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"Cable cars failure traps dozens over French Alps"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thread title is direct quote from the BBC's headline:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37314026

Anyone know if this is one of Chamonix's major ski lifts? Certainly looks like it could be!

According to this, the failure was caused by high winds (http://dailymail.n24.bplaced.com/news/45-tourists-spend-the-night-trapped-in-cablecars-above-the-french-alps-after-high-winds-cause-mechanical-failure-and-rescue-bid-by-helicopters-is-called-off). The remaining 45 (out of the 110 on the lift) who couldn't be rescued during the day are currently spending the night in the cable cars, which I'd imagine isn't much fun, particularly if the high winds continue eek.gif, not to mention the cold....
Edited by chemist - 9/8/16 at 5:50pm
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
Note to mod: Not sure if this should be here, Skiing News, or International Zone. Feel free to move as desired.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post

Note to mod: Not sure if this should be here, Skiing News, or International Zone. Feel free to move as desired.

Well, since you suggested it, moved to International Zone. Although Skiing News would be fine too. The Resorts sub-forum tends to be more directly related to trip planning. smile.gif
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post

Thread title is direct quote from the BBC's headline:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37314026

Anyone know if this is one of Chamonix's major ski lifts? Certainly looks like it could be!

According to this, the failure was caused by high winds (http://dailymail.n24.bplaced.com/news/45-tourists-spend-the-night-trapped-in-cablecars-above-the-french-alps-after-high-winds-cause-mechanical-failure-and-rescue-bid-by-helicopters-is-called-off). The remaining 45 (out of the 110 on the lift) who couldn't be rescued during the day are currently spending the night in the cable cars, which I'd imagine isn't much fun, particularly if the high winds continue eek.gif, not to mention the cold....

Wow! That's going to make some tourists think twice before they decide to take a gondola when it's windy.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post

are currently spending the night in the cable cars, which I'd imagine isn't much fun, particularly if the high winds continue eek.gif, not to mention the cold....

High winds....cold... AND a lack of bathroom facilities... eek.gif
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post

High winds....cold... AND a lack of bathroom facilities... eek.gif

Yeah, I was thinking that too!
post #7 of 10
I can't imagine being trapped in a gondola all night...this is the stuff of nightmares.
post #8 of 10
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Big Sky's version of night skiing?

And it must be entertaining for the snowcat guys to have avy control done above the slopes they're grooming.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Everyone's been rescued: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3780362/100-tourists-trapped-cable-cars-French-Alps-high-winds-cause-mechanical-failure.html

They pulled out an additional dozen before midnight, leaving 33 to spend the night, including some families with children. It was warm during the day, so many of the tourists only had light jackets, making for a very cold night when it went down to -10C (14F); plus the wind started to pick up again about 3 am. Apparently these cars have survival blankets under the seats (I'll need to ask if Mammoth's cars have them next time I'm there!), so experienced guides stuck in one car were able to signal a family in another how to access them; but it sounds like those in other cars didn't know about them.

The lift is the "Panoramic Mount Blanc cable car", which is not used by winter skiers, as it only runs from June to September. It was opened in 1958 and connects two peaks, the Aiguille du Midi in France and the Helbronner in Italy, passing over the Vallée Blanche glacier and the Glacier du Géant. According to the article, "There are 12 groups of three cabins which seat four people each. They are pulled by a haulage rope of 10,200 metres in a single loop. Although the cables sag by some 255 m, the cabins still have a clearance of some 300 m to the glacier underneath."
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