Chair Detaches from Wildcat Lift

Photo credit: Mic Murphy

A triple chair fell near the base of Wildcat Mountain’s Snowcat lift this afternoon, sending one person to the hospital. The lift involved is a 1974 Riblet servicing beginner trails out of the base area. At 1:30 pm, Wildcat posted that Snowcat would remain closed for the day due to maintenance.

“We can confirm an incident occurred on Jan. 8, 2022 at Wildcat Mountain involving a 22-year-old male,” read an emailed statement from Wildcat’s parent company, Vail Resorts. “The guest was transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital. The incident involved the Snowcat Triple, which is closed until further notice. Guests were safely unloaded off the lift at approximately 1:35pm. This incident is under investigation and we have no further details to share at this time,” Vail continued.

Chairs utilizing Riblet insert clips have fallen on occasion in recent years including last season at Indianhead, Michigan and 49 Degrees North, Washington. Within Vail Resorts, a Riblet triple chair fell from Heavenly’s North Bowl triple in 2016. Approximately 275 Riblet lifts currently operate worldwide, mostly in the United States.


82 thoughts on “Chair Detaches from Wildcat Lift

  1. Vail :( January 8, 2022 / 4:12 pm

    Vail really needs to care about their lift maintenance more. First Stevens pass has a lot of problems, then this happens. Well done Vail 👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin R January 8, 2022 / 5:13 pm

      You obviously don’t have any knowledge in regards to Riblet Lift’s. ???
      These lifts should be required to replace all there grips so that you will always have a required pré established tension on the haul rope
      This incident has nothing to Vail….
      I am AMAZED with the shit they are getting????
      How much are they spending on new lifts this year???


      • V12Tommy January 8, 2022 / 5:29 pm

        It doesn’t matter how many millions they are spending on new lifts. What matters here is if they are properly maintaining the lifts they already have. I know I’ve personally taken one of their vehicles off the road, back when I worked for Fail Resorts, only to see the vehicle back on the road the following day knowing there was no way to fix the issue in that amount of time. Not sure if their lift maintenance is the same, but it wouldn’t surprise me. They almost had a gondola tower collapse at my home mountain of Vail in the summer of 2019. 20 of the 24 bolts were either loose or broken.


      • Dustin Ducklow January 9, 2022 / 1:12 pm

        They deserve all the shit. They keep buying up resorts and jacking up prices to over $160 per ticket. and paying employees just enough to live in a hostel on food stamps. They bought up Afton Alps, the largest in the twin cities Minnesota and did nothing but jack up lift prices and add fancy electronic lift tickets. I’m glad Colorado still has Copper mountain and A- Basin not owned by Vail. Terrible company.


        • bizciff January 10, 2022 / 12:33 pm

          Not to mention they sold 2.1 Million EPIC passes this season, 900,000 more than last season. 2.1 million!!! What a joke!


      • Tramway Guy January 9, 2022 / 2:23 pm

        “ These lifts should be required to replace all there grips so that you will always have a required pré established tension on the haul rope.”

        Sorry, but you have no idea what you are talking about. Been in this business for over 50 years, and I know better than to call them ‘grips’, for one thing. And tension has no part in securing the clip.


    • Donald Reif January 8, 2022 / 5:27 pm

      This could happen to any lift. This just so happened to happen at a Vail Resorts-owned mountain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kirk January 8, 2022 / 6:07 pm

        Totally disagree!!!
        This type of accident is much more common on a Riblet clip than an external grip. This type of accident can be caused by a mechanical problem or failure. But the most common cause is a misload of sorts. A carrier leaving the loading terminal swinging wildly and contacting some part of the structure so hard that the force rips the clip out of the haulrope.
        Maybe the operator didn’t see it or didn’t stop the lift in time, or didn’t have time??

        The fact that the person went to the hospital tells me the carrier contacted the first tower, halo or sheave assembly and fell off.

        So the question is, was the accident operation (misload) or totally mechanical, something out of adjustment, missing or component failure??


        • Donald Reif January 8, 2022 / 6:14 pm

          For that, we need to wait for the investigation to be complete.

