Official Statement Regarding Skier Fall From Chairlift
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (February 10, 2021) - At roughly 1pm on Wednesday, February 10, an 8-year-old female skier loaded the Snubber lift at Sugarloaf with the assistance of her mother. Immediately after they loaded the lift, lift attendants observed the girl struggling to stay in the chair. The lift attendants stopped the lift, contacted Sugarloaf Ski Patrol, and deployed a “catch net” below the skier, which they used to break her fall when she dropped from the chair. The fall was estimated at roughly 20-25 feet.
Sugarloaf Ski Patrol responded to the scene within minutes and the girl was conscious and alert while being attended to by patrollers, and complained of pain in her back. Her immediate injuries did not appear life threatening, but due to a pre-existing medical condition paramedics from NorthStar Ambulance elected to take the extra precaution of calling a LifeFlight helicopter. The girl was transported to Farmington by ambulance, and was then transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center by LifeFlight.
“This was obviously a scary incident for everyone involved, and our thoughts are with the family,” Sugarloaf General Manager Karl Strand said. “The safety of our guests is our first priority in everything we do, and I’m incredibly thankful to our lift attendants and ski patrollers, without whose quick actions this incident could have been much worse.”
The skier and her family are from Maine, and she was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. To protect patient confidentiality, Sugarloaf does not release names or detailed medical information of guests who are injured at the resort.
The Snubber lift is a triple chairlift that services beginner terrain, and features a mid-station load area. The skier and her mother were loading the chair at the lift’s mid-station.
An investigation into the incident by the Sugarloaf Ski Patrol is ongoing.
For information on chairlift safety, please visit the National Ski Areas Association website.