Riders are responsible for most accidents on chairlifts, according to an analysis by The Denver Post. The newspaper reports today that equipment failures, such as the cable coming off a tower, are very rare.
Of 363 incidents since 1993, 2/3 resulted from errors by riders. Operator and mechanical errors, and wind were responsible for only 13. However, the cause of the remaining 103 cases isn't clear.
This season there have been 2 chairlift accidents. A young boy was seriously injured at Breckenridge when he fell out of a chair after the bar had been lifted as the chair approached the landing station.
The second, Jack Mason, the mountain operations manager at Winter Park, died of internal injuries suffered when he fell off a lift during an epileptic seizure.