49 Degrees North chairlift collapse caused by missing pin, resort says

Snow on 49 Degrees North

CHEWELAH, Wash. — The 49 Degrees North resort says the chairlift collapse on Saturday was caused by a missing pin—one of many that were installed brand-new during maintenance just this last summer.

A chair on the ski lift detached on Saturday, leaving two people with only minor injuries but forcing the resort to put the lift out of commission while they investigated.

RELATED: Chair detaches from chairlift at 49 Degrees North, 2 suffer minor injuries

The resort says the chairlifts underwent maintenance over the summer, with new ‘cotter pins’ installed to fasten individual chairs to the carrying line; then the lifts were inspected by a Washington State tramway inspector and overseen by the U.S. Forest Service. Somehow, the resort says, the pin on the chair that fell was missing entirely — everything else was intact.

Since the resort does not know how the brand-new cotter pin went missing, they have decided to keep the lift closed while they install new safety mechanisms.

You can learn more about what specific new systems they are using on their website.