Fallen Chair Forces an Evacuation at Montana Snowbowl

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Photo credit: David Erickson via Missoulian

A chair got caught in a terminal guide and fell from the LaValle Creek lift at Montana Snowbowl on New Year’s Day.  The haul rope was damaged enough that dozens of other riders were roped down from the lift.  No one was injured.  The lift remains closed and Snowbowl owner Andy Morris says repairs may take a week or more.

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The station where the incident occurred as seen in 2016.

The 1984 Riblet is the only lift servicing Montana Snowbowl’s 7,560 foot summit.  Riblet lifts do not utilize traditional grips but rather clips that are inserted into the haul rope.  Clips coming loose are rare but not unheard of occurrences.  In 2011, the same lift lost a chair in the loading area.

Lift ticket prices have been reduced as a result of the summit closure.  Snowbowl’s long-awaited Snow Park Expansion may debut before LaValle reopens, giving guests more intermediate options.  The expansion has been under construction for three years and includes a used Riblet double from Snowmass.

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