Snowmaking Pipe Bursts at Beech

Jersey Skier

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Not sure if this has been posted yet.


in a statement from Beech Mountain Ski Resort, the resort said an uninjured guest skied into a water and air hydrant during snowmaking operations.

"The hydrant was under a loaded chair, resulting in several patrons getting wet," the resort said. "Our operations and safety team worked diligently to unload the lift and drain the system safely. Avery EMS transported two patrons to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. We believe everyone is okay outside of the unfortunate situation, and operations are on a regular schedule."
 

johnnyvw

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Can't believe they didn't immediately stop the chair until the water was shut down. Instead, they started and stopped it, and multiple people were "parked" over the spray. Very lucky nobody got seriously hurt, but I bet a few were traumatized.
 

Johnny V.

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Happened at Bristol a few years ago. I luckily had taken a break, but the guy I was skiing with got nailed with water. No harm though except for wet clothes.
 

Andy Mink

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I understand the question of why the lift wasn't stopped, or why it was stopped with a chair in the spray but until there was a radio at the site and the top or bottom there would be no way to know when to stop it. I guess someone could have jammed down and told the attendant to stop it in 10 or 15' but they probably can't stop a lift on the advice of a non-employee. Hopefully everyone will recover without long term injuries.
 

MikeW Philly

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johnnyvw

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They started it and then stopped with a new victim directly over the spray at 1:36. Patroller on scene at 2:17. The lift stayed stopped for a full minute. Was probably the longest minute of that persons life, and they looked pretty lifeless after the lift moved out of the spray.
 

Tricia

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Not sure if this has been posted yet.


in a statement from Beech Mountain Ski Resort, the resort said an uninjured guest skied into a water and air hydrant during snowmaking operations.

"The hydrant was under a loaded chair, resulting in several patrons getting wet," the resort said. "Our operations and safety team worked diligently to unload the lift and drain the system safely. Avery EMS transported two patrons to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. We believe everyone is okay outside of the unfortunate situation, and operations are on a regular schedule."
That is crazy!!!
 

johnnyvw

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Here's a picture from the other side:
1641680553074.png
 

bbbradley

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Wow, that was a lot worse than I was expecting. The person riding solo, knocked off the chair, clinging to the safety bar was alarming, to say the least.
 

Nathanvg

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The lift operator likely had no idea what was going on until ski patrol radioed. It felt like forever until ski patrol arrived but it actually was fairly fast considering how big even smaller ski areas are. Ideally a random skier would have skied to the bottom to alert the lifty and maybe phoned a second member of the skier's group who stayed at the leak. I don't buy the argument the lifty would blow you off. I might have skied right into the loading area to get the lift stopped then loudly tell the lift operator "there is an incident, people may die if you move the lift." In emergencies you have to be bold and unambiguous.

The situation could have been much worse when people started jumping from the lift. I think the ski patroler was overwhelmed initially. After stopping the lift (good job), I would have requested a random person to ski the line and tell every chair something like "stay in your chair with the bar down, ski patrol is here" I'm shocked only 2 people went to the hospital per the report, it looks like a dozen or more jumped. Even worse, jumping can lead to deropement which can lead to much more sever danger similar to the Teller lift accident (2 dead, 49 injured https://www.summitdaily.com/news/keystone-lift-accident-was-25-years-ago-this-week/ )
 

crgildart

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I'm shocked only 2 people went to the hospital per the report, it looks like a dozen or more jumped. Even worse, jumping can lead to deropement which can lead to much more sever danger similar to the Teller lift accident (2 dead, 49 injured https://www.summitdaily.com/news/keystone-lift-accident-was-25-years-ago-this-week/ )

The two that went to the hospital did not jump. They were blown off the seat by the force of the water blasting them when it first blew. I don't get jumping either but if I saw people getting knocked off I might consider it. But I'd have the bar down to start with..
 

David Orr

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That lift on Beech is one of the old wooden originals from the late 1960's...Been on it several times. Needed to be replaced years ago. I feel for those folks...the trauma will last a lifetime. Glad no serious physical injuries. Beech is facing multiple lawsuits.
 

Henry

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How could both the water and air pipes break? The ones I've seen have compressed air and water mixing at the spray nozzle. I haven't seen any where they mix down at ground level, but there might be some. So, how can anyone hit a steel pipe hard enough to break it off like this? Or was the pipe old and mostly rusted away? Or plastic? The snow cannon piping should have been padded. The wayward skier probably would have crashed into the padding, got a good bang, maybe the snow cannon knocked sideways. But broken? Or a coupling knocked apart? Something was inherently wrong with the snow making apparatus. This mishap should have never happened.
 
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