BRIAN HEAD — Dozens of people were safely evacuated from a ski lift in Brian Head on Sunday afternoon.

Brian Head Ski Resort’s Giant Steps Express lift was still inoperable as of noon Monday, some 24 hours after it malfunctioned, leaving dozens of skiers stranded, Brian Head, Utah, Feb. 26, 2024 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Resort officials said the incident occurred shortly after noon and left approximately 180 skiers stranded aboard Lift 2, also known as the Giant Steps Express.

Members of the Brian Head Ski Patrol were dispatched to assist the lift passengers down to the ground using ropes and harnesses.

“They started at the top, and chair by chair, they just went down the line,” Brian Head Resort marketing director Amber Palmer told Cedar City News.

Palmer said it took approximately two hours to get everybody off the lift.

“That’s really good because Giant Steps Express is one of our bigger main lifts,” she said. “We’re thankful they responded really quickly and got everyone off.”

Members of Brian Head Ski Patrol work to evacuate skiers from a chairlift, Brian Head, Utah, Feb. 25, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Zack Selznick, St. George News / Cedar City News

No injuries were reported, Palmer said.

They believe the issue is mechanical, she added.

“They’re working on getting it running and it should be good by the end of the day or possibly tomorrow,” Palmer said shortly after noon on Monday.

All other lifts and ski areas were open and operating normally on Monday, and crowds of skiers and snowboarders could be seen recreating in various areas on the mountain.

Palmer said that the need to evacuate an entire line on a chairlift is a fairly uncommon occurrence.

“It hasn’t happened here for years,” she said.

Nevertheless, she said, ski patrol members are well-trained in evacuation procedures.

All of Brian Head Ski Resort’s other lifts (besides the Giant Steps Express) and ski areas were operating normally on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“They practice that throughout the year,” she said. “They do it in the summers, randomly. You’ll see them out there just practicing on a lift after hours.”

Palmer said the response from guests has been overwhelmingly supportive and positive.

“It was nice,” she said. “Our guests really appreciate the ski patrol. No guests were complaining or anything. They just said, ‘Thanks, Brian Head Ski Patrol, you guys are awesome.’ I love seeing that from the guests.”

“For us to be able to respond in a really quick way and for our guests to know we’re here for them … It’s like a really big deal that it ends well for our whole team,” Palmer added.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.