Chairlift evacuated after wind breaks communications cable anchor

A broken communications cable anchor on the Stoke chairlift at Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) led to the evacuation of 35 people from the lift on Feb. 12.

A broken communications cable anchor on the Stoke chairlift at Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) led to the evacuation of 35 people from the lift on Feb. 12.

The lift came to a halt just after 3 p.m. when high winds broke a communications cable anchor on one of the towers. The cable, which runs along the tops of the towers, is used to operate the lift. The broken anchor caused the cable to hang down and interfere with the passing chairs.

RMR Director of Mountain Operations Steve Parsons told the Times Review that a technician was soon dispatched to the spot in an attempt to fix the problem. A temporary fix was made, and the chair moved briefly. Parsons said the repair was deemed unsatisfactory and the decision was made to evacuate the stranded riders at 3:40 p.m.

Once the rescue started, it took about an hour to evacuate all 35 people. Parsons said there were no injuries in the operation.

Nelson resident Matt Sumner was halfway up the lift when it stopped. He told the Times Review he waited for about an hour from the time the lift stopped to when rescuers reached him. Sumner said rescuers were well-coordinated and moved quickly. “They had a good system in place,” he said.

Pairs of patrollers climbed the lift towers. They hung a purpose-built chair onto the lift cable with ropes. They went from chair to chair, belaying people down one at a time. Sumner witnessed several teams of rescuers working the along the lift line.

He said the spot where his chair stopped was sheltered by trees, but others weren’t as lucky. “I can’t imagine the people that were up there in that last section. It was windy up there,” Sumner said.

Also stranded on a chair were Sydney, Australia residents Hamish and Lauren Kennedy, who came to ski in Revelstoke as part of their honeymoon. A patroller first skied below them and told them what was happening. Rescuers came sometime later. The pair had rosy noses and cheeks from their over hour-long stay atop the lift, but were otherwise fine. They were also happy with the efforts of their rescuers. “They were really fantastic,” Lauren said. “The ski patrol was great.”

Correction

An earlier version of this story stated that the communications cable had been cut. In fact, the communications cable anchor failed on one tower, causing the wire to hang down and interfere with the passing chairs.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Paddling through life

Pehowich is a mother, business owner, basketball coach and paddleboarder

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents in Revelstoke

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Okanagan family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

‘Always look on the sunny side,’ Okanagan senior says

Heaton Place resident shares story of growing up in Roaring Twenties

COVID-19: ‘Think before you click,’ north Okanagan city says

City of Armstrong urges residents stay safe online as phone, email scams on rise amid pandemic

North Okanagan district discourages campfires amid COVID-19

Campfire ban in effect for RDCO but not for neighbour district in the north

Vernon Superstore sees long lineups amid COVID-19

Long lineups Saturday evidence customers following social-distancing protocols

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Most Read