News Roundup: Hurdles

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News Roundup: Ramping Up

Lift Rollback Causes Injuries, Damage in South Korea

Authorities in South Korea say a rollback at the Bears Town ski resort involved approximately 100 people. The mountain’s base-to-summit detachable quad went backward at approximately 3:00 pm today and at least 20 chairs stacked together in the bottom terminal. Some riders jumped or fell from the lift while others were pinned in the station. At one point, video of the incident shows guests grabbing on to chairs in an attempt to stop the lift. Police say numerous skiers jumped or fell while firefighters rope evacuated others after the ropeway stopped. At least one child was taken to the hospital.

Rollbacks of modern lifts are exceedingly rare and a detachable lift rollback is even more unusual. The quad where the incident occurred is called Challenge and appears to have been built by Poma some time around the early 1990s.

Bears Town opened in 1985 and is situated just 45 minutes from the South Korean capital of Seoul. “Our sincere apologies to the customers and their families who were affected by this accident,” the resort said in a statement. “Bears Town plans to immediately suspend all lift operations in the ski resort in addition to the lift that caused an accident, and to begin an immediate safety inspection,” the statement continued. “We will actively cooperate with the fire authorities and related agencies and take measures to prevent reoccurrence. Currently all employees in Bears Town are focused on rescue work and customer communication with the victims as a priority.”

Major Lift Realignment Underway at Michigan’s Bittersweet

Bittersweet in Michigan is making way for a second detachable chairlift in 2022. The mountain’s current high speed quad, the Sweet Express, will move northwest to replace the Poison Ivy triple this season. That late model Hall has been moved the other direction to replace the Chickory double. Along the way, Chickory will be upgraded with a brand new Skytrac drive terminal.

The lift shuffle come as Bittersweet owner Wisconsin Resorts expands to include six mountains in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario. Throughout its history, the company has invested heavily in both lift and snowmaking infrastructure.

The new Sweet Express is the third lift announced for the state of Michigan in 2022. On Wednesday, Boyne Mountain unveiled plans for the region’s first eight passenger chairlift. Caberfae Peaks also plans to add a new lift next year.

No Injuries Reported in Courchevel Tram Crash

Both cabins on a 120 passenger aerial tramway collided into stations earlier today in Courchevel, France. The Saulire Cable Car was undergoing tests at the time and no one was injured. “During an annual regulatory check carried out at the technical limits of the device, an incident severely damaged the two cabins,” read a statement from the Société des 3 Vallées, operator of the tramway. “An expert report will determine the causes of the incident and the S3V will do everything in its power to restore the ropeway in complete safety.”

The Saulire tramway was the world’s largest when built by Poma in 1984. At that time its cars carried up to 160 passengers each. Both cabins were renovated in 2013 at a cost of €300,000.

Courchevel makes up one part of Les 3 Vallées, the largest ski complex in the world with 183 lifts.

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