"This was something I've never seen in 18 years" – chair falls off ski lift during fierce winds at Michigan resort

Chair lift at ski resort
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A chair was blown right off a ski lift at a Michigan resort last weekend, in an incident a manager has described as a "freak accident". Luckily, there were no injuries; nobody was using the chair when it became disconnected, and no one was skiing or snowboarding nearby at the the time.

Nick Ross, general manager of Bittersweet Ski Resort, told News Channel 3 that a sudden gust of wind pushed the chair into the lift's communication line, also called a comm cable, which sends a signal between the top and bottom towers. This ripped off the detachable grip (the part that connects the chair to the line), causing the chair to fall off the haul rope on the downhill side.

After the incident, the resort's staff performed an emergency evacuation, getting 18 skiers safely off the lift.

"This was something I've never seen in 18 years," Ross said. "It was a freak accident."

A photo of the downed chair was shared on Reddit by user u/eatingadamnsalad, who lives locally.

Chair just fell off at my local hill from r/skiing

The chair is currently undergoing repairs, but the lift is expected to continue operating in the meantime.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.