An unusual spat of lift mishaps has struck ski resorts large and small. On Christmas Eve, approximately 150 skiers were stranded on a gondola at Chamrousse ski resort in the French Alps. It took about three hours for all guests to be evacuated from the lift which runs about 80 ft above the ground. Many were rescued by helicopter.
On the same day, a power surge halted a ski lift at Sasquatch Mountain Resort, a British Columbia ski area. A resort spokesman blamed recent ice storms caused the power surge which damaged the lift control panel. Reports of 100 to 120 skiers were stranded for up to three hours on a three-person chair lift.
Then on January 3rd, a severe storm with extraordinary high winds shut down stranded several skiers in cable cars which stopped at the ski resort of Pizol in the Swiss Alps. All were eventually rescued safely.
Just in the past 24 hours, several people had to be rescued from a Silvretta Montafon Resort ski lift, in the Austrian ski resort of Vorarlberg, when Storm Eleanor arrived. The video is widely available, and can be viewed here. A resort spokesman responded to the attention by stating that “The guests were always safe, the safety bars and bubble were always closed.”
Closer to home, Breckenridge Ski Resort closed their lift operations this past Saturday because of winds gusting as high as 98 mph. Eldora Ski Resort experienced gusts of 76 mph, which closed the area on Friday. No stranded guests were reported by either ski area.