| VailDaily.com

Vail Valley pilot set to take off in Jetset magazine contest

Jet-setting Isabelle Moore is a woman of the world in every possible respect. She’s a corporate jet pilot, model and fitness instructor. She was born in Switzerland, raised in Edwards and is fluent in French.

She has been everywhere and wants to go everywhere else.

“I have aspirations to see every continent as well as many countries,” Moore said.

Her long list of future adventures includes travel to Morocco, Seychelles, Istanbul, the Maldives, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil, Tanzania and the Serengeti.

Miss Jetset

The mother of three daughters doesn’t have much downtime but was perusing Jetset, a lifestyle magazine for the private/corporate aviation industry, when she spotted an ad for the Miss Jetset contest.

“I’ve always modeled, from my late teens and early 20s, on the side as something fun,” Moore said.

She was initially reluctant about the contest but spoke with her modeling agency. They said something like, “You’re hesitating?!? Seriously?!? You should do it!!!”

So she did.

“Now it’s down to the nitty-gritty,” Moore said.

She’s leading the voting in her group, but all that resets this Sunday, Feb. 23, when she’ll need lots more votes. It resets again on Feb. 28. The final round of voting runs from March 6-12.

“It starts with thousands of entrants and ends up with just one,” Moore said.

Paying it forward

The contest speaks volumes to her three girls, she said.

Along with the title comes a $50,000 cash prize, which she said she “hopes to pay forward by giving it those who need it.”

She said some of her friends’ children are suffering with cancer. Her niece has suffered through a long series of horrific hip surgeries.

“As a mother of three children, I have a huge heart and passion for children,” Moore said. “If I was lucky enough to win, I would be able to give back in a meaningful way, to make sure that any child can receive the care they need.”

She would be in good company. In the decade since Jetset magazine was launched, Miss Jetset has donated $663,321.60 to help children and their families dealing with pediatric cancer.

An overachiever takes off

Moore graduated Vail Christian High School in 2002. She was raised in Edwards and decided in the eighth grade to be a pilot. She read a little about it at Berry Creek Middle School, went home and announced her intention.

“Dad, I’m going to be a pilot,” she said.

“Of course you are,” he replied

She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, “The Harvard of the Skies.” Because she finished Vail Christian High School with so many college credits, she earned her four-year Embry-Riddle degree in two and a half years.

She was just 19 when she landed an internship with Frontier Airlines.

At 23, Moore became one of the youngest female airline captains. Pilots must be 23 years old and have 1,500 hours to get their full Airline Pilot Transport License and become a commercial captain, according to the Pilot Institute.

Moore said she applied days after her 23rd birthday that September, and received her upgrade later that fall. She started flying for Great Lakes Aviation, a commuter airline based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with a hub in Denver.

Some life happened along the way. Her dad, Paul Maloney, fell sick with cancer, so she stuck close to home, working as a Training Center Examiner for a simulator instructor program and hanging with her dad.

A local family recruited her as their private pilot and now she’s based in the Vail Valley Jet Center. Private pilots are under a confidentiality agreement with their clients, so she cannot say anything about them, other than they’re wonderful.

“I’m so fortunate and thankful. I get to be based at home and work in aviation,” Moore said.

Hickenlooper has likely secured his spot on the U.S. Senate primary ballot. But will the Democratic base embrace him?

John Hickenlooper on Wednesday likely secured his spot on Colorado’s 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate primary ballot, turning in thousands of signatures — about a month earlier than necessary — to ensure he is part of the June election. 

But the two-term former governor still faces a test in the form of the the state’s caucuses next month, an alternate ballot-access process, where he is trying to gain enough support from the Democratic base to fend off rival candidates.

Hickenlooper needed to turn in 1,500 signatures collected from registered voters in each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office by March 17 to qualify for the ballot. 

His campaign on Wednesday said it submitted over 2,000 signatures from each congressional district to give it enough cushion to ensure he qualifies. Hickenlooper’s staffers boasted that they collected the signatures earlier than campaigns traditionally do.

“This is such a big step to go out and get thousands of signatures from all across the state,” Hickenlooper told reporters. “People are fired up.”

