Believe it or not a pair of marsupials managed to take The Remarkables Ski Area offline for full day after climbing a power pole without a protective band, shorting out 2 wires. Otago Daily Times reports the possums did not survive.
The power outage happened at 6:45pm on a Monday but a snowstorm prevented staff from finding its source. Ski area manager Ross Lawrence said the overhead power lines running up the mountain were inspected from a helicopter at dawn the following day. It only took 10 minutes to find the fried possums and they put two and two together.
The actual repairs only took 90 minutes but the location was remote and getting their was time consuming. Ross Lawrence decided to close the ski resort for day as staff were unable to clean the base building, food and beverage operations were disrupted and snowmaking had been impossible.
While this sounds quite improbable, it is not the first time possums have interfered with The Remarkables operations. In 2007, a fire engulfed an area of mountainside near the skifield in the Rastus Burn recreation reserve. Fire investigators determined the cause of the 2007 fire was a possum catching alight as it ran across a power line, then falling to the ground and setting fire to dry tussock.
Here are today’s conditions at The Remarkables: