New Lutsen Gondola Drops into Place

The pilots leaned out each side window of the twin-engine Sikorsky S-61 helicopter watching the 8,000-pound hunk of metal swing below.

It took about 30 seconds to set the tower, which by November will help hold a new gondola system into place. Workers from the Doppelmayr ski-lift company scurried to bolt the tower to its base on the hardscrabble slope of Moose Mountain.

Within another minute, the cable swung loose, and the Sikorsky was off for another load — this one the wheel assembly to perch on top of the tower…

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