Sugarloaf Chairlift Derails — 8 Injured

Chief Snow Junkie December 29, 2010 3

It’s a chilling experience when a chairlift abruptly comes to a halt. It’s even more chilling when that chair comes right off the lift line. That’s what happened at Sugarloaf, Maine yesterday. According to the Boston Globe:

A rope within the Spillway East chairlift, one of 15 on the mountain, somehow derailed from the lift’s eighth tower about 10:30 a.m. while it was taking skiers up the mountain at near full capacity, Austin said. As the rope loosened, about five chairs slammed on the snow-covered ground, while the rest remained suspended in the air, he said.

Eight people took a drop of twenty-five feet. The good news is that no one was killed. The bad news is that there’s no word on the extent of injuries, but officials said nothing was life-threatening. Everyone else was evacuated off the chairlift.

I’ve been on some sketchy old lifts in my time and I once spent 90 minutes on an old chair at Sugarbush North, but I’ve never had any major issues. I’m sure the news cycle is going to run this story to the hilt over the next few days and whip up a frenzy of fear without reporting on the ski lift safety record on the whole.

Should I be more worried? Comment below.

via The Boston Globe


  1. Alley December 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm -

    I have nightmares about this. We should all have a plan in case this unfortunate occurrence happens again. My plan is to burn one before loading old rickety lifts.

  2. Chief Snow Junkie January 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm -

    Just rickety old lifts?

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