Picture this: you and your family head to your favorite ski resort on a picture perfect winter day to enjoy each other’s company and the slopes. You get your gear in order and head for the lift that will take you to your favorite out-of-the-way powder stash. You and the kids jump on the lift and take off as you have hundreds of times without a second thought about whether something could go wrong. Then the unthinkable happens – someone falls off the lift mid-stream, a piece of clothing or equipment gets caught in the lift machinery, your ski tips flip you off the chair as you try to get off – you get the idea.
Two recent falls from area resort ski lifts highlight the necessity of vigilance when it comes to safety as people hit the slopes. A 4-year-old girl fell off a lift at Alta Ski Area on December 19th and when she was found face down in the snow, she was not breathing. Fortunately, she was revived by first responders and was released the next day from Primary Children’s Medical Center with an expectation of a full recovery. Almost two weeks later, a 7-year-old boy fell 30 feet from a lift at Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyoming. He suffered a head injury but has been listed in stable condition at a Salt Lake City hospital.
Skiing and boarding can be incredible fun but the goal is to make it home safely. This is just one example of what can happen:
Here are some tips on how to ride ski lifts safely:
To sum up, enjoy the winter recreation resorts whenever you have a chance – just think safety along the way.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.