Home > health/safety, sports > A Very Rational Reason to Be Acrophobic

A Very Rational Reason to Be Acrophobic

Tuesday, December 28, 2010, 12:55 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s been a few (OK, 31) years since I have been skiing, but this CNN story from Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain doesn’t make me yearn for the slopes:

A gust of wind derailed a chairlift cable Tuesday morning, according to a resort spokesman, sending skiers tumbling.

At least three people were injured, said CNN Newsource employee Robb Akinson, who was among about 100 skiers stranded on the chairlift 30 to 40 feet off the ground after the accident.

The account at Fox News is a bit more descriptive:

At least six people were injured Tuesday after a chair lift derailed at a popular Maine ski resort, sending five chairs crashing to the ground, a resort spokesman told Fox News.

This is the sort of thing I fear when I ride the chairlift to the summit of Mt. Wachusett every summer at our company outing. I try to convince myself that it’s perfectly safe. Maybe not.

Such incidents are rare, to be sure. But lest you think this is a one-time deal, I googled “chairlift accident” and came up with a few other stories.

I didn’t have the stomach to look any farther.

As impractical as they are for big mountains, I was always much more comfortable on an old-fashioned T-bar (or even an older-fashioned rope tow). At least my skis were in constant contact with the ground and the rest of me didn’t have too far to fall in the event of a mishap. I can’t even think about what went through the minds of those Sugarloaf patrons in that nanosecond in which they realized they were at gravity’s mercy.

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Categories: health/safety, sports
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