Sunday, January 27 started out with sunny skies and… wind. And lots of wind. The National Weather Service was reporting gusts to 50 mph at the summit of Mt. Mansfield. After gusts began pummeling the FourRunner Quad, Stowe Mountain Resort shut that down. The gondola was also closed for the day. Which left the Triple and Double Chairs running… albeit slowly.
Passengers on the double were bracing for slowdowns and frequent stops. But around 10:25, the lift stopped and didn’t start again. Longtime Stowe skier Jeff Filipov describes what happened next.
“My friend Greg and I got on the double because everything else was on wind hold. The Triple was the only other choice. It sputtered along for us until we got near the lift tower and just over the flat Crossover trail.
According to Stowe’s Jeff Wise, the lift stopped due to an interruption in the electrical system. :We expect the lift to be fully repaired, inspected and ready to operate for the upcoming weekend,” said Wise, noting that they began evacuation at 10:45 and aAll guests were safely evacuated by approximately 1pm. ” Stowe Mountain Resort sincerely apologizes form any inconvenience caused to our guests,” he said. “The safety of our guests and employees is our top number one priority. This is the first time year in nearly a decade that we have had to perform a lift evacuation in Stowe and while we hold ourselves to the highest standard of ongoing maintenance and inspections on all of our lifts, sometimes an evacuation is necessary. We have a rigorous annual training program for our Ski Patrol team to be prepared for such an event to ensure the safety of all involved.” Stowe also gave lift ticket vouchers to many of the evacuees.