What’s it Like to Be Evacuated from a Colorado Chairlift?
For beginners, and even some advanced skiers and snowboarders, riding a chairlift can be a nerve-racking experience. Suspended way above the ground, being pulled by a cable up a mountain, it's reasonable to understand why this would be frightening to some.
To make matters worse, on rare occasions, something goes wrong and chairlifts need to be evacuated. This is an experience shared by few but keep scrolling to learn exactly what it's like.
Being Evacuated from a Colorado Chairlift
You may have heard a story that came out recently involving a group of skiers and snowboarders that had to be evacuated from a chairlift in Crested Butte. It happened on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 at around 1:30 p.m. following a malfunction that caused the chairlift to quit operating.
Luckily, everyone aboard the lift was safely evacuated and no injuries were reported.
So what exactly goes into the process of evacuating a chairlift full of people?
First, a couple of ski patrol members must suit up and head to the stalled lift. A two-man team of evacuators is made up of a belayer and a rescuer. The belayer climbs up one of the chairlift's poles using ropes and pulleys, while the rescuer follows along from the ground.
Once the belayer reaches the chair, he or she climbs onto it, opens the safety bar or lid, then fits each passenger with safety equipment and begins lowering them to the ground.
In the even rarer case that a baby is aboard the chair, ski patrol has a special bag to lower the young child.
The passengers are, in a sense, caught by the rescuer, and once are all safely on the ground, the belayer makes his or her way back to the pole to descend back down.
Take a look at exactly what it's like to be evacuated from a Colorado chairlift: