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Danger @ Park City

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Whats up with this? http://www.kutv.com/topstories/local...344150443.html
Hope the fools @ the top of the hill running the lift got promoted to cleaning restrooms. Thank God the young lad is fine.
post #2 of 25
To prevent that sort of thing isn't a matter of training but equipment. I have seen lots of cases where there is a trip rope just below the chair as it starts down hill. If anyone is still on the chair when it rounds the bullwheel their feet or skis will snag the rope which automatically stops the lift. Instead of blaming the lifties why not blame the area management for not installing a fool proof system to prevent people going around unintentionally.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
What is the job description for the lifties at the top of the Hill? (their were 2 in the shack) Lets see, the ones @ the bottom of the hill help you get on the lift, the ones at the top help see that you get off the chair. Or is this wrong?
Next question what does a lifeguard get paid for @ a pool?
If you worked for me & this happened you would be kicking Road Apples!
post #4 of 25
We don't know what was going on at the time. The lifties may have been distracted helping someone else or clearing the unloading area. I know on some lifts working the top is known as "crane duty" because you spend the hole time picking up beginners off the snow and getting them out of the way before the next load arrived. These lifties couldn't watch every chair all the time and were often more than 10 paces away from the stop button. And even if they did see this kid they may have thought he was intentionally going around.

Also who was looking after the kid? It said he called his parents from the patrol room? Did they leave him to ski alone?

There are way too many factors we don't know about in this case to pass judgement. But I still think a trip rope is an idiot proof way of preventing this.

Just remember to tie up all loose tags from clothing and packs when riding lifts.
post #5 of 25
i saw this video on the news last night. the kid's backpack got hooked to the side of the chairlift. the chair went around the unloading zone and started heading back down the hill. he fell out and the straps of his backpack caught him by the neck and he dangled like condemned man at the gallows. kid said he couldn't breath and came close to blacking out, after about 20 secs he managed to unsnap his helmet, it popped off and that let the backpack strap slip over his head and he fell free, about a 30 foot drop, apparently survived fall to snow below w/o getting too badly hurt. i guess helmets help more than hurt, but in this situation the presence of the helmet contributed to the snagging mishap and almost cost him his life. it happend at park city, i believe. sounded like his pop was starting to get visions of sugar plums over potential for a lawsuit.
post #6 of 25
wow... That's a crazy one..

The weirdest one I saw was at Mt. Farlange, in Northern New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada.. I was racing at the time and a kid on the chair in front of me was wearing one of those obnoxious cow pattern downhill suits from Louis Garneau.. Anyway he had the arms of his downhill suit hanging down, and when he went to get off the lift, the suit snagged on the foot rest, dragged him around the bull wheel and left him hanging in the air about 20 ft off the ground from his downhill suit. For the life of me I can't remember how he got down, but I'm pretty sure the lifty and ski patrol got him down somehow..

post #7 of 25
Shite happens, I guess. kiwiski its not at all unusual for 12 and youger skiers to be skiing alone. Could happen to anyone, sounds like the kid deserves props for having the heads up to kick off his skis and free himself. Not sure why there isn't a trip rod, but perhpas they don't have those on the high-speed quads, figuring they go around slowly enough to have the lifties stop in time. One more reason to always check your straps for being stuck before getting off the lift...personally I always lean forward and give a little wiggle to make sure I'm clear. Definetly a moment of panic when yo find you can't move.
post #8 of 25
I can't speak to this incident, but the lift operators are absolutely responsible for the safety of the people getting off of the lift. The worst I've seen is at Mt. Baker where I have frequently observed top of the hill operators reading books and once one was playing the guitar. Ride the chair at your own risk (I do). Don't mess up.

At Whistler and Stevens Pass you will never get off of a lift without someone watching you like a hawk. My brother was on the ski patrol at Stevens and he said it was an insurance thing that the area operators are very aware of. Don't know what the deal at Baker is.
post #9 of 25
The classic case is getting a T-bar hooked under a jacket and dragging the person up the hill. Which is why there are the trip ropes above the unloading area, to ensure that nobody gets dragged around the bullwheel. It is a good system because it does not need and human intervention.

As easy as it is to find a scapegoat in the lifties, they really do have a terrible job, watching people unloading every ten seconds for hours on end would send me insane.
post #10 of 25
As you can well imagine there has been a lot of talk about this around town. There is going to be an investigation by PCMR plus the summit county sheriffs Dept. and maybe even by the state of Utah. There is a trip switch to stop the lift if someone does not unload. Since the kid was on the vary outside of the chair he may have been dragged and swung wide of the trip wire. . The young man stated as he and his friends were aproaching the top both lifties were in the shack talking and laughing not paying attention to people unloading. His friends that he was skiing with had to bang on the door to get thier attention and get the lift stopped. Niether of the two lifties had been on the job vary long. Both were new and only had a week or so to learn. The boys father is still not sure if he will sue or not. He did state the resort has been very helpful and treating them with respect. Like everyone else I'm glad that the young man is fine. By the way he said he will be skiing again today Sat.
post #11 of 25
As a former PCMR employee, I can say that the lifties don't do a whole lot at the top of lifts. Mostly they're in a day-dream haze in the shack.

