About 100 people rescued after lift at Alberta ski hill conks out

About 100 skiers and snowboarders at ski hill near Banff had to rescued from a chairlift that broke down over the weekend.

BANFF — About 100 skiers and snowboarders at ski hill near Banff had to rescued from a chairlift that broke down over the weekend.

Sunshine Village says on its Facebook page the Goat’s Eye ski lift was evacuated on Sunday due to a failure of the main gearbox.

Skiers who were stranded in their seats were lowered to safety using ropes.

Dave Riley, the chief operating officer with Sunshine Village, says there was never any danger to the public because the lift has redundant braking systems.

The ski hill says maintenance crews are working on finding parts and making the necessary repairs, which is expected to take several days.

Ryan Corry and Ben Kilmer figure they waited about an hour-and-a-half for rescue and were starting to get a little cold.

“I had mitts on so I had to take my fingers and ball them up, and then my feet were getting a little cold, too. But I couldn’t really complain — we were stuck in the trees and the weather was great, considering,” Kilmer said.

“I think the people that were higher than us and exposed would have been really, really cold.”

The ski resort said a new oil pump that was installed during a rebuild of the gearbox in the summer failed, causing the gearbox to overheat and other parts to fail.

Riley said the people who were evacuated were free lift passes.

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