Eagle Bahn Gondola in Vail stops; 74 employees rescued over several hours
The gondola broke down with employees en route to Eagle's Nest around 8:35 a.m.
VAIL — Vail Resorts employees on their way to Eagle’s Nest were detoured Wednesday morning when the Eagle Bahn Gondola stopped. No injuries were reported and all gondola passengers were safely evacuated by Vail Ski Patrol.
According to a release from the company, the gondola was reported as inoperative just after 8:35 a.m. The gondola was not open to the public at the time. Rescue operations were complete by 3:15 p.m. The gondola and all Epic Discovery activities were closed for the day.
In an emailed statement, the company stated that whatever stopped the gondola will be fixed before it re-opens. The Eagle Bahn Gondola will not open on July 4. Instead, Gondola One out of Vail Village will be open for access via shuttle and hiking from Mid Vail to Eagle’s Nest for Epic Discovery Activities, mountain dining and dinner at the Game Creek Restaurant. Bike hauling will not be available.
Guests can check for hiking and trail closes and detours at vail.com/trails or by calling 970-754-3049.
Michael Shellenberger of Berkeley, California, was about to go hike the Berrypicker trail Wednesday morning when he was stopped by a Vail Resorts employee who told him the trail was closed.
Shellenberger walked back down to Lionshead, and noticed activity around the gondola cars — ski patrol getting employees off the gondola cars using harnesses.
Shellenberger took photos from the base area with a telephoto lens. Watching and shooting, he said he saw people being taken off just about every gondola car he could see.
At the base area, Vail Resorts employees were talking with people watching the rescue unfold.
“It was all very professionally handled,” Shellenberger said. “It was a pretty well-managed response; everybody was extremely calm.”
Still, he said, his kids were disappointed they wouldn’t be able to take in the Epic Discovery activities that day.
In terms of area, it’s the county’s smallest conservation deal ever. In terms of location, it’s one of the county’s rarest acquisitions.