Tram from Mill Area to Mining Area

There are two ways to get from the mill area up to the mining area:  drive through upwardly-spiraling tunnels, or take the tram.  Driving on the mine property requires special permission and an authorized vehicle - both are very tough to come by.  The tram is the way most workers get to the top and the ride is spectacular.
The tram carries workers up a 700 meter (2,300 feet) high shear cliff to an elevation of about 4200 meters (13,800 feet).  The tram rises quickly, some say quickly enough to cause a phenomenon called TIF due to the rapid change in atmospheric pressure.  Atmospheric pressure is higher at the mill, but as you go up in eleveation, the air is thinner and so the pressure is less.  Gasses tend to move from high pressure environments to lower pressure environments.  TIF (Tram Induced Flatulence) allegedly results from this pressure change. 
The cables disappearing into the mist are the cables from which the tram hangs.  Riding the tram is a sort of leap of faith.  If the tram were to fail, there is no doubt of the result of the fall.  In riding the tram, you resign yourself to the judgement of an unseen tram operator, a bunch of engineers who've all long since moved on to other things, and countless construction workers, many of whom may not have had their minds 100% on their work.  Life's like that, though.  We live in a world in which we depend on others, so there's no use in sweating it!
The view from the top is breath taking, not only because of the elevation and my average physical condition.  These photos were taken in the morning before the clouds started to move in.  I hear that on a clear day, you can see all the way to the ocean. 

The clouds roll in quickly.  Although they obscure the view, they add a wonderful mystique... or maybe it was just the thin air and excitement about working at one of nature's greatest mineral deposits...
Once you're out of the tram, there are a few stairs to the parking area from which busses and trucks can take you to various mining areas (Gasberg, Ertsberg, etc.)  I did my best to keep from huffing and puffing when I saw Spence Titley walking around with no problem (and he's in his 70's, I think!  He is one tough cookie!  That's Spence on the right and Stacie in the yellow rain slicker.  The ambulance was there to evacuate a fellow who had a bad fever from malaria. 

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