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50 evacuated from lift

Aspen Times Staff Report

High winds at Snowmass ski area forced the evacuation of approximately 50 skiers and boarders from the Burlingame two-person chairlift Saturday afternoon.

Gusting winds blew an unoccupied chair into the bull wheel at the top of the lift, halting the ski lift’s operation, said Rose Abello, director of communications for the Aspen Skiing Co.

Snowmass ski patrollers chose to evacuate everyone from the lift using a rope and belay system, rather than trying to fix the problem right away and get the lift running again, Abello said.

No one was injured in the evacuation process.

“Within an hour and 10 minutes everybody was off the line,” she said. Normally, a ride on the Burlingame lift takes about 11 minutes.

Inconvenienced skiers and riders were compensated for their time with a couple of days of free skiing, Abello said.

The problem was fixed before the end of the day; the Burlingame lift was up and running Sunday.


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