125 guests were stranded for up to three hours on the Pioneer Express at Winter Park Resort, CO on Sunday after the chair stopped due to a “mechanical component issue”. All lift passengers were successfully rescued and no injuries were reported.
Ski patrol had to perform a rope evacuation to lower guests to solid ground. The weather on Sunday was cloudy, with temperatures in the teens, and wind gusts up to 33-mph.
“Our Ski Patrol is highly trained in mountain and lift safety, including manual lift evacuation. All affected guests were safely evacuated and provided with a voucher to make up for their experience, which has instructions on how to redeem.”
– Jen Miller with Winter Park told FOX31
One man shared his experience on Reddit:
“My [significant other] and I got caught on this lift for 3 hours. The sun was not out, and we both started shivering. Lost feeling in our feet. It was miserable. After an hour, ski patrol comes over to yell at each chair that ‘rescue is coming and compensation will be provided. When we got lowered off, they gave us each a $5 voucher for Winter Park food. They said they couldn’t do anything more since we are Ikon pass holders. We are both extremely frustrated at Winter Park.”
A video also shared on Reddit shows ski patrollers using ropes to lower people from chairlifts and shimmying across the cables that connect each chair.
The lift remained closed yesterday while maintenance teams worked to repair the issue.