Wind Blamed for Occupied Chair Falling in Australia

A lone skier was only slightly injured when the quad chair he was riding detached and fell some thirty feet near the top terminal of the Gunbarrel Express at Thredbo earlier today.  In a statement, the resort says the incident was isolated to one chair and the result of high winds.  According to the Canberra Times, the region recorded a maximum gust of nearly 70 miles per hour Monday.

Gunbarrel is a 1988 Doppelmayr detachable quad with DS grips.  The lift traverses more than 5,500 feet of intermediate and advanced terrain with a capacity of 2,800 skiers per hour.

It’s already Tuesday in Australia and Gunbarrel remains on standby while other lifts are currently open.

16 thoughts on “Wind Blamed for Occupied Chair Falling in Australia

  1. Paul Mathews July 22, 2019 / 8:14 pm

    Hi Peter,

    You do a great job with your blog covering areas all over the world where Ecosign works.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. transportnsw July 22, 2019 / 8:27 pm

    To think I was on the Gunbarrel Express numerous times over the weekend in high winds. Absolutely terrifying!


    • AvocadoAndy July 22, 2019 / 11:41 pm

      It looks like they were aware of the fact they were building a lift in a pretty windy area given the slatted seats, though with this having happened twice now it doesn’t seem like this lift is quite cutting it. They’ve lucked out in that neither of these incidents have caused any fatal accidents. That’s either irresponsible of them to operate in such conditions or they need to install something a bit more capable of handing wind.


      • Nick12 July 23, 2019 / 12:25 am

        This is the most protected detachable quad at the resort. The Kosciusko express and the Cruiser are both far more exposed and go on wind hold more often. Thredbo has a backlog of required lift upgrades.


    • Anonymous July 23, 2019 / 12:06 am

      Hey, this is my ski resort that I go to every year and I can confirm that this was the same lift. It’s scary that I was riding on this lift only three days ago! As a bit of background, Australia is incredibly windy and all of our chairs often go on wind hold. As this is the second time this has happened and this lift is chain driven as well as it not having high enough capacity, I think this will likely become a gondola in a few years after they build their merits gondola this summer. Wind isn’t as big of an issue on this lift so I think a gondola will be fine. If there are any questions, feel free to throw them my way!


      • Nick12 July 23, 2019 / 12:22 am

        GB will never be a Gondola. They are more susceptible to wind, it could become a 6 pack in the near future though.


        • Anonymous July 23, 2019 / 4:46 am

          True, though the wind I think wouldn’t be that bad to put it on hold often. Nor do I think that wind was the cause, I think it’s just Event being cheap and not doing proper maintenance. A chair previously fell off in a sheltered space. Tbh I’m just greatful that it was there of all places. This lift crosses over two other chairs (in relatively sheltered areas) which would’ve been much worse to fall off at…


        • powderforever July 23, 2019 / 8:18 am

          Low capacity 8 pack so it could run in higher winds?


        • Anonymous July 24, 2019 / 5:54 am

          Or high capacity. Thredbo’s queues particularly on this lift are ridiculous. I’ve been in plenty 45 minute queues on weekends at all of their high speed lifts and this lift anyway has a capacity closer to the typical 6pack than quad


  3. Brendan July 22, 2019 / 11:27 pm

    Any suggestions on what to do in this scenario? Seems the weight of the grip mechanism would flip you face down pretty quick!


  4. Chaos215bar2 July 23, 2019 / 9:08 am

    Yup, all the wind’s fault. Move along; nothing to see here.


  5. Harold Truman July 23, 2019 / 3:05 pm

    T-Bar, J-Bar, original Pomalift. There-you-go.
    Running any lift in a 70 mph wind is ridiculous.
    Skiing in a 70 mph wind is ridiculous. Just visibility factors make it unfeasable…
    Unless death and/or serious injury is acceptable.


  6. Al July 23, 2019 / 8:50 pm

    Is it a D104 Grip?


  7. COMtn July 24, 2019 / 8:28 am

    I’m not believing that wind caused this carrier to drop. There are many other installations with this same style grip that endure winds over 70 MPH. And this has happened before.

    Did the carrier contact the sheave assembly or cable catcher? When was the grip last overhauled? I’d be looking into the failure of the grip more than the wind……


  8. Lindz August 16, 2019 / 8:59 pm

    Thredbo urgently needs the Ramshead lift to be replaced with a detachable high speed quad in an effort to provide more lift capacity at peak times. The protected gully route that Ramshead lift takes means it can operate in high wind conditions, thereby easing the imperitive to operate less protected lifts in the same conditions.


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