Nearly 200 skiers stranded in midair after lift breaks in Vermont

A local girl and her mother were among the nearly 200 people stranded above the slopes in Vermont when a ski lift stopped working Saturday, but they didn’t let being left hanging stop their fun in the snow.

Caitlin McGrail, 11, and her mother Tarja had just finished their first run of the ski season at Mount Snow when they noticed their lift ride seemed a little unusual.

“We were going to go over a bump like usual, but it was a little louder than normal,” Caitlin said.

“It looked like the cable had come off the wheel alignment when we went over the tower,” said Tarja.

The pair from Sandwich and nearly 200 other riders were stuck 80 feet in the air for an-hour-and-a-half. Tarja said crews responded quickly and got the situation under control.

“More and more people showed up underneath us, we were just waiting to see what was going to happen next,” Tarja said. “This wasn’t a first-time practice round for them, they put a lot of us at ease, I think.”

Since Caitlin was in the middle of the lift bench, she was rescued first.

“It was kind of scary … my mom or the guy wasn’t down there to tell us how it was, I just had to jump down,” Caitlin said. “There was a harness you had to go on and then hold the rope really tight, then you just push off then go down.”

In a statement, the resort said no one was hurt and the lift resumed normal operations after being inspected. The McGrails got in two more runs after the lift returned to service.

“I personally hope it was a once in a lifetime experience,” Tarja said. “It doesn’t deter me from going back again, that’s for sure.”

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