More than 200 skiers were trapped for hours aboard the main ski lift at the Bromont ski resort in Quebec’s Eastern Townships after a mechanical failure ground the lift to a halt.
Ski Bromont’s director of marketing and communications, Marc-André Meunier, told Global News that after the Express du Village lift broke down at 7:05 p.m., the resort tried twice to restart it.
“We tried to start the main engine first, and it didn’t work. The next step was to take the alternate engine that we have online, but unfortunately we weren’t able to make that work, either, so at 8:30 p.m., we took the decision to go with a manual evacuation.”
Social media footage shows skiers being lowered to the ground by ropes.
Meunier confirmed to Global News that none of the skiers evacuated from the lift were injured during the operation.
Witness Carl Beaulieu, who watched the evacuation from the ground and was not aboard the ski lift, described the mood during the rescue operation as “calm but with an air of frustration.”
According to Environment Canada, while the temperature only reached -2 C at the weather station in nearby Frelighsbrug, gusting southerly winds left the air atop the mountain feeling colder.
Bromont police confirmed to Global News that an evacuation took place Wednesday evening but would not provide further comment on the operation.
The Express du Village lift is less than two years old — Meunier told Global it opened in December 2018 — and this is not the first time it has experienced mechanical issues.
On its Facebook page, Ski Bromont says that the Express du Village lift is “temporarily closed.”