          Liked by 2 people

        • SkiBunny January 9, 2022 / 5:20 am

          Completely operational. Lack of adequate training on ops part and not due to any shortcomings from maintenance.

          Liked by 1 person

      • sullivanq January 10, 2022 / 8:11 am

        moreover, it could happen to any Riblet lift anywhere that still has the same clip flaw, whether the lift is on a Vail Resorts mountain or not. Sure, lack of maintenance, incompetent employees, etc may increase the chances of an accident like this but its not like Vail owns the only mountains with incompetent employees and low maintenance. You can’t blame Vail for the flaw on the chairlift design.

        Liked by 1 person

        • SKIID January 10, 2022 / 4:57 pm

          Sure you can blame Vail. Look at places like Mt Spokane that have 5 Riblets, including the oldest one dating back to 1956. I can’t think of a time that they had a chair fall, but then their team really knows Riblets. Their lift ops also seem to know what they are doing.


        • sullivanq January 20, 2022 / 7:32 pm

          @skiid Vail didn’t design Riblet chairlifts, they can’t be blamed for the clip flaw. It’s not like they’ve installed Riblet lifts either (at least that im aware of around new england).

          Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif January 8, 2022 / 5:52 pm

      Obvious person with an axe to grind against Vail Resorts is obvious. The truth is, sometimes things just happen. You can inspect everything thoroughly on a lift and still have an unexpected problem pop up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vail Borg January 8, 2022 / 6:38 pm

        Obvious Vail Bootlicker Obvious

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kirk January 8, 2022 / 6:39 pm

        Amazing you can shrug it off, like it’s no big deal. Carrier laying on the ground and one person in the hospital. This type accident is unacceptable no matter who owns the area. Good luck getting any kind of honest public information on the accident.

        Liked by 2 people

        • VuckFail January 8, 2022 / 11:21 pm

          Donald obviously has a stiffy for vail. He has been defending them on here for a while. Maybe he is on payroll?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Donald Reif January 9, 2022 / 7:57 am

          Vail Resorts doesn’t employ outsiders to comment on their behalf.


        • Bob December 9, 2022 / 10:15 pm

          Yeah, i agree, but it’s not right to go out and blame vail for something that might not be their fault. Vail didn’t install this lift, and I’m sure that vail does take care of their lifts. It would be a REALLY bad look for vail if something fatal happened on one of their lifts, so it’s in their interest to maintain them.


      • Paul C. King January 10, 2022 / 6:44 am

        Do you ski here in the east Donald? The Vail NH mountains are like their ugly stepchildren. The last few years they put nothing into the mountains, broken lifts and snowmaking and lousy grooming. All other areas around here are constantly improving, while Attitash and Wildcat go downhill (no pun intended). Blame the weather? Other nearby and more southern, family owned mountains have way better conditions. it’s bad management and neglect, period.


        • Boris Tabenkin January 10, 2022 / 12:01 pm

          I agree. I was @ Wildcat on Sunday. The lift in question is the beginner lift that is not used by expert skiers. The staff is thin and don’t really help the loading process, they scan your tickets by had so that’s where all the resources are being spent. The mountains are in terrible shape. Attitash has almost nothing open. The main lift was broken all last year. Meanwhile @Loon they have a brand new left (8 person) and is packed. Vail Resorts are doing nothing to improve these 2 properties. I am questioning my commitment to the Epic pass in the future.


        • Boston bob January 10, 2022 / 6:12 pm

          So true I still love a day at wildcat but attitash is an embarrassment and has been on my no ski list for years. They also will guide skiers into parking lots at stowe after a 2 hr wait only to have them full. Disgraceful


        • Bob December 9, 2022 / 10:51 pm

          I’m going to preface this comment by saying that it’s probably going to make a lot of people very angry, but please hear me out.

          If I were Vail, I don’t see much incentive to invest in eastern resorts. For both people inside the US and international, if I’m spending thousands of dollars on a ski vacation, I don’t want to go to the east coast and get triple digit vertical feet on questionable snow. I want to go out west, where a single lift can get you over 2000 VF and ski on the continental divide.

