December 28, 2010
At Sugarloaf Ski Area in Maine, a chairlift derailed today, injuring several skiers. Sugarloaf Ski Patrol evacuated the riders from the disabled lift.
Here on Mt. Hood, the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol trains all its patrollers, every year, in lift evacuation methods. Taking turns, patrollers are evacuated from a lift, and then practice evacuating other patrollers. As a result patrollers know both how to perform an evacuation, and what it feels like to be rescued.
In the event of a lift malfunction, the patrol is prepared to lower all chairlift passengers by means of a rescue chair suspended from a belay rope. The process can take some time to complete, so we remind skiers and boarders to always dress for the weather.
The Mt. Hood Ski Patrol is a non-profit, volunteer organization. None of our patrollers are paid for their hard work nor are they reimbursed for their expenses. Our patrollers spend countless hours of their free time patrolling Mt. Hood's slopes and keeping up to date on some of the best medical training available.