Mining and Shaft access solutions

Deep tunnel access at Strawberry Reservoir

The Strawberry Aqueduct and Collection System (SACS) is a system of reservoirs, tunnels, pipelines, and diversion dams designed to collect and distribute water throughout Utah. 

The Strawberry Reservoir is an important part of this system.  It directs water via a pipeline and tunnel system buried hundreds of feet deep in the mountains along the Continental Divide.  Massive valves positioned where the pipeline transitions to an open tunnel require routine maintenance and inspection.  To access these valves, workers must descend through a 30’’-wide vertical shaft from a remote mountaintop location. 

In 2014, authorities sought to find a safe access solution for this scenario.  Sky Climber provided consultation services, surveying the location and requirements and providing recommendations on a solution that complied with American National Standards Institute / American Society of Safety Engineers (ANSI/ASSE). 

Based on report findings the customer then turned to Sky Climber again to provide a personnel hoist system for the Strawberry Tunnel access shaft. 

The final design utilized two horizontally-mounted hoists, passive wire winders, SkyLocks, redirect sheaves, and custom mounting brackets.  With this system, wire rope is positioned directly over the shaft opening with redirect sheaves.  Workers are suspended with climbing harnesses and can be lowered into the narrow shaft until they reach the tunnel 200 feet below. 



Mining Platforms and Shaft Access

Sky Climber has developed many custom solutions for mining and shaft access projects in our 60+ year history.  As shaft dimensions and project requirements vary greatly, we have had the opportunity to make safe access easy and practical for a number of mining applications.



Angled Shaft access

In some applications, work cages or platforms need to maneuver through shafts that are not strictly vertical.  For one of our completed projects, a work cage needed to safely traverse both a vertical shaft and a lower angled shaft.  Others needed to be angled at a fixed degree to accommodate a static inclined shaft.