          Then, there’s the fame. Everybody knows names like Vail (mountain, not resorts), Breckenridge, and Keystone. I’m sorry to inform you, but Wildcat and Attitash don’t have the same fame and name recognition as western resorts. If you spent thousands of dollars on a ski vacation, then go back home to England, you want to brag to your friends, and saying “I went to Vail” elicits a much more positive response. I could ask my overseas friends about Vail, and they would know what I was talking about, and the same can’t be said for NE resorts.

          Vail could replace all of the lifts at its NE resorts with brand new D-Line lifts, and it wouldn’t make a difference. The Western resorts will always be Vails first priority. Therefore, they will always want to install fancy new lifts out west, because that is where they are most appreciated. The NE resorts may feel neglected, but if you really think about it, it makes sense, and sadly there’s no way for the NE resorts to be as famous as the western ones.

          I seriously doubt Vail is neglecting their lifts. This accident could have happened to anybody (in fact, its happened to lots of resorts), this time Vail was just unlucky and it happened to them.

          I’m not telling you to like vail – I think that is a valid opinion. It may not be my opinion, but I understand why people would have it. Just please don’t hate on them for a freak accident.


        • Aussierob December 10, 2022 / 9:05 am

          @Bob. Vail replaced 15 lifts out East this year if I counted correctly. Looks to me like they are investing significantly in Eastern skiing.


        • skitheeast December 10, 2022 / 1:38 pm

          The market for eastern skiing is much different than the market for western skiing. About 1 in 6 Americans live between Boston and DC, which is more than the population of any state or the entirety of Canada by a wide margin. For many people, it is easier and more economical to drive rather than fly for a ski vacation, especially if the trip is only for a weekend or a little longer. Even for those who are flying, the east may still make sense over the west. My friends from Florida and the Carolinas all usually fly to Albany, Hartford, or Burlington and drive to the mountains for ski vacations because the flights are shorter, cheaper, more plentiful, and often nonstop, with lodging and lift tickets also usually being a fraction of the cost.

          Traveling out west is typically a bigger ordeal, and this usually brings a more flexible clientele, meaning resorts have to compete on amenities as the difference in cost between going to different resorts is minimal compared to the overall cost of going out west in the first place. For example, I may choose to drive to Okemo over Killington from NYC because it is a 30-minute closer drive, but the same additional 30 minutes in flight time between NYC and Jackson Hole over Denver is minimal compared to the overall time spent going to the airport, waiting at the airport, and going from the airport to the resort. Beyond that, given that these destinations are branded as world-class, people who have money they are dying to spend will flock to the resorts and drop a ton of cash should Vail or any other operator provide a good experience. For these reasons, operators are incentivized to invest more in these resorts as they can provide much higher ROI (i.e. Alterra dumping money into Steamboat, Winter Park, Deer Valley, Palisades Tahoe, and soon Mammoth).

          Eastern resorts can and do make money, but western resorts are better positioned for higher margins. It is no surprise Vail puts more money where they get more back, but they have shown love to the east coast with 15 new lifts this year as mentioned by Aussierob.


        • OttawaSkier December 10, 2022 / 4:49 pm

          @Bob The Eastern market is substantially different from Western ones. A tiny minority – I remember reading something like low single digits – of Eastern Epic pass holders go west, and to Vail it’s not a huge difference in whether you ski at Stowe or at Park City. The Eastern ski areas do make money – that’s why they’re open.

          Mismanaging resorts on purpose doesn’t help your brand. If Vail wants Eastern skiers to visit their resorts in the Rockies, having a solid reputation is key. Pissed off EPIC holders will stop buying that pass, and switch to IKON instead, which would disincentivise those visits that Vail wants to encourage.


    • ne_skier January 20, 2022 / 7:53 pm

      I love an opportunity to trash Vail just as much as the next guy, but this simply isn’t one of those opportunities. The accident was the result of a misload which caused the chair to swing against the first tower and detach.
      What happened is a matter of simple physics. It isn’t Vail’s fault that this accident happened, nor is it really the fault of the Riblet clips either. Less than a month ago a similar accident happened at Magic Mountain where a chair on the light side of its Heron double hit a tower and came off, and I’d challenge you to find many parallels between Magic and Vail in terms of management.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Donald Reif January 21, 2022 / 6:30 am

        Vail Resorts’ massive size means something’s going to go awry at one of their areas during a season and makes them sort of an ideal scapegoat/punching bag.


