Skiers stranded for more than an hour when Ruapehu lift breaks

4 years ago
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Whakapapa skifield on Mt Ruapehu, where skiers got stranded on a broken lift for more than an hour. (File photo)

Skiers waited on a broken Whakapapa chairlift for more than an hour before finally being freed.

The incident on the Ruapehu skifield happened late on Sunday morning and left skiers suspended for about 80 minutes.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts spokesman Matt McIvor said a mechanical fault on the Waterfall Express stopped the lift about 11.40am.

When it wouldn’t start after 10 minutes, staff began a manual evacuation, meaning ski patrol staff lowered people in chairs down via a rope system.

But by 1pm the mechanical problem – with a  “splitter box” – had been repaired meaning only four chairs had to be evacuated.

The rest got off the normal way.

Those stranded were given a free hot chocolate and were also offered a refund on the day’s ski pass if they reported to the customer service area within an hour of getting free.

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