Snowmaking Pipe Bursts at Beech

James

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Not that hard to play telephone to lift shack. Patrol at spraying pipe gets on radio to patrol hq, who is on phone to the lift shack.
 

johnnyvw

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Not that hard to play telephone to lift shack. Patrol at spraying pipe gets on radio to patrol hq, who is on phone to the lift shack.
I'm sure communications will be reveiwed to see how they can be improved...well at least I hope that's the case
 

raytseng

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the lift line in my opinion is the best place for the pipeline from an engineering point of view. The land is already disturbed to put in the lift, and lift towers you would assume is the smoothest path up the mountain.

I think the focus should be on the root cause trigger of the skier crashed and damaged the hydrant.
I get that this requires giving up terrain, but if we're optimizing for safety, then the change should be along the lines of making skiing under the liftline out of bounds/ropeing/fencing it off; Greatly reduce ALL the nteractions between the liftline and skiers below to prevent this original crash (as well as other interactions like skis falling off or whatever)

Jusr putting the pipe somewhere else takes away more terrain but doesn't address the original crash, neither does offsetting it could still have the hydrant broke at an angle or a different way.
 

ThomasD

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the lift line in my opinion is the best place for the pipeline from an engineering point of view. The land is already disturbed to put in the lift, and lift towers you would assume is the smoothest path up the mountain.

I think the focus should be on the root cause trigger of the skier crashed and damaged the hydrant.
I get that this requires giving up terrain, but if we're optimizing for safety, then the change should be along the lines of making skiing under the liftline out of bounds/ropeing/fencing it off; Greatly reduce ALL the nteractions between the liftline and skiers below to prevent this original crash (as well as other interactions like skis falling off or whatever)

Jusr putting the pipe somewhere else takes away more terrain but doesn't address the original crash, neither does offsetting it could still have the hydrant broke at an angle or a different way.
I tend to agree that the lift line is not a bad place to run the lines. Lift towers actually providing some protective/barrier function and cost always being a factor. Really have to assume serious metal fatigue if a human body impact broke a metal to metal connection while also (reportedly) not causing harm to the person.
 

crgildart

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I tend to agree that the lift line is not a bad place to run the lines. Lift towers actually providing some protective/barrier function and cost always being a factor. Really have to assume serious metal fatigue if a human body impact broke a metal to metal connection while also (reportedly) not causing harm to the person.

Pretty much gotta do that if you have pole cats and fan guns on the lift towers..
 

sparty

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I tend to agree that the lift line is not a bad place to run the lines. Lift towers actually providing some protective/barrier function and cost always being a factor. Really have to assume serious metal fatigue if a human body impact broke a metal to metal connection while also (reportedly) not causing harm to the person.
Guessing here, but a full-height hydrant gives you a pretty good lever arm if you apply 200 pounds at 35 MPH to the top of it.

I'd also suggest that if this is the first time in recorded history that this particular combination of events has occurred, it might be a little soon to start closing terrain and reengineering snowmaking runs.

If you were going to close stuff, though, you wouldn't need to do it permanently, just while you had the line charged. That could be more of an issue in some places than others.
 

ThomasD

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Guessing here, but a full-height hydrant gives you a pretty good lever arm if you apply 200 pounds at 35 MPH to the top of it.

I'd also suggest that if this is the first time in recorded history that this particular combination of events has occurred, it might be a little soon to start closing terrain and reengineering snowmaking runs.

If you were going to close stuff, though, you wouldn't need to do it permanently, just while you had the line charged. That could be more of an issue in some places than others.
An unprotected human body does not respond well to hard impact at 30+ mph. Given the reported lack of injury I'm really thinking the skier was not travelling remotely that fast. 35 mph is over fifty feet per second. Heck, the people who jumped that day only fell about 25 feet and they are reporting broken bones and possible spinal compression. A 25 foot drop takes less than one second, so their velocity was not even 30 fps.

I'm still thinking this was just tired old gear waiting for a moment to fail. Probably a lot of it (both there and over at Sugar) is going to get extended maintenance and retrofitting in the next off season. I wasn't in the area back then but it is my understanding that Beech hit a very rough patch operationally back in the late 90's and is really still working it's way out of it.
 

dbostedo

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An unprotected human body does not respond well to hard impact at 30+ mph. Given the reported lack of injury I'm really thinking the skier was not travelling remotely that fast. 35 mph is over fifty feet per second. Heck, the people who jumped that day only fell about 25 feet and they are reporting broken bones and possible spinal compression. A 25 foot drop takes less than one second, so their velocity was not even 30 fps.

I'm still thinking this was just tired old gear waiting for a moment to fail. Probably a lot of it (both there and over at Sugar) is going to get extended maintenance and retrofitting in the next off season. I wasn't in the area back then but it is my understanding that Beech hit a very rough patch operationally back in the late 90's and is really still working it's way out of it.
A 25 foot free fall takes 1.25s and results in a speed of ~40 fps or 27 MPH (ignoring wind resistance, or other effects). So a bit more than you're thinking, but not drastically different. Could make a difference injury-wise though.

The bigger point is that no one knows how the person impacted the snowmaking equipment. In a fall you're hitting the ground square no matter what. The person who hit the equipment could have glanced off it, only hit it with equipment rather than body, etc. So could have been travelling fast, but probably not if they hit it square.
 

ThomasD

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A 25 foot free fall takes 1.25s and results in a speed of ~40 fps or 27 MPH (ignoring wind resistance, or other effects). So a bit more than you're thinking, but not drastically different. Could make a difference injury-wise though.

The bigger point is that no one knows how the person impacted the snowmaking equipment. In a fall you're hitting the ground square no matter what. The person who hit the equipment could have glanced off it, only hit it with equipment rather than body, etc. So could have been travelling fast, but probably not if they hit it square.
Yep. I botched the math. And the difference in speed does matter more than some might think, mostly because the the kinetic energy involved is a function of velocity squared. So even relatively small increases in speed can create much greater forces.

You are right, the exact nature of the impact does matter, maybe a ski took the brunt of the impact. And a focused impact like the edge of a ski, even at low speed, could create enough damage for the pressure inside the pipe to complete the job.

But if it was a body making impact I still don't see how you get enough energy transfer to damage such a pipe to the point of failure without either an injury on the delivering end or the pipe being weak or otherwise flawed to begin with.

No doubt the resorts is working all these questions out themselves.
 
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