Operations resume at Great Bear after cable derailment

Published: Feb. 23, 2020 at 4:13 PM CST
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Its been an eventful weekend for staff at great bear ski valley after technical difficulties thwarted daily activites.

After a cable derailed on one of their chairlifts, Great Bear needed quick actions in order for operations to get back up and running in time for today's benefit race.

Alexa Giebink, Director of Communications at Great Bear, said, "Yesterday afternoon around 3:45 we experienced a chairlift derailment at our lower lift station, the cable came derailed. Our team responded quickly and within 45 minutes we had all our guests evacuated off of the chairlift."

After further evaluation by a mechanic, they said there was no apparent damage to the chairlift.

Great bear said it was a relatively simple fix.

"In that situation we know exactly what to do. It's what we train for. we practice multiple chair evacs every season. We have our ski patrol on staff to assist with that as well as our mountain managers so everyone knows their role. And we were able to get our guests safely off the chairlift."

The chairlift remained closed for the reminder of the day but was able to resume operations by 9 Sunday morning, just in time for the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society's benefit.

"We have our last... race of the season," said Giebink, "We do a handful of races every year and each race is a usually a benefit for local charity and we always love to donate to all the puppies and kittens."

Sunday, they had about 50 participants of all ages and ski levels taking part in the benefit race.

"We love every chance we can get to give back to the community whether it's the humane society or we've donated to Emily's Hope or different organizations that are doing some great work in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area."

They said if the weather cooperates they're hoping for a few more solid weeks of skiing and snowboarding.