At Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, CA, last Thursday, a snowboarder experienced the unimaginable: an entire night (15 hours) alone in a cold, dark, gondola, with no phone to call for help.
CBS News Sacramento reported that with temperatures in the low 20s, this woman refused medical help when rescued, but was "traumatized" from the experience.
The news of this freak incident spread quickly, and people wanted answers: how did this happen?
Fortune is "responsible for all aspects of mountain operations, including the safety of our guests."
“We have rigorous protocols to ensure our gondola and chair lifts are fully unloaded each day. I have reviewed our investigation, and it is clear there was a breakdown in those protocols that day."
Fortune has reviewed the investigation, a statement from the resort said.
"I recognize the gravity of this guest's experience and, we all are grateful she was found safe and uninjured," Fortune said.
This is a positive turn of events, as people were concerned for the guest's safety, as well as being curious how something like this even happened in the first place.
Sometimes, it takes an incident to jolt everyone back to 100% following of procedures. Although, it goes without being said that this is exactly why you always follow procedures, even if it seems like overkill.
We can also all take note: never board any gondola late in the day without a walkie-talkie or phone in hand! Just in case.
Wishing this woman well in future resort endeavors, and we are all relieved she was (relatively) safe at the time of recovery.
Here's to 100% perfect gondola safety moving forward this season.
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