140 people evacuated from chairlift at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
On Saturday a Montana Ski Resort representative said that 140 people had to be evacuated from a chairlift due to a mechanical problem that made the operators to stop the lift.
It took 2 ½ hours to remove all people from Chair 5 in Whitefish Mountain Resort on Saturday. The officials decided to evacuate the passengers because it would take time to repair the chairlift. Some of the passengers were lowered from the lift with cables and harnesses. Temperatures were in the high teens and the winds were of about 10 mph (16 km/hour) at the moment.
The following is a statement from the resort:
“At approximately 12:15 p.m., the East Rim/Chair 5 lift at Whitefish Mountain Resort was stopped due to an issue will the chairlift’s bullwheel liner. Lift Maintenance teams responded immediately to repair the lift and get the passengers unloaded. Ski Patrol also responded immediately to communicate to passengers and get in position for a possible lift evacuation. Because the repair was not expected to be timely and for the comfort and safety of our guests we decided to evacuate the lift. There were approximately 140 passengers on the lift at the time. Ski patrol teams began the process of getting the passengers safely to the ground at approximately 1:00 p.m. We were in constant communication with the passengers and kept them informed on the issues and evacuation process. We brought hand warmers, blankets and warm drinks. At the time of the incident, temperatures were in the high teens winds were at 10 miles per hour with occasional gusts. The last passenger was evacuated at 3:37 p.m. and there were no injuries.”
Ski patrol routinely practice how to evacuate people from lifts, and it is a good thing that this happen for eventualities like this one.
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Featured Image: Whitefish – Basin Inversion. Photo: Whitefish Mountain Resort. Whitefish Mountain Resort got 140 people evacuated from chairlift.