Mt Hood Meadows was forced to evacuate skiers from chairlift due to a power problem on Wednesday
As per the Oregonian, Mt Hood Meadows had to evacuate lots of skiers off a chairlift Wednesday after a power problem made the resort shut the lift.
Dave Tragethon, spokesman for Meadows said that ‘power fluctuations’ on the resort’s Blue chairlift made them switch to auxiliary power which was not enough to move the occupied lift. They then went to decide that the safest option was to evacuate the lift.
The lift was pretty full, with more than 150 people on board, as per what Tragethon said. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes from the closing of the lift until the last passenger was safely evacuated. No one was hurt, Tragethon said.
In these instances, ski patrol lower stranded skiers to the ground by belaying them or lower them using harnesses and rope. To do so, workers shoot the harness over the chairlift line, climb up the chairlift using its stanchions and watch the skiers putting the harnesses on. Other patrol down below then lowers the skiers to the ground.
This was Meadows first powder day of the season. There were 10 inches of new snow accumulated after two inches of rain fell on Tuesday night.
Mike Benner video KGW – produced by Mike Garcia
Mt Hood Meadows was running Blue instead of Mt Hood Express chairlift on Wednesday morning because of ice accumulation on Mt Hood Express. Mt Hood Express is a high-speed quad lift, as opposed to Blue, that is a slow double.
Tragethon said it was routine for the resort to use auxiliary power during storms in which the workers expect there would be power interruptions. He credited skiers, ski patrollers and Meadows workers for Wednesday’s safe evacuation.
It is a routine in all resorts for patrol to practice safe evacuation from lifts and resorts are always prepared for this eventuality.
Mt. Hood Express opened early Wednesday afternoon and Blue remained closed.
Mt Hood Meadows video of snow prior to opening the season.
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Featured Image: Mt Hood Meadows in Oregon. Mt Hood Meadows forced to evacuate skiers from chairlift due to a power problem.