Lightning closes chairlifts |

Lightning closes chairlifts

Afternoon lightning prompted officials to shut down lifts at Beaver Creek and Vail mountains for about a half-hour Wednesday afternoon.

Skiers and snowboarders at Beaver Creek were ushered into the nearest restaurant or lodge or down to the base of the mountain after lightning was spotted just after 2 p.m., said Christina Schleicher, a spokeswoman.

Lifts at Vail Mountain were shut down for 35 minutes, and lifts at Beaver Creek were shut down for 25 minutes. Vail Mountain spokeswoman Jen Brown said it took about an hour to clear skiers out of Blue Sky Basin, the most remote area of Vail Mountain.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority and when events likes these thunderstorms occur we may be forced to briefly shut down our lifts until the lightning passes,” Brown said.

Skiers and snowboarders were allowed back on the lifts by about 3 p.m.

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