That sucks about the kid in this situation. Definitely a publicity problem for PCMR at this point...
post #12 of 25
I expect lifties at the top to be paying attention, after all that is (most) of the reason they are there. Lifties at my home resort seem quite attentive, they'll give a little wave or nod, e.g. they seem to be paying attention. Sounds like a severe training issue to me.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Vertical
Whats up with this? www.kutv.com/topstories/local_story_344150443.html
Hope the fools @ the top of the hill running the lift got promoted to cleaning restrooms. Thank God the young lad is fine.
So the kid is absolved of all responsibility for his own idiotic actions?

Every lift I have ever ridden at a resort like PC has a sign that says: "No loose clothing, hair, etc." Often, they specifically mention backpacks.

Dumbass kid disobeys sign, has scary moment.....his fault. Not the lifties'. The kid can obviously speak English. Chances are he can read it as well. Next time perhaps he'll pay closer attention.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pheft
I can't speak to this incident, but the lift operators are absolutely responsible for the safety of the people getting off of the lift. The worst I've seen is at Mt. Baker where I have frequently observed top of the hill operators reading books and once one was playing the guitar. Ride the chair at your own risk (I do). Don't mess up.
They are absolutely responsible for your safety? You take no responsibility for your own actions?

If you get on a lift ripping drunk, it ain't the lifties fault when you fall off.
-Garrett
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
You New Yorkers sure know how to tell it like its! The kid was 12 years old! From the pictures it look like anybody could have prevented the boy from getting stuck if they WERE DOING THEIR JOB!
post #15 of 25
If you get on a lift ripping drunk, it ain't the lifties fault when you fall off.
-Garrett
Here in America, and even conservative Utah, if you, or a bartender, or a host get you ripping drunk and you fall off, land on someone and kill them, the bartender get's sued.

:
post #16 of 25
As a former Lift Forman at a famed Utah resort,
I must say, what happened at PCMR was/is probly my worst nightmare.
My former employer, stresses to all thier lift operators, to watch every single chair load/unload, be ready for the unexpected, hit that stop button, if you see a problem. Never try to second guess, cause problems will happen.
Well the operators at PCMR are most likely in a world of unemployment, if it is found out to be true that they weren't paying attention to what was going on. At least one of them should of been outside at the controls , watching every chair come into the terminal to unload.
If one of them had been doing just that, most likely this post wouldn't of been created.
So maybe in the future, if any one sees a lift operator not being on the 'ready' feel free to contact the resort/ lift operations management.
And remeber , you should remover your backpack before loading, so the same situaion doesn't happen to you.

By the way hows the skiing?
post #17 of 25
Skiing has been pretty good TR, haven't made it over to DV yet but will soon. i think i saw those two lifties applying for jobs at DV
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab
If you get on a lift ripping drunk, it ain't the lifties fault when you fall off.
-Garrett
Here in America, and even conservative Utah, if you, or a bartender, or a host get you ripping drunk and you fall off, land on someone and kill them, the bartender get's sued.

:
The bartender isn't the liftie. Your point?

Quote:
You New Yorkers sure know how to tell it like its! The kid was 12 years old! From the pictures it look like anybody could have prevented the boy from getting stuck if they WERE DOING THEIR JOB!
Most 12 year olds I know are perfectly capable of reading the "no loose clothing" sign. To claim that the "poor kid" has no responsibility in this situation is ridiculous.

Perhaps parents should teach their childredn to read and obey warning signs.

Look at it this way:
-Its abundantly clear the kid didn't obey a prominent sign.
-Its unknown whether the lifties were doing their job as they should have been.

I'd bet the lifties have some fault in this, but I know the kid does.
-Garrett
post #19 of 25
The lifties have some fault? They have a lot of fault in this they were not doing thier job. They are paid to watch the lift and make sure that people exsit the lift safely. If someone falls while exiting, they The lifties, should be there to assit the person who falls,and to stop the lift when needed. People fall get clothing stuck, drop poles ,skis, and do all maner of of unsafe moves when rideing lifts. Yes the kid has some responsibility in this, after all it was his pack that got caught on the chair. Yet if the bone heads working the lift on top had stopped the lift on time, like they are suppose to do. This would have not been a story. The kids friends, had to pound on the lift house door to get the lifties attention! That is not the way to do your job. If they had done thier job The lift would have stopped in time the young man would have been assited in freeing his pack and warned by the liftie to take the pack off next time he rides the lift. Instead 5 or 6 chairs go around the bull wheel before The brain dead come to life to do thier job!
post #20 of 25
Video of the incident here. Am I missing something or do many people now ski with video cameras?
post #21 of 25
Instead 5 or 6 chairs go around the bull wheel before The brain dead come to life to do thier job!