        • Vail Sucks January 21, 2022 / 8:40 am

          Vail has no one to blame but themselves.

          When you buy up resorts and do the Vail thing it’s a recipe for disaster. Fire all senior and middle management. Promote from within with the Borg with people that are not knowledgeable on running a ski area. The GM at Wildcat is a food and beverage manager. The current GM at Crotched is a head ticket scanner. Last year’s GM at Crotched was also from food and beverage.

          When you replace staples of the community possessing long-term institutional knowledge with outsiders who know nothing about this business it doesn’t end well. Lower end employees jump ship seeing the looming disaster.

          Then comes further cost-savings initiatives: cut all HR and finance departments and route through Broomfield. FFS many job ads have typos and grammatical mistakes, and refer to the wrong mountain.

          Then they refuse to raise wages in line with competitors, stuck at $13/hr for a seasonal business where you are stuck outside when you can make $5/hr more at the local dunks in the resort town.

          Their understaffing was Vail’s problem.

          It is my understanding that there has been a lot of liftie subbing across NH resorts with patrol, ski school, or cafeteria workers manning lifts. I have seen this firsthand. I have seen it across many online boards. It’s also my understanding the person bumping chairs was a sub from food service with limited training. I cannot confirm this rumor, but it’s been posted here and elsewhere.

          So while Riblets have issues occasionally with mis-loads, the lack of staff and lack of training exacerbated the problem, putting it squarely onto Vail.

          On AlpineZone there is scathing report of Vail Ops from a long-time patroller who quit over their BS. Lack of training under Vail, things not getting fixed, etc.

          I honestly cannot figure out what their end game is. They’ve pissed off everyone in the region. Pass sales will plummet next year. Mark my words.

          And again, since others have asked and you’ve refused to answer … why are you so obsessed with defending Vail time and time again?


  2. Jake the snake January 8, 2022 / 6:14 pm

    More bad management.

    These ski areas need to only hire people who have skied their entire life and have degrees to manage their companies instead of giving the jobs to their kids.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Donald Reif January 8, 2022 / 6:30 pm

      Let’s not jump to conclusions. We don’t know the cause yet of the grip failure. For all we know, this is just a case of dumb luck (because sometimes a problem just pops up despite you thoroughly inspecting everything), human error, or whatnot. It might have nothing to do with management.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kirk January 8, 2022 / 6:49 pm

        If I get pulled over by a cop for running a stop sign. I will try that (dumb luck) and see how far I get.
        Give me a break!!!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Bob December 9, 2022 / 10:20 pm

          Well… running a stop sign is a conscious choice. Human error is not.


      • Glenn Wilson January 8, 2022 / 7:16 pm

        I think the lift accident is another wake up call about the lack of experienced operations staff at Wildcat. A couple of staff members at Wildcat had told me they lost many experienced team members and they have struggled to replace even with hiring bonuses for the outdoor operations. They believe the vaccine mandate by Vail is the primary factor.

        As a skier who has called Wildcat his home mountain for over 40 years, I am very disappointed in Vail’s management of Wildcat this year. This isn’t an attempt to bash Vail, but expressing my frustration that Wildcat has completely abandoned the traditional approach to opening the three core trails to provide top to bottom skiing open on Lynx, Catapult, and Polecat. These snowmaking trails are normally open in early to mid December at the latest. The fact that they were the only NH mountain not offering top to bottom skiing during Christmas week is inexcusable with the elevation of Wildcat. These three top to bottom trails should be available with the cold weather that moved in around 12/20. I get not opening the more rugged terrain, but mo excuse for these not to be available as of January 8th.

        I have seen really bad starts to a season due to weather or the infamous pump house failure in 2014, but this is by far the worst start in my history at Wildcat. I skied there once this season and I won’t go back until they get the mountain open. Mount Sunapee is doing great even with the lack of snow. Attitash has issues this year too, but they look like a rock star compared to Wildcats dismal start.

        My thoughts go out to the 22 year old hurt today and hope he makes a full recovery. I am really at a loss to understand what is happening at Wildcat, but I hope this is a wake up call before someone gets seriously hurt or killed.


