Silver Mountain Gondola


Some of the world's most beautiful places are also hard to reach. But engineers welcome such challenges, and the 3.1-mile-long, 3,400-vertical-foot Silver Mountain Gondola is a case in point. Foundations for eight towers had to be dug with a superhoe, capable of working on slopes as steep as 45 degrees. Three helicopters were used to place steel, concrete, and towers in roadless areas. In other places, the concrete was taken by truck as close to the site as possible and then pumped to the foundation holes. The result is one for the Guinness Book of World Records: the world's longest single-stage passenger gondola.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil, Mechanical
Topic(s):Space/Transportation
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The 45 towers in the Silver Mountain Gondola contain a total of 740 cubic yards of concrete, 83,000 pounds of reinforcing steel, and 55,000 pounds of anchor bolts. If the towers were laid end to end, they would stretch over a mile.