Twelve skiers were stuck and had to rappel to the ground after two chairs collided at Mt. Hutt ski field in New Zealand this morning.
The incident occurred first thing in the morning at about 8:30 am when two fully loaded six-person chairs ascended too close to one another. The skiers were stuck for more than 40-minutes before being lowered 12-15 feet using an evacuation pod and a rope.
“We’re not 100 percent sure why it happened but what’s important now is that it’s all sorted and we’re back up and running.”
– James McKenzie
Mt. Hutt ski area manager James McKenzie said there were a few reasons why the incident may have occurred, such as ice causing one chair to move slower than the others, or guests pulling on the chair in front of them, but that it was a ‘pretty common’ incident for the ski field.
Mount Hutt (Māori: Opuke) rises to the west of the Canterbury Plains in the South Island of New Zealand, above the braided upper reaches of the Rakaia River, and 50-miles west of Christchurch. Its summit is 7,185-feet above sea level.