        • illtaketravelspeed January 9, 2022 / 1:58 am

          I dont think you know what you’re talking about. Attitash looks like a rock star? As for Wildcats closed terrain, it’s been a warm dry winter with zero help from mother nature. I dont care about Vail one way or another but, Wildcat isn’t Vail and the Snowcat chair problem is a Riblet problem that happens regularly across the country including 2yrs ago (before Vail) at Wildcat.
          I know, everyone hates Vail but, Wildcats problems this year aren’t Vails fault. They’re Wildcats &, bad luck with weather.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Donald Reif January 9, 2022 / 7:39 am

          @illtaketravelspeed: Exactly, I think the flak Vail Resorts is getting in the press for other things is making it easier for some people to blame Vail Resorts rather than admit there are certain things that are beyond Vail Resorts’ control.


        • Resolve.Action.Love (@Snowman55403) January 9, 2022 / 7:30 pm

          I’ve been an Epic passholder since 2008, mostly to ride in Summit County, but I live in the Twin Cities. When VR first bought Afton, it seemed fine operationally (I’d ridden Afton for two decades before the sale).
          This year, the painfully slow snowmaking progress and limited lift ops has been obvious. Not opening until 1pm on the weekdays between Christmas and New Years was a clear signal they’re understaffed and not able to make the best customer-focused choices.
          It appears they are advertising to hire at $12.50/hr. That is simply uncompetitive, even if a pass is included.
          Of course we need to wait for the outside investigation to see what the cause of this particular, unfortunate incident is. But it doesn’t have to be dismissed as ‘bashing’ to note that VR is struggling at multiple resorts to staff and operate well.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Drew January 9, 2022 / 11:23 am

        Spoken like someone who works for vail resorts to comment on posts

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fail Resorts January 9, 2022 / 12:59 pm

          Fail Resorts does no wrong in Donald’s eyes. He is constantly defending them on here. Not even sure he is a skier. Seems to just like to post crazy lift upgrade ideas for places he has never visited based on google maps that make no sense with high speeds galore. I think that’s why he likes Fail Resorts. They spend all their money on fancy lifts, don’t maintain them and run places into the ground. Right up his alley from what I have seen. This accident is either a maintenance problem, or a misload due to having undertrained probably former food and beverage staff running the lift who don’t want to be bumping chairs. Either way vails fault. I’m sure after the investigation is out saying just this, we will have radio silence or more defense of Fail Resorts from him.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Donald Reif January 12, 2022 / 11:39 am

          Just because someone is defensive of Vail Resorts doesn’t mean they work for them. Vail Resorts doesn’t employ outsiders to comment on their behalf.


    • Derek wilks January 10, 2022 / 1:18 pm

      Im sorry but skiing your whole life doesn’t make you qualified to be a lift maintenace technician. Also, what lift maintenance degrees would you personally recomend?


  3. pbropetech January 8, 2022 / 8:12 pm

    It’s been established that Riblet clips can pop out of the haul rope.
    It’s also been established that it takes a certain combination of force and load (which aren’t the same thing) for this to happen.
    It was most likely a misload, which could happen at any resort. I’m not a VR apologist but blaming this on their management kind of misses the point.
    Kirk, I’m with you. As a mechanic any incident like this is unacceptable. Our entire livelihood is predicated on keeping this from happening (although we can’t prevent, nor predict, *everything* that could happen). I’ll be interested to read the report on this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Kirk January 8, 2022 / 8:36 pm

      Yeah tough couple of days. Being blown out of the chair with snowmaking water and and a riblet clip coming out and hospitalizing someone.

      Riblet clip sounding more like misload, about a 10′ fall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • pbropetech January 8, 2022 / 8:43 pm

        Tough indeed. I feel for the guys in the incidents that happened.


    • Munier Salem January 8, 2022 / 9:07 pm

      FWIW I have seen more frequent and severe misleads at epic mountains this year. Understaffing and high turnover heightens this “tail risk” by making it statistically more likely to occur. This is (plausibly) the outside cost of understaffing.

