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Rider not injured after chair falls from Breckenridge lift on Thursday

breckenridge lift chair fall dec 22 2022_Tommy Jefferies
Posted at 9:35 AM, Dec 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-24 18:50:57-05

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — A rider was not injured after a lift chair fell from its haul rope at Breckenridge on Thursday.

According to Sara Lococo, spokesperson for Breckenridge Ski Resort, the Peak 8 SuperConnect chair dislodged from the haul rope around 10:35 a.m. Thursday as it neared the top terminal. The solo person who was on the chair fell about 13 feet, Lococo said, and ski patrol responded immediately.

The person was not hurt and declined any other care.

Breckenridge lift chair falls, person not hurt

"We place the highest value on the safety of our guests and the Peak 8 SuperConnect will remain closed for the rest of the day," Lococo said Thursday. "We are still actively gathering information and the lift will undergo a full inspection prior to reopening to the public."

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board showed an active license for the lift that was renewed on Nov. 8, 2022 and is good for one year.

The lift began operation in May 2002, according to the safety board.

Lee Rasizer, public information officer with the safety board, said a mechanic was at the top terminal of the SuperConnect Detachable Quad chairlift on Thursday when a strong gust of wind blew through.

"The mechanic immediately stopped the lift but a grip was dislodged from the cable and the chair fell to the snow below near the terminal entryway," Rasizer said. "A single rider fell 23 feet to a steep embankment of soft snow below the terminal and landed on his feet. He was checked by ski patrol and was uninjured."

Regarding the above statement, the resort clarified that the rider fell 13 feet and the place where the haul line and chair disconnected is 23 feet above the ground.

The terminal and cable were inspected and neither were damaged, Rasizer said. The carrier was pulled from service and replaced with a backup.

The lift is expected to reopen on Friday, Rasizer said.

Brynne Goldberg, who was also skiing on Thursday, was riding on the lift behind the chair that fell. She said she remembered a big gust of wind came in just before the chair fell.

"I just remember looking up and the chair in front of me was hanging and dangling and after just a few moments, it fell with the person on it," she said.

Goldberg said the person stayed in the chair for the fall and was still sitting in it when it landed.

"The lift attendants and nearby ski patrollers came over right away and helped him out of the chair and checked him out. He seemed to be OK," Goldberg said.

The person that skied away, she said.

She said she hopes that the skier is alright. She was shaken up watching the fall.

Goldberg said she has skied her whole life and seen chairs blow around and people fall off. It's one of her biggest fears, so seeing it happen right in front of her was difficult, she said.