March 4, 2016 / Comments (1)

Yes, You Can Fall of a Chairlift, and Yes, It Would Be Bad

Did you hear about the young child who fell off the lift on Mount Hood Saturday?

I saw the indentations in the snow and heard all about the accident on the race hill, where I was volunteering with course crew.

The child fell just after the final pole of the Stadium lift at Mt. Hood Meadows, as the bar went up for off-loading. It was wet and slippery on the lift, and it happened very quickly. Fortunately she missed the rocks near the top. She could have been hurt badly there. Not that two broken legs is fun, but young bones do heal. Spinal injuries and concussions are the most frightening injuries for children. If she had hit the rocks it would have been terrible.

I am not going to turn this into a news story by including names or other details, but rather point out that riding a chair lift is not necessarily as fool-proof as most mountain regulars assume. When I grew up skiing in New Hampshire lowering the bar was a state law, and after 25 years out West, I still feel more secure with some metal in front of me to hold onto, just in case. Mistakes can happen, with serious consequences. Perhaps you’ve seen the video of the snowboarder who fell off the lift last year at Meadows? I will post it below. That dude is very lucky ski patrol was on the scene and prepared.

This dude was not so lucky:

Be careful out there, people! It is a long ways down, and that wind can blow hard. Please don’t judge those of us who feel safer with the bar down.

Last modified: March 4, 2016

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