Ya really so sure about that claim? The lift is a high speed chair, the spacing is fairly far apart. It looks to me like maybe 2 chairs went by at most and the lift was shut off before the chair the kid was stuck on left the accelerators and was barely out of the top terminal.

I wasn't there, were you? it looks to me like the lift was shut down a bit slowly... maybe...but not to the point that I would scream incompetence or liability.
post #22 of 25
No I was not there But i did se and hear the interview by the Kid his Father and the Kids friends. Look How far out He is well out from the lift and hanging 30 feet of the ground. The kids friends HAD to bang on the lift house door to get the lifties attention!THAT is incompetence on the part of the lifties. It is thier jog to watch and make sure people get off the lift in a safe manor. Like I said if they had domne thier job this would not be a story.
post #23 of 25
Ya know, I don't want this to be a pissing match so I won't go there. You saw an interview with some shaken and shocked folks who said some things that may or may not be what happened. Neither of us were there, the angle of the video doesn't revel much but 20+ years around lifts tells me that this isn't as clear as you seem to think it is.
post #24 of 25
Utah, I agree, the lifties definitely didn't get things done right. But how do you know that they were trained properly? They were supposedly new. I just find it hard to place blame on an unknown when its very clear that the entire situation could have been prevented by some good ol' fashioned reading.

I get very frustrated with people that don't want to take responsibility for their own stupid actions, and this kid should have learned an important lesson from some of his. Of course, his parents and so on will tell him its not his fault, so he'll go on degrading the level of personal responsibility anyone is willing to accept.
post #25 of 25
Utah49, i'am in total agrement. If the Lifties had been watching the lift, (in which they were hired to do) then they would of saw that the kid was having trouble, and thus stopped the lift and helped him.
It is not the job of a lift operator to sit there inside the lift shack, shooting the *hit with his friends, and not watch the lift. There are stop buttons inside the shack, they cold of been watching the kid come in to the ramp, and still stopped the chair in time.
I for one hope the lifties lost thier job. Major safty violation in my eyes, and hopefully in the eyes of management of PCMR, as well as the Utah Tramway Safty board.
Granted you don't need 8 years of college to run a chair lift,(most resorts only train for a week)but you do need to be responsabile for your actions, when your responsable for the lives of people who are riding your lift, t-bar,rope tow, gondola, tram. It's no differant for the pilot of the plane.
As for looking at the pictures , it only looks like it was two chairs from the end of the termenal. The lift looks like McConkies, and from what i remebr of it, there is a pretty good steep drop, . Thank God the kid landed in soft snow.

Here is what the Park Record wrote about the mishap,

Child plummets from lift
By Jay Hamburger, OF THE RECORD STAFF
A child last week plummeted from a ski lift at Park City Mountain Resort in a mishap the
resort says offers a safety lesson for skiers and snowboarders.
PCMR spokeswoman Krista Rowles-Parry said the 12-year-old was on the resort's McConkey's
lift on Dec. 4 when his backpack became caught on the chair as he was ready to depart at
the top of the lift.
She said that the resort believes that while he was trying to untangle his backpack, he
lifted his legs high enough to clear the lift's stop gate. A stop gate is a safety
mechanism meant to ensure a lift halts if a person has not departed by that point.
Attendants immediately stopped the lift but the chair went through the terminal and started
down by the time the lift halted, Rowles-Parry said.
She said the boy was suspended about 27 feet in the air.

Ski patrollers observed the mishap and two members of the patrol headed to a point
underneath the boy, who kicked off his skis and dropped his poles, Rowles-Parry said. She
said it appeared that the backpack strap was around the boy's neck, which made the incident
more urgent for patrollers.
The patrollers were talking to the boy as they collected a pile of snow underneath him. The
boy then dropped into the pile of snow, she said.
"He was fine," Rowles-Parry said, noting that he was examined at the resort and no injuries
were found.
Rowles-Parry said skiers and snowboarders should check for loose clothing and equipment
while they are on a lift.

The spokes person says the kid may of raised his leg high enough to pass over the stop gate. This could be true. I have seen adults do it,as well as kids cause they believed they were going to 'tripped' out of the chair.
People, leave your feet down, so it will trip the stop gate and shut the chair down.
Still if the operators had been watching the chair come in to the ramp, they could of stopped in time. OPERATOR ERROR.
I hope the locals can keep us updated on this. Would be interesting to see if it goes to court,before it settles.
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