Stranded Above the Slopes: Ski Lift Derails at Sugarloaf Mountain

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Skiers and lift chairs litter the slope after a lift derailed at Sugarloaf Mountain.

Al Noyes / AP

Going down the mountain is supposed to be the more dangerous part, isn’t it?

But around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, stoked skiers couldn’t make it off the Spillway East chairlift after the lift’s cable derailed. CNN reports that five chairs were knocked off the line, most likely by a gust of wind. Six people in the chairs fell more than 25 feet to the snowy ground below.

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Ethan Austin, a Sugarloaf spokesman, told the Associated Press that the accident was “a big deal.” He said all injured riders were transported to hospitals near the Maine resort. None of the injuries is life-threatening, according to the resort. Sugarloaf, located about 100 miles north of Portland, Maine, credits its emergency personnel for the successful rescue.

The chairlift could not be restarted after the derailment, and the estimated 220 people on the lift at the time had to be manually evacuated.  Rescue crews tossed ropes and harnesses to stranded skiers so they could climb down from the lift.

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NewsFeed hopes this won’t ruin their vacations. We bet the lodge at Sugarloaf is prepping tons of hot chocolate for those 220 skiers. (via CNN)