Yesterday Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, the site of two of the worst lift accidents in recent memory, announced $1.3 million in lift safety upgrades including a new Doppelmayr drive terminal for the lift that rolled back in March. The mountain will also launch a new website devoted solely to lift safety and maintenance with a tip line for anyone to submit questions and concerns about lifts. All of this is moving forward despite Sugarloaf’s looming sale.
In December 2010, the Spillway East double, built by Borvig in 1975, experienced a de-ropement that caused numerous chairs to hit the ground and drag approximately 40 feet. Eight skiers were injured and the last legal claim was settled just last week. The State of Maine’s investigation found inadequate maintenance records, poor training, high winds, and component failure as probable contributing factors. The full report is here. Spillway was replaced by a Doppelmayr quad the following summer and renamed Skyline.
The King Pine Quad, a 1988 Borvig, rolled-back approximately 460 feet on March 21, 2015, resulting in numerous injuries. Skiers went around the bottom bullwheel at high speed and many others jumped off. Sugarloaf’s internal investigation found that the drive bullwheel’s drop dog failed to deploy due to a faulty switch and the lift was eventually stopped by an operator who manually activated the lift’s emergency brake. The state has not yet released its investigation into this incident. King Pine and its sister quad called Timberline were both closed for the remainder of last season.