Strong Wind Caused Sunday River Gondola to Fall to Ground With Skier Inside
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Maine boasts many mountains that skiers and snowboarders flock to in the winters. A personal favorite of mine and many is Sunday River in Newry, right outside of the adorable ski town of Bethel.
I don’t know what I love most about it - the 50+ miles of trails, the scenery as you shred through the tall pines, the Foggy Goggle après ski, or the nicest employees I’ve ever met; all these things make the two-hour drive well worth it.
Ski Lift Mishap
A couple weeks ago there was a little ski lift mishap at the mountain.
As shared by U.S. News, a 17-year-old was riding solo in one of the gondolas when a strong gust of wind brought it down to the ground 10 feet below. Fortunately, the drop was short and like the article states, it could have been so much worse.
The lone skier only endured minor injuries and after receiving approval from the state, the lift is back up and running after a very short hiatus.
Sunday River Eight-Person Bubble Chairlift
It’s worst-case scenario moments like this why Sunday River will soon be upgrading their chairlift system. While the exact timing isn’t set, in the near future, Sunday River will debut advanced chairlifts that are described as one of the most advanced in the entire world.
They will be faster, heated, more comfortable, but most importantly, safer. They are specifically designed to keep you safe and stable during strong winds so they don’t come falling down like that gondola.
My Worst Fear
I’m glad I read about this gondola falling down this morning and not before my ski trip this past weekend. I just recently learned how to ski and my fear of heights makes for a very interesting chairlift ride every time I go up the mountain.
I was at Sunday River this weekend and I was riding the steep lift up Barker Mountain, I was just sitting there thinking “oh man, oh man what if this thing fell” and going over my plan in my head about what I would do. Ok so I’d kick my skis off, right? Loosen up for the fall. Yeah.. Yeah I think that’d be smart.
It was a very windy day and as the chairlift shook me around I could only picture it coming crashing down. I talked myself through it telling myself that rarely ever happens, so I am glad I didn’t have this story fresh in my mind.
For the record, according to the U.S. News article, The National Ski Area’s Association does claim that riding a chairlift is safer than riding an elevator or in a car. I’ll bear that in mind.