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Terrifying incident in Georgia

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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
The infrastructure is very good at Gudauri. Far better than a lot of resorts on Hokkaido


*cancels plans to go to Hokkaido* Wink


This is a lift at Niseko, the most westernised resort in Japan! [url=https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/40848636721_f4946341f6_o.jpg[/url]
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It will be an old 2md hand 30 yr pld lift frpm Austria pr Switzerland
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stanton wrote:
It will be an old 2md hand 30 yr pld lift frpm Austria pr Switzerland


My thoughts entirely - but apparently engineers from Doppelmayr Garaventa were mobilised to Georgia within the hour of the incident from Austria which shows how seriously they are treating it.. which no matter how serious the incident is still quite a response if the lift is indeed an old bird.

Edit, just read on a lift group that she's a 2008 installation, and purpose built for said site.
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userscott wrote:
stanton wrote:
It will be an old 2md hand 30 yr pld lift frpm Austria pr Switzerland


Edit, just read on a lift group that she's a 2008 installation, and purpose built for said site.


What, so stanton got it wrong again, who would have thought it! Laughing Laughing
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Suspect it’ll be more to do with maintenance and care than age.
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Horrific incident. Whilst there does seem to be a culture nowadays of ‘something bad is happenening, quick film it’, there did seem to be plenty of people helping. And I’m glad it was filmed as I had no idea that could even happen, no matter how unlikely! There has to be quite a few people who were on that lift that will be too traumatised to go on a chairlift again. Really hope the injuries were as few as they say, and the that major injuries are not too major.
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Ever since I first saw the rollback test video that @Alastair Pink posted further up this thread I've always been slightly nervous about this happening. (Before I saw the video the possibility had never occurred to me). The clear lesson is to jump before reaching the bottom and it's interesting to see this confirmed in practice.

Surprised to hear that the lift is less than 10 years old and made by Doppelmayr. It will be interesting to see what the engineers find.
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Power cut apparently, which explains why it stopped. However the anti reverse pawls or a similar system should prevent it reversing, although I think chairlifts are designed to reverse slowly to enable evacuation. Still doesn’t explain why the brake wouldn’t work. I would have thought they would have some sort of hydraulic stand by ?
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I think a few who didn’t jump seemed to get stuck or couldn’t get the bar up in time.
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Peter S wrote:
Power cut apparently, which explains why it stopped. However the anti reverse pawls or a similar system should prevent it reversing, although I think chairlifts are designed to reverse slowly to enable evacuation. Still doesn’t explain why the brake wouldn’t work. I would have thought they would have some sort of hydraulic stand by ?


On a loaded chairlift of any significant length and rise, one a rollback begins there’s a window of just seconds to manually hit the e-brake or the forces will simply drive through the brake. That some chairs got ripped off the line by the bottom terminal will have provided friction to have slowed it down and stopped it before it otherwise would have. No derailment was fortunate.
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hammerite wrote:
I think a few who didn’t jump seemed to get stuck or couldn’t get the bar up in time.
imagine if someone you don't know, don't even know where they're from, is sitting on the other side and won't get their skis off the footrest. Nightmare.
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Penry wrote:
hammerite wrote:
I think a few who didn’t jump seemed to get stuck or couldn’t get the bar up in time.
imagine if someone you don't know, don't even know where they're from, is sitting on the other side and won't get their skis off the footrest. Nightmare.


It takes long enough to free a trapped stick after trying to say, “excuse me...” in four languages.
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I wonder if it were happening to me, whether I would have thought of jettisoning my skis?
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Word coming out is operator error post powercut.

Time will tell.
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DavidYacht wrote:
I wonder if it were happening to me, whether I would have thought of jettisoning my skis?

How would you manage to do that?
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@sugarmoma666, stand on the binding release?
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@sugarmoma666, stand on the binding release?

Yep, that's how I release my skis when standing on solid ground. Do you think you could do that when sitting on a chairlift? I'm not that sure.
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I would have though you could release the binding release by hand or with you pole ... with the benefit of hindsight this looks like a good idea, and if I was on a chairlift that was going backwards, I think that this is what I would do. Digging the backs of my skis in going backwards does not look like a good plan.
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DavidYacht wrote:
I would have though you could release the binding release by hand or with you pole ... with the benefit of hindsight this looks like a good idea, and if I was on a chairlift that was going backwards, I think that this is what I would do. Digging the backs of my skis in going backwards does not look like a good plan.

I agree getting skis off seems like a good idea, but I think this struggle to release them even sitting on a stationary chairlift. It takes a lot of force to release some bindings. I can just about release mine with my pole whilst standing by leaning my whole weight on the pole. The ski also needs to be well supported so you're pushing against something.

Can you reach your ski bindings by hand when on a chair lift, and having done so do you think you could apply enough force to release the bindings? The only time any of us generally operate the rear binding by hand is if the ski has come off through releasing on the front binding. It takes significant pressure to reset it, ie usually with the ski flat on the ground and leaning on it.

