People trapped on ski lift at Mt Hutt safely down

Mt Hutt. Photo / Supplied
Mt Hutt. Photo / Supplied

After being stuck for around two hours, people trapped on Mt Hutt's main ski lift are now safely on the ground.

Around midday one of the chairs at the top of the summit became stuck, meaning the patrol team had to carry out a rope evacuation of all chairs.


It's not yet confirmed what caused the fault and the ski lift will remain closed for the day.

The quad chair lift is also on hold until the wind dies down.

Mt Hutt ski area manager James McKenzie said the main advanced ski lift to the summit got stuck at 11.53am and 172 people were safely lowered to the ground by 1.52pm.

Priority was given to children and elderly people and people higher up the 1.2km lift, where the wind was picking up.

He said each chair seating six skiers had a rope attached which, when connected to a shackle, allowed people to be lowered 10m to 15m down to safety. One person was lowered down every 42 seconds.

McKenzie said there were no medical events or injuries. A doctor and nurse were on hand to check people as they came down.

"Nobody wants to sit for a long time on a life. It worked to our advantage that people were very well dressed for a cold wintry day. That made a real difference," he said.

The cause of the breakdown is being investigated. The lift did not reopen and high winds led to to the skifield being closed at 2.30pm.

- Newstalk ZB

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