Lech lift breakdown forces skiers onto worn route

3rd March 2011, by Chris Gill

Up for a walk?

Up for a walk?

Skiers and boarders were forced to use a worn and narrow ski route on Thursday 3 March, when a key chairlift above Lech, Austria, broke down.

Novices, children and others (including ourselves, skiing the area for the day) had to walk and carry skis down the lower sections of ski route 48 where the snow had thawed to mud and slush. It was tricky and exhausting work in the strong sunshine. But it was the only option after the Steinmähder chairlift above Zug developed a technical fault.

The ski route is the only way out from the bottom of the modern eight-pack serving the Zuger Hochlicht area. Technically the route is more of a narrow road than a difficult piste; but the lack of snow cover low down meant that it ought not to have been open. And following a narrow path alongside a river made it equally awkward with so many skiers on it.

The chairlift stopped early afternoon on Thursday, when lots of skiers and boarders were using it to access the main red runs above Lech. People were stranded on the chairs, while a long queue formed at the bottom of the lift. Eventually, the lift was declared ‘broken’ and the queues dispatched to the ski route. All those on the lift at the time were rescued.

Meanwhile, we had otherwise enjoyed a splendid day on the slopes: mostly sunny, excellent snow conditions generally and some fast riding. Look out for our blog shortly.

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