This is thankfully a very rare event and will hopefully never happen to any of us, but if it did I think your time would be best spent figuring out when and how to jump, especially as you're traveling backwards.
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@Mike Pow, ...interesting...keep us posted if you hear anything more.

Two things:

1
Fatalities. I have seen people in accidents (RTAs, racing, etc) and do sense that there were some serious injuries on this occasion, from the footage. Accurate reporting can be scarce in that part of the world. It would good to know more detail.

2
I have mithered about whether to take my kids through what to do should this occur, based on this video. Obviously it is a VERY unusual scenario, and the only other incident I have heard of is the deliberate modelling and experimenting with installations being de-commissioned in the ‘States.

I think I will. So far I would say:

- don’t panic
- immediately monitor what’s going on around and pay attention to people shouting
- get your skis/board off quickly; just jettison them, don’t worry about them
- prepare yourself
- get the bar up but hold on tight
- look ahead (ie backwards if going backwards) identify a jump area - no pointy hard things below, not too high, not prepared area since that will be like concrete
- help each other with the jump shout ‘on 3 ...1,2,3 go’,which means you can abort the precise point.

No idea if this is right but am thinking about talking to them. Any advice on detail welcome.

If it’s operator error following power outage or indeed operator caused outage and then error - then it could occur anywhere. And we use some VERY small and village-run installations...
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@valais2, I think talking to them would be a mistake. The statistical risk of this happening is so mind bogglingly remote that I really don’t think it’s worth considering. All you will do is worry them. If you do talk to them, then I’d be inclined to drop the point about removing skis. I suspect it will be incredibly difficult, if not completely impossible, for most people to do this and it could easily just be a distraction to the most important task. I.e.lifting the bar and jumping off at precisely the right moment. Bear in mind that jumping off might not be the right course. It looks pretty horrendous getting thrown around like a rag doll, but few lifts are so close to the ground as the one in Georgia and jumping from 20 feet might be just as bad or worse. It’s hard to know.
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Out of interest, is anyone in a position to see if they can shed skis as suggested?. If you’re bored and have skis and boots to hand then maybe try sitting on a table and test it. Let us know
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@foxtrotzulu, ..agree entirely about the mind-boggling remote chance. I guess the reason I thought about doing so was that my son plays the ‘would you jump from here if you were marooned all night’ game ... ‘here?...what about here?...’ which always is done in a very playful and amusing way. I wil indeed mull it over.

And yes, jumping 20 feet onto prep’d surface around a lift could do you a lot of damage. Hmmm....

Re removing skis on a chair lift - having seen it done by errant youths I know that it’s possible..
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sugarmoma666 wrote:
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@sugarmoma666, stand on the binding release?

Yep, that's how I release my skis when standing on solid ground. Do you think you could do that when sitting on a chairlift? I'm not that sure.


I think I'd try it, no idea if it would work. Obviously you're pushing down with one leg and bringing the other up so I'd have thought that I could release my bindings by doing that when calm and collected. Doing it while going backwards down a lift, while 3 other people beside you try to do the same? Not going to be a cakewalk, but better to give it a go than assume it's impossible and just sit still. Even just getting one ski off would be preferable to having two swinging about.
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Any idea if detachable chairs or even gondolas would act the same in reverse? I’d assume they must be designed to work backwards so the chair would come off the wire when it enters the station and be slowed, if this is the case then jumping off mid-air would be the wrong thing to do.
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I would think after this incident a full enquiry will be held at Doppelmayer and extra fail safes will be researched, tested and built into future lifts, as well as upgrades to existing lifts being made available.
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Yesterday I, along with two strangers, attempted to ride the Bouchet chair to the summit of the 3 valleys. All of us sat down and very quickly sprang up and jumped off the chair when it was about 6 feet up. We had quickly realised we were in fact sitting on the folded down back of the seat. Fortunately nobody hurt as we all landed in soft snow and at the top the liftie came out and gave us a ticket for a free drink at a restaurant. Better still, found some nice powder on the glacier that runs down to the Pierre Lory piste Very Happy Very Happy

Learning point is perhaps worth a quick glance back to ensure all is good with chair before boarding.
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@valais2,
Quote:

Re removing skis on a chair lift - having seen it done by errant youths I know that it’s possible..


Yes, my son managed to dislodge one of his skis while on the Becoin chairlift in La Plagne. I think he did it by clacking them together and came out of the toe piece. I can't help feeling that it's easy enough to do when your not trying but impossible when you are!

@SnoodlesMcFlude,
Quote:

Obviously you're pushing down with one leg and bringing the other up so I'd have thought that I could release my bindings by doing that when calm and collected.
Still quite tricky I think. When pushing down on the binding release you have to exert a fair amount of force. I tick my pole under my armpit and lean on it. I'm guessing you need 15-20kg of force (yes, I know you don't measure force in kg!). That would be hard to achieve pulling one leg against another, especially when the relevant ski is not fixed in place.

