Last Wednesday two 17-year-old snowboarders were riding a chairlift at Red Lodge ski resort when the chair they were riding detached from the ski lift cable. The two kids from Billings, Montana fell 30 feet when the chair detached and were both injured. Their injuries were reported by ski resort officials not to be life threatening.
The lift reopened 2 days later after a safety inspection by the Forest Service and a private engineer. The inspection’s findings are still under investigation although it’s suspected that high winds played a large part in the chair’s release from the cable.
“Wind is always a concern. We monitor it very closely, especially in regard to our lift operations. We were monitoring wind throughout the day, and I would say at mid-mountain, where this lift operates, our wind conditions were moderate. With the conditions we were seeing, we thought it was not a problem.” – Jeff Carroll, resort spokesmen tells the LA Times
Two days before this incident, a chairlift at Montana Snowbowl fell off the cable in the loading zone. No one was hurt in that accident.
Kinda scary these things can just fall off…
Has anyone ever heard of this happening?
Does this happen often?