Skier falls from Mount Sima chairlift

The ski hill had been experiencing brownouts all day, caused by electrical workers clearing frost from the power lines, said Sima’s general manager, Cindy Chandler.

A skier was injured Monday after he tried to jump from the chairlift at Mount Sima.

The ski hill had been experiencing brownouts all day, caused by electrical workers clearing frost from the power lines, said Sima’s general manager, Cindy Chandler.

Around 1:15 p.m. two brownouts happened nearly back-to-back, she said.

That made the lift’s computers go on the fritz. For 20 minutes technicians tried to get the lift running, to no avail. So staff started evacuating people.

About 30 minutes into the evacuation, a skier decided to “self-evacuate,” Chandler said.

But, as the man dangled from the chair, the lift started to move again.

When ski staff heard that someone was preparing to jump, they stopped the lift, said Chandler.

Shortly afterwards the man fell about six metres on to a snowy, rocky area below the lift.

“It was really bizarre to watch that happen,” said the man’s son, who was riding with him in the chair. “Totally powerless, too. There’s nothing I could have done.

“I held on to his wrists, but I’m not strong enough to hold him. He weighs 180 pounds. I weigh 150.”

The son said that his father may have been able to land safely if the chair hadn’t moved him to a more steep, rocky spot.

He said he was impressed by the way emergency responders handled the situation.

Ski patrol was there right away and the injured man was bundled up and taken off the hill.

He was conscious and talking at the time. Chandler said she doesn’t have any details on his injuries.

“It was not a busy day, fortunately, so the chairs were not fully loaded,” Chandler said.

The chairlift restarted and the rest of the lift was emptied. By then it was near the end of the ski day and things were shut down.

“I’m very proud that everybody followed the protocols. We’ve got the procedures in place and we implemented them very, very well,” Chandler said.

“So everybody responded and pulled together. It was great that way.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com a

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