The bull wheel drives the movement of the cable on the chairlift to bring skiers and boarders up Shames Mountain. (Shames Mountain Facebook photo)

Rio Tinto donates $50K for Shames Mountain chairlift upgrades

The money was used to purchase the chairlift’s bull wheel replacement last summer

Rio Tinto BC Works reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring skiers can continue to enjoy Shames Mountain with a large donation towards the purchase of a vital piece of equipment for the chair lift.

The company donated $50,000 towards My Mountain Co-op’s (MMC) purchase of a refurbished bull wheel last summer.

This equipment is an integral piece of the chairlift – it drives the cable that pulls skiers and snowboarders up the mountain.

“This was a critical piece of equipment that needed to be replaced this summer,” said Shames Mountain general manager Christian Theberge. “We are very grateful for Rio Tinto for its support.”

The bull wheel replacement took place over the summer months as part of the ski hill’s maintenance program.

It was delayed by only a few days after thieves broke into the ski hill’s maintenance shop and generator building in July.

“Shames Mountain is an important community asset, and we at Rio Tinto are proud to provide funding for its ongoing operations,” said Rio Tinto’s BC Works operations director Patrice Bergeron.

“Many of our employees and their families have created positive memories at Shames Mountain, and we are committed to ensuring it continues to be part of a healthy lifestyle in the Kitimat-Terrace area.”

Rio Tinto has been an important part of the Shames Mountain and Co-op for many years. In 2012, the company provided $175,000 in funding, which was critical in allowing the mountain to operate and undertake critical infrastructure upgrades.

“Donations from our community and corporate sponsors are key to ensuring the sustainable operations of Shames Mountain,” said My Mountain Co-op board chair, Steve Salem.

“By showing commitment to healthy communities, organizations such as Rio Tinto play an important role in the fabric of the Co-op, and for that we are very thankful.”

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