Boy Critical After Falling 60 Feet From Sugar Bowl Ski Lift

NORDEN (CBS13) – A 7-year-old boy is in critical condition after he fell from a chairlift at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort on Sunday, according to resort marketing manager John Monson.

The boy suffered severe head injuries when he fell approximately 60 feet onto rocks covered only by a thin layer of manmade snow.

He was taken off the hill by ski patrol and transported to Renown Medical Center in Reno where he underwent surgery to relieve pressure in his skull. He is listed in critical condition.

Several witnesses say they saw the incident, but due to the conflicting nature of the reports, the exact cause is still unclear.

Now Sugar Bowl is trying to determine exactly what happened, including whether the kids were following the rules on the lifts.

“Many eyewitnesses are reporting on what they saw and submitting statements and different vantage points,” Sugar Bowl’s John Monson said. “You know, were they (the witnesses) behind the chair lift? Were they up above the chair lift? Were they from the ground looking up? You’re going to get different takes on it.”

The 7-year-old had some experience on the slopes. This was his second year on the ski team and he was headed up the mountain for practice when he fell off the lift.

The boy was headed up the Mount Lincoln Express chair lift when he fell 60 feet onto a hardened patch of mostly man-made snow.

The ski resort says the boy was with two other children on the lift when he fell…

Sugar Bowl shut down the lift. But, after a state inspection it’s back up and running. Sugar Bowl is not releasing the child’s name because of the ongoing investigation.

  • Ginger Reese

    Was there an adult with him. At that age the still need suppervision. I hope he is O.K.

  • Cmorno

    Poor little guy. What a horrible thing to happen. My heart goes out to his family. Prayers and good thoughts to him.

  • jackie

    When did they start allowing children that age on the outside ski lift good heavens it is difficult enough for adults to board them and to fall 60 feet onto a thin layer of snow onto the rocks below, its a wonder he wasn’t killed instantly. Someone was very negligent for this to happen. He would have had to have an adult with him to be able to get on the lift.

  • gna

    It’s good to feel sorry, but where were his guardians.

  • timatoe

    I can’t even imagine what this boys family must be going through right now. Thoughts and prayers to them, hope all will be ok.

  • StupidIsAsStupidDoes

    I heard that place is killer…

    • JMHO55

      I hate to even dignify your idiotic and insensitive comment with a reply, but here goes: your comment was idiotic and insensitive.

    • Santos

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  • JMHO55

    According to this article the boy was riding the lift with two other ski team members. Does that mean he was riding with two children around his age? Shouldn’t young children have to ride with adults? What are the rules and protocol about chair lifts? How about some investigative reporting?

    • Salma

      Thanks heaps for the warning and the link, which shows anhinostisgly poor customer service on the part of Durango Mountain Ski Resort and the negative PR that will certainly cost the resort far more than the lady’s $539 (357euros) season pass that got pulled for expressing her opinion. Did you read the vitriolic Comments aimed at DMR management that followed the article?! IDIOTS , Dysfunctional , Flagrant incompetence , stupidity and arrogance of DMR management , arrogance and hubris , and last but not least, PR disaster . This is one of those stories that’s going to spread through the blogosphere like wildfire.Management at Durango would have been a lot better off to simply have a friendly meeting with Ms Slaff to explain what are most likely very valid reasons for their policies and take the opportunity to highlight some of their positive initiatives. With a bit of marketing savvy Durango Mountain Resort could have easily turned Ms Slaff from every PR Manager’s worst nightmare into a poster child for the mountain’s good customer service. Opportunity lost.

  • gna

    Seems to me they need to redesign the ski lifts so younger kids don’t fall out, after all kids of a certain size have to ride is special seats in a car to keep them safe.

  • Donder

    It is easy to see that none of you have ever boarded a ski lift to the top of the run, it is kinda tricky..

  • cupid

    Does the lift come to a complete stop for boarding or is it moving while boarding. If it comes to a full stop to board then “no” problem, might have been something wrong with the safety bar obviuosly maybe it didn’t catch. Poor baby he must be a super skier to be able to ski down that run and I pray he will recover bless his little heart.

    • Murat

      Hello! I live in Sackville and am planning to atentd the Bouctouche Ride. I am in need of transportation to and from the meeting place. If anyone has room for me and my bike I would greatly appreciate it.

  • Whitey

    Sad stuff… and despite being on the ‘ski team’, he’s seven… and seven year olds are little kids. All it takes is him reaching down to lock a binding… maybe the other kids rock the chair by accident… wouldn’t be tough.

    These damned ski lifts aren’t exactly the pinnacle of safety. Like most things, somebody has to get hurt or die before it gets addressed.

  • Rupolph

    Two other children on the lift with him , unbelieveable what are the resort owners thinking, so the lift is safe “but not for 7 year olds thats for da– sure”. this is the most asinine lack of safety I have ever heard of after years on the slopes. We have never been on the sugar bowl lift or run thats a bunny slope but not for little bunnuies obviously. Kids will be kids but this is a dangerous possible lethal play ride.

  • sanlu

    I knew the family and the little boy that tragically died. He was full of life and energetic, a really happy little boy. I’m very saddened by the tragedy and my prayers are with his family.

    • Bill

      This story doesn’t say the boy died, but that he’s in critical condition. Do you know something the rest of us don’t know?

  • Verena

    Were they using the safety bar at the chair lift?… In my opinion teaching the kids to ride the lifts without using the safety bar is a major safety issue but it’s ver common in California. The bar is there for a reason. Not to mention that a kid that age shouldn’t ride without adult supervision. But again – it usual in California resorts…even at ski schools! Being that said: my heart goes out to the family of this boy!!!

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