Skiers and snowboarders were evacuated from the Black Forest chairlift at Kelowna’s Big White ski resort on Saturday afternoon when a bearing seized in the lift’s electric motor.
“This lift has a diesel evacuation motor, and under safety protocols we evacuated the lift,” Michael J. Ballingall, Big White’s senior vice-president, said in a post to social media.
A further inspection of the lift’s engine showed that major components will need to be replaced, including the bearing.
“This lift will not be in operational service for the foreseeable future,” Ballingall said.
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“We are currently seeking parts, managing delivery and installation to the best of our ability.”
Despite the lift’s closure, Ballingall said that the Black Forest Day Lodge will be open Sunday, as will the car park and all other services.
“You can park in the car park, access your locker, use the facilities and ski down to the bottom of the gondola and up into the village,” Ballingall said.
“You will be able to ski back to the car park from the top of the bullet chairlift.”
Big White is expected to provide an update on the Black Forest chairlift at noon on Monday.
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