BANKHEAD, AB—It seems not everyone is ready for a new leisurely ride into the alpine. Some people are total wimps and think Pursuit’s new Cascade Gondola in Bankhead is a touch too horrifying.
“I almost don’t want to ride it down,” said Karen Skutz, clutching a backpack tightly to her chest. “But the only way down is the hiking trail that ends near that other chairlift place apparently. It’s hours away, I don’t know what to do. That machine cranks so loudly, the path to the top is so steep and the gondola kept bouncing, and the voice that does the safety briefing was in Russian or something. We had no idea what was happening. I thought I was going to die. Never. Again.”
There is some truth to the incessant whining of the gondola’s first riders. In an effort to cut costs, the Cascade Gondola has been constructed from parts of a decommissioned Georgian ski lift. The lift has passed a comprehensive set of safety requirements and international engineering standards. However, due to its age and history of use, it is “louder than expected” according to Pursuit’s projects team.
“It’s like Rollercoaster Tycoon,” explained Pursuit’s Lead Operations Technician, Mike Steudles. “You get too ambitious, build something just a touch too wild and suddenly everyone freaks out and avoids it like the plague. When you build a gondola that steep you simply have to accept that towers will be farther apart and any wind will cause some bouncing. It’s a windy mountain—so it’s a bouncy ride. It’s going to make a lot of noise but it’s completely safe. The Georgians know what they’re doing. If anyone has any undue concerns, they can consult the many ghosts of Georgian skiers that came with the lift. There’s compromises you have to make on projects like this. I don’t understand why we can’t expect visitors to make similar compromises for a ride into the alpine. Pansies!”
Current El Jefe of the Bankhead Bugle. Jessia came to the Bow Valley in 2017 after dropping out from grad school to chance it in the wild blue yonder with just a backpack and a measly arts BA. As a youth, he is amenable to poor working conditions and trickles of payment—coincidentally, this makes him the ideal candidate to edit a struggling legacy newspaper like the Bugle. Praise be!