January 4, 2011

Sugarloaf plans to repair troubled chair lift

The Associated Press

CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The 35-year-old Sugarloaf ski lift that derailed and fell to the ground last week, injuring eight people, remains shut down, but the resort hopes to get it up and running this season, a spokesman said today.

There's no specific timetable for restoring service on the East Spillway chair lift, one of four lifts used to take skiers to the mountain's higher elevation. But replacement parts have been ordered in anticipation of repairs and the goal is to restart the lift this winter, spokesman Ethan Austin said.

East Spillway was damaged when a cable left its track, causing five chairs to plunge 25 to 30 feet to a ski trail below. Eight skiers were taken to hospitals on Dec. 28. All have since been released.

Sugarloaf said last week that a misaligned cable was to blame and that winds gusting up to 50 mph were a contributing factor in the accident. Workers tried unsuccessfully to make adjustments to the cable and were attempting to restart the lift at a slow speed to offload skiers when the cable jumped its track, the resort said.

The ski resort had planned to replace the East Spillway lift, possibly as early as this summer. But Austin said today that he couldn't comment on a timetable for building a replacement.

The Maine Board of Elevator and Tramway Safety, which is conducting an investigation into the accident, would have to sign off on any repairs to the existing lift, Austin said.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)