Aosta Valley, Italy- Last week, a viral video showed bubble chairs at Cervinia swinging due to heavy winds. One of the jarring facts about this situation was that people were riding on the bubble chairlift at the time of the incident.

New Zealand skier Stephanie Burt described her experience on the chairlift to the Daily Mail. In the article, she described what it was like to see one person fall off the Cretaz chairlift :

“His screams were harrowing. It sounded like he was falling to his death. The fear of God was put into me in that lift. It was the most frightening experience of my life.”

The entire ordeal lasted around forty minutes. Five minutes into the ride up the ski resort, the lift stopped due to the wind speed exceeding what it could handle. In the following minutes, chaos ensued as winds between 60-70 mph viciously swung the chairs. Stephanie’s chair was among the most affected, as they barely hung on for dear life. The bubble that originally enclosed them opened, leading to one skier falling. Twenty minutes into the incident, lift maintenance crewmembers climbed the lift tower to fix the sensor, which needed to be repaired before restarting the lift. When Stephanie made it to the summit, she fell to her knees in relief after safely making it to the unloading ramp of the top terminal. Only one skier fell and suffered injuries, but many more riders were traumatized.

She tried to meet with the ski resort leaders at the base area, but employees said that wasn’t possible. While the employees did apologize for her traumatic experience, Stephanie believed this wasn’t good enough under these circumstances:

They’re wiping their hands of it and I don’t feel there’s any safety protocols in place whatsoever… We spent 40 minutes holding on for our lives, listening to and there’s been no communication, and nobody has checked if we’re doing okay. We were traumatised. I was in shock. And they think that our lives were not at risk. It’s insane.”

Image/Video Credits: @marco_malcangi (Featured & Header Image), @MrCrabtreePE,

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