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Skiers stuck on lift at Whitefish Mountain Resort

December 30, 2018

More than 100 skiers were stranded after a lift malfunctioned at Whitefish Mountain Resort on Saturday afternoon.

No injuries were reported.

According to a statement from Whitefish Mountain Resort, at about 12:15 p.m., the East Rim/Chair 5 lift 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 as temperatures hovered in the high teens and winds were measured at 10 miles per hour. The first passenger was on the ground at about 1 p.m. and the last passengers were evacuated by 3:37 p.m.

Ski patrol responded immediately to communicate to passengers and get in position for a possible lift evacuation, according to the resort. Resort officials said the decision was made to evacuate about 140 passengers from the lift because the repair was not expected to be timely.

Ski patrol members brought hand warmers, blankets and warm drinks for those stuck on the lift.

The Chair 5 triple-chair was moved to the East Rim area for the 2017-18 ski season. The lift was originally located near Ptarmigan Bowl and opened for service in 1981.

The East Rim lift serves mostly advanced skier terrain and traverses steep areas with cliffs.

The weekend between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is often the busiest time on the slopes at Big Mountain.

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