      Whatever the case, the WSJ is on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. VailSucks January 8, 2022 / 8:34 pm

    Wildcat is STILL looking for a Lift Maintenance Manager, intermediate lift maintenance techs and advanced lift maintenance techs.

    What a joke of a company Vail is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Somebody January 9, 2022 / 12:09 am

    Vail resorts is having a very bad week…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif January 10, 2022 / 7:24 am

      Between this, the River Run Gondola going down for midseason maintenance, Stevens Pass being shuttered by avalanches. The only real bright spot is Beaver Creek opening up McCoy Park.


  6. Wendy Goddard January 9, 2022 / 7:06 am

    As soon as Vail took over Wildcat we were turned away. When we bought our timeshare in NConway in 96, it came w 2 lift tix/day at WC, so we learned to ski there, never went anywhere else and brought countless paying kids, kids friends, kids friends parents, relatives, grandchildren and g.childrens friends there yr after yr after year! They made money on us you can be sure. Relating this to Vail, hoping to continue our lift tix arrangement as a grandfathered situation, they completely ignored us. They had ZERO loyalty to us as longstanding lovers of beautiful WC. Insulted and disillusioned, we tried elsewhere.
    Will always cherish long ago memories at WC w loved ones when locals ran the place and they treated us great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • V12Tommy January 9, 2022 / 7:50 pm

      Was there a contract? Wouldn’t Fail Resorts be legally obligated to continue your free lift tickets?


  7. Jim Curran January 9, 2022 / 12:08 pm

    My ski buddy skied there one day during Christmas vacation week and rode this lift noting that it was only loading every other chair despite the vacation crowd. It is interesting no other posters have mentioned this.


    • sullivanq January 20, 2022 / 7:35 pm

      stuff like that used to happen at bousquet in MA before they installed their new triple, they could only load every other chair because the lift failed the weight test. even with half load that thing sagged down like crazy. similar things happened at Magic in VT on their old black lift…triple chair but could only be loaded as a double because that’s what it was designed for…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Kirk January 9, 2022 / 3:10 pm

    Think “Fail RESORTS” post pretty much sums it up.
    Speaking of radio silence, not a peep on the ski areas web or Facebook page about the accident from Vail. Vail will pay what they have to pay, sweep it under the rug and keep on Trucking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VAIL BORG January 9, 2022 / 4:06 pm

      It’s pretty amazing that a resort company run by a marketing person can be so bad at PR and communication outside of selling passes and hyping their shitty app. One could say the app and passes became vails product and not skiing or fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Cody Brook January 9, 2022 / 6:18 pm

    Let’s be real. No one loves Vail or any big mountain company for that matter. Accidents like this can be caused by a number of things. I am not defending Vail, but we don’t know what happened yet. We do however, know that they do need to be better to employees and try to be able to hire people because from what I hear, some of their mountains are in pretty rough shape this year. It has been a rough start from mother nature as well, but that has nothing to do with lifts. Does anyone here have a guess of what caused this to happen?

    Liked by 1 person

    • VAIL BORG January 9, 2022 / 7:49 pm

      Misload of chairlift by undertrained food and beverage staff who did not want to be bumping chairs in the first place caused it to swing and hit the first tower. Bumping Riblet chairs correctly is very important.


      • Donald Reif January 11, 2022 / 10:33 pm

        Unless you were there, you have no way of knowing whether the lift operators were undertrained.


        • Vail Borg January 11, 2022 / 10:53 pm

          How big of a rock do you live under? Go check out it’s full of first hand reports of F&B and ski school employees being forced to work lifts with almost no training or desire. Plus stories of middle management, HR, mechanics, anyone who knew what the fuck they where doing being let go and replaced with a shitty malfunctioning robot App. A robot app can’t tell you how to properly bump a lift. Especially an old Riblet. This is the consequences of such practices. Yeah it’s that bad. I know several of these people personally.


        • Bernie January 12, 2022 / 8:36 pm

          Hi Donald, I was there. It’s you that does not know what you are talking about. I skied the lift the entire day with my grandchildren. Having skied the Cat for many years I took notice of the inexperience and inattentiveness of the lift operators. The loaders were more focused on chatting it up with fellow employees than paying attention to the skiers. As for the lift itself, of course VR is responsible for it. They own It!! But don’t worry for VR, NH law will most likely protect them from a lawsuit. While I am willing to give VR some more time before I conclude they are not capable of properly running a mountain, I am ready to move on from the Epic Pass if necessary. And as another post mentioned, it is ridiculous that Lynx is not open top to bottom by now.


