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Lutsen Ski Patrol rescues skiers from Caribou Express chairlift

 About 25 people had more of a ski adventure than planned at Lutsen Mountains on Sunday, March 31 when the Caribou Express chairlift malfunctioned around 3 p.m., requiring an evacuation from the lift.

The Lutsen Ski Patrol has practiced numerous times for this scenario and they went into action to belay chairlift passengers to the ground. Passengers were then transported to the ground by the Lutsen Gondola. 

A page went out to the Cook County Ambulance and Lutsen First Responders at about 4 p.m. to standby at the Lutsen Ski Patrol building in case their services were needed. Fortunately the medical response was precautionary and by 5 p.m., all of the chairlift passengers had been lowered safely to the ground.

The Caribou Express high-speed, six-person chairlift opened in 2013. Lutsen Mountains co-owner Tom Rider said the lift was back in operation within an hour. The malfunction was due to an electronic card that failed and needed to be replaced. 

Lutsen Mountains is scheduled to be through this week and then on weekends  until May 5, conditions permitting.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence was on the scene and talked to two people who were rescued from the lift. Here’s her report.