosure protects passengers from wind, rain, snow, and cold. On the side of the enclosure, exits are located every 6 feet (1.8 meters) and can be easily opened or closed owing to a self-retracting PVC tarp.
The tried and tested modular construction allows the gallery enclosure to be adjusted to concave-convex terrain. A 3mm-thick UV-resistant polycarbonate pane is inserted into the aluminium beam of the gallery. This pane has been tested at wind speeds of 120 km/h and an upper snow load of 3 feet (1 meter). Over 7000 meters of Sunkid galleries currently exist throughout the world, employed successfully in the most diverse conditions.
After the first winter on Mt. Hood, the results are very positive. The hydraulic hoisting mechanism for the Sunkid Wonder Carpet worked just as planned for the whole winter. Sunkid congratulates the customers of Mt. Hood Meadows, and Peter Kavanagh, Marc Wood and Joe Gmuender from sister company Star Lifts Inc. for the truly perfect implementation of this unique project.