Investigation under way to determine what caused chair to slide backward on Steamboat Ski Area lift
January 2, 2013
Steamboat Springs — An investigation is under way to determine what caused a chair on a lift at Steamboat Ski Area to lose its grip on the cable and slide backward Monday.
Ski area officials confirmed Wednesday that an incident had occurred with the Priest Creek lift. A Steamboat Today reader provided a news tip about the lift incident earlier Wednesday.
Ski area spokesman Mike Lane wrote in an email that at about 11:50 a.m. Monday near the Priest Creek lift’s lower terminal, a chair slid a short distance on the steel rope but did not strike the chair behind it. The lift was stopped immediately and unloaded, and no one was injured. Lane said that per protocol, the lift has not been used since the incident.
Ski lifts in Colorado are regulated by the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board. Tramway Safety Board spokeswoman Cory Everett-Lozano said Wednesday that the incident was considered a component failure. Anytime that occurs, the incident is supposed to be reported to the board within 24 hours. Everett-Lozano said the ski area reported the incident the same day it occurred.
Everett-Lozano confirmed that the chair did not collide with another chair. She said the chair stopped when it hit a wheel on the nearby tower.
Investigators from the Tramway Safety Board will come to Steamboat to investigate the incident, Everett-Lozano said.
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According to the ski area, the two-person Priest Creek lift first opened in 1972. With the addition of the Sundown Express lift, the Priest Creek lift in recent years has been maintained but only used as a backup and during busy periods.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com