At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 an unusually strong, localized wind gust broke off a section of a tree located on a run adjacent to Chair 9 at Snow Summit. The separated section of tree traveled airborne across the trail and fell over the Chair 9 haul rope, causing it to derail and pull portions of the rope and several chairs to the ground.
At the time of the incident, three of the lift's 140 chairs were occupied. According to Dave Likins, Big Bear Mountain Resorts CEO, the tree section did not hit any chairs directly, but two guests were pushed off a chair and onto the snow. The other two impacted chairs were evacuated by mountain operations.
Ski patrol provided assistance to the injured visitors at the Snow Summit clinic. They were later transported to Bear Valley Community Hospital where they were evaluated and released.
"Thankfully there were no significant injuries," Likins said.
Lift maintenance crews from Mammoth and Big Bear Mountain Resorts are jointly working to reset the lift and anticipate having it back to full operation soon