Ski lift rescue Service des pistes Les Arcs (France)
© Arnaud Childéric / Kalice

Ski lift rescue

If ski lift equipment fails, the person in charge must evacuate passengers according to the evacuation plan. This document explains precisely how all the operations should be carried out and what human and material means must be employed. In most cases, these operations are carried out by the operating personnel. The maximum projected time allowed for evacuating all assengers is 3.5 hours (from breakdown to evacuation of the last passenger). This time can be reduced and adapted to the situation according to the weather, the type of installation, etc.

In case of difficulty, the operator may call in organized rescue squads (mountain rescue, civil emergency services, etc.). Evacuation of a ski lift requires specific techniques for movement along a cable. For maximum efficiency, these operations are led simultaneously by several independent teams, generally composed of two people (one suspended on the cable for evacuation, the other on the ground to receive the passengers and to guide the movements of his colleague). The success of these operations hinges largely on the instruction, training and practice of the operating personnel (at least once a year).