    • Mi_skier January 10, 2022 / 6:46 am

      this has happened on a couple other Riblets like this (at non-Vail resorts) so it’s likely an issue with the grips. I definitely don’t like Vail but I really don’t think this issue is on them

      Liked by 2 people

    • Donald Reif January 11, 2022 / 10:32 pm

      Everyone as a whole is struggling to hire people. I think it’s got a lot to do with people who are essentially getting a UBI from unemployment benefits (as I think @skitheeast sorta mentioned on a different thread).


      • Vail Borg January 11, 2022 / 10:48 pm

        Then why are non-vail resorts doing so much better than vail resorts in the same regions? Open lifts, open terrain, open restaurants, better services. Also the worker shortage problem is not from unemployment. It’s from boomers taking early retirement because stocks and housing prices are crushing it and they own both. Companies like vail laid them off from their middle management job and they stayed retired.


        • Donald Reif January 12, 2022 / 11:37 am

          Again, everyone’s dealing with staffing shortages. And unemployment benefits ARE a big factor. To quote what @skitheeast said last week, “In addition to inflation causing the cost of living to increase, unemployment benefits are currently extremely high. California’s state government did an analysis a couple months back and found that the breakeven point for those receiving unemployment benefits in the state is $31,200, which is the equivalent of working at $15 per hour, 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Politics aside, the reality for Vail (and any other employer) is that they have to beat this number to attract workers.”


        • Wiggles January 12, 2022 / 1:28 pm

          Unemployment causing the worker crunch is a played out nonsense and has repeatedly been proven wrong. Vail Borg is right. It is boomers retiring and leaving the workforce. The numbers clearly back this. When you take out age 55+ most of the work force is working. Have not seen very many 55+ year olds bumping chairs. Have seen tons in middle management. All the boomers “retiring” is causing a cascading shortage of workers across the board. Unlike your wild unsubstantiated claims of 32k unemployment checks here is some proof. ALSO ONLY VAIL IS HAVING ISSUES TO THIS MAGNITUDE. A BIG PART OF IT IS CULTURE. EMPLOYEES WILL WORK FOR SHITTY PAY IF THEY ARE HAPPY, HAVING FUN, TREATED WELL AND HAVE A WARM PLACE TO SLEEP AND FOOD IN BELLY. You know “Experience of a Lifetime™”

          “In assessing the jobs recovery, economists have pointed out that while the unemployment rate has come down, the labor force participation rate hasn’t improved at the same pace. But Jared Bernstein, a member of President Joe Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, said that once “non-prime age” workers — those over 55 — are excluded from the metrics a much clearer picture of how the labor recovery is doing emerges because it strips out the retirement narrative.
          Last month, there were 3.6 million more Americans who had left the labor force and said they didn’t want a job compared with November 2019, says Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist and professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
          Older Americans, age 55 and up, accounted for whopping 90% of that increase.”

          “I think a lot of the narratives imagine prime-age workers as being missing, but it actually skews much older,” Sojourner told CNN Business.”

          “Nearly 70% of the 5 million people who left the labor force during the pandemic are older than 55, according to researchers from Goldman Sachs, and many of them aren’t looking to return.”

          “Skyrocketing home prices and a robust stock market have increased the wealth of many Boomers, prompting them to reconsider their work and retirement plans.”

          “The result is that a growing number of older Americans have decided to forsake the workplace years ahead of schedule. As GOBankingRates previously reported, a recent research note from Goldman Sachs found that more than two-thirds of Americans who have left the labor force during the pandemic are either at retirement age or closing in on it. Many who recently quit jobs aren’t going back.”


  10. Dan Sheehan January 10, 2022 / 9:06 am

    Did the rider, and the lift operators, know that a single (or heavier) rider
    should *always* sit on the side closest to the towers to avoid
    having the chair hang dangererously close to the tower ?


