a cable car would reduce access

If a cable car, with all its manifold negative impacts, could not provide better access to the mountain than the existing roadway and tracks, its case would collapse; and so the Mount Wellington Cableway Company boasts that a cableway would offer the ultimate access: "all-year and in all-weather". Would it? 

A cable car is the only sensible and secure way to reach the pinnacle in all weather. Our cableway will offer all-weather, all-season access to our mountain.
— Mount Wellington Cableway Company
A cable car is not un-stopable or all-weather. It cannot reach the pinnacle in high winds, icy weather or at night.
— Mountain Preservation Society

If the mountain were the Louvre Museum, the MWCC proposal would be for a glass tunnel with a ticket box at one end and the Mona Lisa at the other.

How many places on the mountain would a cable-car access? The more the better, surely, but the answer is one. The cable car would be nothing more than a shuttle service between the foothills and the Pinnacle.

Would the cable car provide 24-hour a day access? No.

How many hours a day would a cable-car provide access? The answer is: only the hours when it is profitable to do so. The cableway provides access only during business hours.

Are there any days the cable car would be unable to provide access? Answer: At least 16 days—if the MWCC's figures on maintenance and wind are accurate. And there is evidence that the MWCC has minimised the wind and maintenance disruption times.

How much will this cable car access cost? Somewhere between $50 and $90 per person.

Compare these answers on cable car access to the roadway. The Pinnacle Road has infinite stop-offs, it is open night and day, is almost never (fully) closed for maintenance, is closed by snow or ice for less than 16 days per annum and costs about $4 in fuel for four people in a standard sedan.

No cableway could offer better access to the entire Mountain than the roadway.

The cableway company points to weekends and public holidays when the sun is gleaming gloriously onto a big dump of fresh snow—and the road is either closed temporarily or all day. Queues mount, parking is limited, disappointment is high. Any and every delay is frustrating to the impatient. Denying access, notwithstanding the safety, is a significant issue on any day. On perfect days, it is worse, but denial of access is not uncommon in many venues. Capacity is capacity. But how often does this occur? A handful of times a year.

Fortunately, the mountain is never fully closed. The tracks are always open.

In short, there may be arguments for a cableway but "all seasons, all-weather access" is not one of them.

closing The Pinnacle Road

The only way the cableway could provide better access would be if the road were to be closed, but no one is going down that road, are they? The MWCC is a major critic of the Pinnacle Road itself, claiming that it is worn out, dangerous and requires improvements that would cost millions. That, too, is misinformed, but closing the road is not an option.

READ MORE ABOUT: The Pinnacle Road

READ MORE ABOUT: Accessing the Mountain

Shabby Line.jpg

kunanyi WEATHER

is rarely perfect

In MWCC videos, photos and text the mountain’s pinnacle is typically shown as perfectly comfortable: still, dry and warm; or with wispy, misty clouds and fresh snow—an impression crucial to the selling of the journey. Bureau of Metereology records tell a different story.

The mountain is mountainously high, it is exposed and it is the abode of freezing winds, dense clouds, cold rain and fierce gales. The cable car is not about frolicking, it is not about the Mountain, it is about being on top looking down.
— Geoff Law

The summit of kunanyi is Hobart’s wettest place, one of the coldest places in Tasmania (but is infrequently snow-coated), is cloud-covered for 50% of the days of almost every month and holds the record for the highest wind speed in the state.

The cable car is designed to carry passengers high in the air through a gale—whole trees bending below you, flying twigs hitting the cabin, to a place with winds more severe. Why bother? Who will want to go up the Mountain in the freezing cold, stumble about in the fog until blown into an ice puddle?

Listen to a weather forecast for kunyani in palawa kani

Soak in the scenery... Breathe crisp clean air. Skim misty clouds. Frolick in fresh snow.
How sensible or secure is it to suspend yourself a thousand meters above the ground in “all weather” against one of the windiest, wildest flanks of Tasmania?
— Mountain Preservation Society
Freezing cold... but rarely snowy

Freezing cold... but rarely snowy

Ubiquitous Cloud Cover (Click image to enlarge)

Regular Gales  The MWCC website shows a weather widget but it is not the mountain's weather. It is Hobart's weather. The mountain's weather forecast is  here

Regular Gales

The MWCC website shows a weather widget but it is not the mountain's weather. It is Hobart's weather. The mountain's weather forecast is here

Wettest spot in Hobart  A not untypical day at The Pinnacle

Wettest spot in Hobart

A not untypical day at The Pinnacle

READ MORE ABOUT: kunanyi weather