Much of our progress to remove the lift has been held up slightly for the last few days as we awaited the arrival of cable testing contractor. The process is sort of a cable ultrasound and when completed the results gives us a state of health for the cable. The lift had to remain operable to run the cable through the test device. This test is done on all of the haul ropes based on a schedule as warranted by the state. The test did not show any surprises and now as this cable gets used on other Peak lifts the report card will go along with it.
With the test out of the way we got the cable removed from rest of the towers as needed to de-tension. Getting the heavy rope down is not as simple as just popping it off with a pry bar. In the photo you can see we use a cable and pulleys to enable the use of the forklift. This makes the process faster than using a hand winch.
Another option used to speed up the process is using the forklift. Shown here you can see a wood block is attached to the top to prevent any marring of the cable.
Once the cable is off the lower towers and we can reach, a plate clamp is installed for the dead hitch on the downhill side. This clamp tightly squeezes the cable so it will not slip.
Then a sling (another small section of cable with looped ends) is used to hold the dead hitch to the base of tower 4.
A second plate clamp is attached above tower 5 on the uphill side, to this is attached a large 6 part block and tackle to multiply the pulling force. This is then used to pull the cable tight from tower 4,5 area to the top removing any slack to the bottom.
Now the bull wheel (large wheel) at the bottom is moved forward to completely slacken the haul rope and it is then dropped to the ground. Now with the rope slack the cut is made.
The hold back winch cable is now spliced into the haul rope. This small cable will be reeled out to control the end and prevent the cable from sliding off downhill.
The other end of the rope is attached to the reel and the first few wraps are spooled onto the reel.
With the forklift in position we can use the attached pulley to wrap the cable in rows on the reel by extending the retracting the extension on the forklift.
The reeling is slow and we spend all of day 5 reeling cable. Our goal is to get all the cable reeled up and the hold back cable back onto its winch so all trails can be reopened for Saturday morning. We just finish as the sun is setting. Now all 28 tons of cable are on the reel where it will wait until the snow melts and we can get a crane in to move it.