  11. Kirk January 11, 2022 / 6:20 pm

    Sounds like the NH passenger Tramway safety board is calling the accident a miss-load.
    As most of us know the term miss-load can cover a very large range of events.

    But regardless of the cause, the owner-operator of the ski area is directly responsible for all passengers to be properly seated on the carrier before the carrier leaves the loading area. Colorado Tramway Board has a specific height they use for a loading incident vs fall from a carrier. I believe it’s 10′. Maybe somebody from Colorado can confirm?
    Many falls from a chairlift starts as a improperly loaded passenger.


    • Vail Borg January 11, 2022 / 10:12 pm

      I have skied a lot of riblets, at a lot of resorts and EVERY resort I know that runs riblets takes extra care to properly bump every chair, EVERY TIME. They also load singles and heavier people on the inside. NO EXCEPTIONS. They will stop the lift if a single loads the outside. Otherwise the chairs swing and bump the tower. That is how riblet chairs fall off. I’m sure vail fired everyone who knew this and then put a bunch of under trained food and beverage workers in their place who don’t care, where never told, and don’t want to be bumping lifts. Experience matters, Culture matters, this is 💯 vails fault. People are getting hurt and will continue to get hurt unless someone holds them accountable and they fix the broken culture coming from the MBAs in broomfield.


      • Donald Reif January 11, 2022 / 10:27 pm

        “I’m sure vail fired everyone who knew this and then put a bunch of under trained food and beverage workers in their place who don’t care, where never told, and don’t want to be bumping lifts.” Maybe you should take off your tinfoil hat?


        • Vail Borg January 11, 2022 / 10:42 pm

          Only if you take off your blinders. As posted above wildcat is gutted of experienced lift maintenance, operators, middle management and HR. They are also forcing people from other departments like F&B and ski school to bump chairs. All vail resorts are. Hence why they can’t properly bump a chair and this happens. But please go on defending them. We all know you have have a massive stiffy for there new glitzy high speed lifts you will never ride or are on payroll. Vail could avi bomb someone in the middle of sundown bowl and you would defend them and go on about how great they are and it’s not their fault. Could happen to any operator. Except it doesn’t. 49 North’s riblet problem was a faulty cotter pin that was replaced per spec. Not a bad bump.


        • Kirk January 12, 2022 / 8:46 am

          You seem to be the only one commenting on this accident that has no operational or technical knowledge and or input. what is your experience in the operation and maintenance of chairlifts???, it seems to be non existent! You sir are way out left field.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. pnwrider January 13, 2022 / 1:00 am

    Probably the saltiest comments section I’ve ever witnessed on Liftblog so far lol

    Liked by 3 people

    • pbropetech January 13, 2022 / 9:57 pm

      More resembles a Facebook comment thread, for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif January 14, 2022 / 4:37 am

        It’s almost like this thread is less for “Lift Blog” and more for “Vail Resorts Grievances Blog”.


        • Kirk January 14, 2022 / 8:23 am

          Donald, I think many of us on this site would love to know your experience level in the ski industry. Years of experience maintaining lifts, supervising lift operations and performing, daily, monthly and annual mechanical inspections on chairlifts???


        • Rob Withey January 14, 2022 / 12:10 pm

          Kirk, perhaps you like to give us your resume of lift experience as well. Donald’s opinion is no more or less valid than the ones from all the fake username vail haters. Most of what is posted here is uniformed speculation.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Donald Reif January 21, 2022 / 9:09 am

          By the way, all those “fake username vail haters” are probably all the same person just using different handles.


    • pbropetech January 13, 2022 / 10:00 pm

      Dude. Most of the comments from handles like ‘vailsucks’ or ‘vailborg’ at least try to address the topic at hand. This comment has nothing to do with it.


      • Donald Reif January 21, 2022 / 9:07 am

        I guarantee that “vailsucks” “vailborg” “fail resorts” etc. are all probably the same person.


  13. Peter Landsman January 14, 2022 / 7:38 am

    Lift is reopening today:


  14. Kirk December 10, 2022 / 6:05 am

    A carrier falls off the lift with people on it and sends one to the hospital and you think its no big deal. Or because its a Vail resort that’s OK??


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