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Electrical issue stalls Red Chair on Whistler Mountain

Chair was stalled for close to an hour on Saturday

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A technical mishap stalled Whistler Blackcomb’s Red Chair for close to an hour on Saturday, Jan. 23.

A spokesperson for the resort, Emily Wright, confirmed the Whistler Mountain chair went down at 2:45 p.m. due to an electrical issue.

"It was a failure of an electronic switch, which prevented operation in normal mode," Wright explained.

Although the chair was down for approximately 50 minutes, it reportedly took close to two hours for some to be evacuated.

"It was stalled for 50 minutes, but by the time we got off (it was almost two hours) because we were the absolute last chair loaded that couldn't jump," explained Geoff Gagan, who was on the chair with his son.

Eventually lift maintenance staff got the chair going again in diesel mode and ushered skiers and riders to safety, Wright said.

“It runs really slowly until everyone’s off,” she said.

Gagan said the delay didn't damper his day and chalked it up to just "another ski experience." He also commended Whistler Blackcomb for keeping the public informed via social media and said mountain employees were posted along the line to ensure everyone's safety.

"We were close enough to the station to talk to a few (employees) so they let us know what was up," he said. "Then when the chair got started they had guys every second or third tower making sure everyone was OK."

A photo posted to social media yesterday (pictured above) showed a snowboarder dangling off the Red Chair in an apparent attempt to get down during the delay. Wright said she had not received any reports of such attempts and warned that people can have their season’s pass revoked if they are caught jumping off a lift.

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