An employee of the state Olympic Regional Development Authority was injured following a lift malfunction at Whiteface Mountain this week.
ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin says an investigation into the incident is under way. He notes, however, that the malfunction was not caused by wind and the lift line and chairs were not in danger of falling to the ground.
The malfunction occurred on Lift I – the Freeway Lift – on Little Whiteface Mountain at 10:58 a.m. Wednesday. Lundin says 76 people were on the lift when the malfunction happened.
Ted Blazer is president and CEO of ORDA. In a statement released to media outlets Thursday morning, he said one member of the mountain’s ski patrol was injured and is being evaluated.
“Our thoughts are with those affected and we are thankful that there were no serious injuries,” Blazer said.
He also credited ORDA employees for their handling of the incident.
“The Whiteface crew and responders did an outstanding job following procedure and evacuating the lift, ensuring everyone’s safety,” Blazer said.
Ski patrol began skiing the length of the lift line immediately following the malfunction. All skiers were evacuated by 12:45 p.m.
Lundin notes that the ski industry’s standard for lift evacuation is two hours from the time of the incident.
Officials note the Freeway Lift was constructed in 1978 and passed inspection earlier this year. The lift has 121 chairs, 23 towers, and measures 4,100 feet in length. Its vertical rise is just under 1,500 feet.
The lift can carry up to 800 skiers.