Come on, there must be someone at home who can give it a try!
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@foxtrotzulu, I'll give it a go when I get home, need to dig out my ski gear & set up bingdings for my trip next week anyway. Partly will depend on the bindings anyway, some of mine are easier to release than others.
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@andy1234, ...in the old Aminona gondola station, in 2005 we got into one of the ancient aluminium gondolas, which swung around crazily as usual on its single pivot point (a universal joint), then in joining the main wire, it simply fell off the mechanism and dropped 1m or so onto the concrete floor. Huge bang, but the gondola had a flat floor and just stayed upright. Ant banged his head against the window, the other three of us were very surprised but OK. Pisteur in control room was awake, and hit the kill button. Much anxiety from pisteurs. One climbed up the installation with an unfeasibly large spanner and started hitting something. We retired to car and drove to Violettes since we figured the system would be out of action for quite a while. That summer it was renovated. In 2014 the whole lift was removed:


Démontage de la télécabine d'Aminona from Steve Blanc
https://vimeo.com/108043351




http://youtube.com/v/S0QK5x_9J_k


This winter, the assumed Russian investment for a new lift is now known not to be arriving.

I miss that lift.
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@valais2, I can understand that feeling, easy to take all the infrastructure for granted. Some serious metal bashing in that first video!
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@andy1234, exactly right re ‘taking for granted’.

Re metal bashing, we watched the crew in action. One was an amazing guy with a long grey beard and very short. In fact clearly ‘resting’ from his role as one of the actors in The Hobbit.
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absolutely brutal.
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@andy1234, ...apparently all survived - only some remain in hospital

http://agenda.ge/news/97536/eng
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, I'll give it a go when I get home, need to dig out my ski gear & set up bingdings for my trip next week anyway. Partly will depend on the bindings anyway, some of mine are easier to release than others.


Did it. Not easy but it's doable. To be honest I found the hardest bit was finding something in my house that could replicate a chairlift, a normal chair would be so low that I'd need to be on my back to get the skis off the ground. Ended up on a small stool but still needed to lean back to keep the skis in the air, which was difficult as there was no back to lean against. you definitely need space though, I ended up fairly spread eagle, but it didn't really take as much force as I thought, just a tricky technique. My bindings are on a DIN of 8 though, so not the toughest to release.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, I recognise that you might have very little time to react in these circumstances, and time can disappear trying to work out what the hell is going on and what the best action is .... but I can see from the videos that these seats have footrests, and when you have a footrest there’s something to balance/pressure to release bindings, either by then crossing skis and releasing the rear binding or pressing down with a pole.
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jedster wrote:
Is it just me who wonders about people whose reaction to this is "poo-poo this is nasty better get my phone out to video it!".

I know for sure I'd be either running round the front to shout at people to jump off or helping pick up the pieces round the bull wheel. Wouldn't everyone?


I'm sure it's not just you, but you're missing the point. There wasn't a lot people could do other than what they were doing: in those circumstances, it doesn't much matter what bystanders do. If I was there and I needed them to do something, I'd tell them. If you were injured, you'd want the video later.

If you want to get offended about something I'd be more concerned that there weren't identifiable resort staff organising the chaos. They should have a system in place for that, but it seemed to be entirely customer organised.
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:


Did it. Not easy but it's doable. To be honest I found the hardest bit was finding something in my house that could replicate a chairlift


Kitchen table. Still missing the backrest, safety bar, random strangers (and movement) but at least my feet were dangling. I was surprised how easy it was with a pole, even without anything to brace against. Doing it by hand though...no thanks, I think I would have fallen off forwards as I tried to reach behind my heel to push on the binding. I suspect kicking the bindings off with the other ski would also work but trying that would probably also have broken the kitchen.

Whether I could do that on a chairlift running rapidly backwards, with people shouting and 3 others other same chair trying to do the same is probably another matter. And I really don't want to think about getting a child's skis off as well.
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I wouldn’t try and get my skis off in that situation. I’d concentrate on being as close to the ground as possible before making a jump for it trying to keep as upright as possible until landing. The skis would probably pop off on the landing anyway.
I fell off a drop once in a white out where there had been heavy snow and the drop (not that far probably but it felt like it!) hadn’t been fenced off and my skis were still on of course as it was most unexpected. I think I’d have come off worse falling without the skis on as at least it was a larger surface area for each foot to land on. I was completely unscathed apart from the surprise of it and the few milliseconds of thinking ‘aaaaah’
Otherwise a leg might have gone awkwardly through the snow and got twisted behind me or worse.
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Gaza wrote:


...Either they were on their way down when the incident happened, or they made it round the bottom bullwheel and all the way back to the top before heading down again!


I don't think that would happen. It is like water in a u tube. When either the weight of skiers is removed ( through jumping / thrown off) or the skiers go up the other side the list will reach equilibrium before you could go around again.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Sun 18-03-18 8:40; edited 1 time in total
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