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.

Colorado won’t stop employers from firing workers for marijuana use off the clock

Colorado legislators decided Wednesday not to advance a bill that aimed to protect employees from being fired for using marijuana in their personal time.

The 10 members of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voted unanimously against the bill, HB 20-1089, after nearly three hours of testimony from people on each side.

Though the bill would have done nothing to prohibit employers from administering drug tests, many committee members cited the lack of an adequate test to determine whether an employee is intoxicated in the moment — much like a breathalyzer does for alcohol — as a reason to table it. Others thought the proposed change to the law was too broad.

“The concern about keeping a workplace safe and not having a reliable method for testing people’s impairment, the interest in maintaining a productive workplace, I think those are compelling,” said Rep. Shannon Bird, D-Westminster.

“I do find some compelling arguments of people needing to use cannabis for medical reasons,” she added. “The bill, I think, is much broader than that, than trying to narrow in on that conversation about how we make sure that people don’t lose their jobs for taking something they need to make it through the day.”

Read more via The Denver Post.

Aspen Skiing Co. says Ikon Pass use is up, local pass use down so far this season

Aspen Skiing Co. is matching last season’s pace for skier visits through the first half of this winter even though local passholders aren’t hitting the slopes as frequently.

Skico’s business is “maybe a little bit up” despite a major difference from last season, according to Jeff Hanle, vice president of communications. In 2018-19, there were numerous big powder Saturdays that lured hordes of skiers from the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding area as well as Ikon passholders. This year, there haven’t been as many powder days overall, so far, and not the same amount of monster powder days on Saturdays. Nevertheless, snowpack in the Aspen area is at about 120% of median.

“Very steady is what it’s been,” Hanle said Wednesday of this year’s business. “I think we’ve seen fewer peaks and valleys than we did in previous seasons.”

Last season broke a 21-year-old record for skier visits for Skico, with the number topping out at about 1.55 million.

It’s too early to say if this season will keep pace through closing weekend. Aspen’s ski season passed the halfway point Feb. 6.

Fewer big pow days has translated into less enthusiasm among some local residents and the decreased pass use.

On the other hand, use of the Ikon Pass is up at the four Aspen-Snowmass resorts compared with last winter’s debut for the product, Hanle said.

“We’re seeing a significant increase in Ikon Pass use,” he said.

That corresponds with fewer sales of Skico’s Classic Pass, popular with out-of-towners, and the Mountain Collective, a pass that provides access to several iconic resorts.

“The net effect is to make us just about even with last year,” Hanle said of overall numbers for those passes.

The Ikon Pass is sold by Aspen Skiing Co.’s sister company, Alterra Mountain Co. The Crown family, which owns 100% of Skico, is a partner in Alterra. The pass provides access to a collective seven or five days on the Aspen-Snowmass slopes, depending on the version purchased.

Last season, some local skiers blamed Ikon passholders for crowded conditions despite repeated claims from Skico officials that local pass use was the biggest contributor to lift line waits on the busiest days. The Ikon Pass accounted for about 9% of all skier days, according to Skico.

Alterra Mountain Co. CEO Rusty Gregory said there is no doubt the Ikon Pass was a contributor to crowding issues last season at the resorts Alterra owns and affiliates such as Aspen-Snowmass. He attributes that to the buzz around a new product and the great snow conditions.

“It was a super-charged year,” Gregory said.

He said Alterra’s own resorts have made adjustments to deal with capacity issues. Affiliates such as Aspen-Snowmass did, as well. Skico paid for extra bus service to Aspen Highlands from the parking lot at Brush Creek Road and Highway 82, for example.

Alterra sold about 250,000 Ikon Passes last season, according to multiple media reports. While the company hasn’t released its sales figures for 2019-20, Gregory acknowledged, “We sold considerably more passes.”

More passes translate into more business on the slopes. Skier visits at resorts owned by Alterra in Colorado and Utah are “significantly up,” according to Gregory. Eastern resorts are “solidly up” while resorts in California are down, in large part because of a recent dry spell, he said.

“It’s really a solid year of growth for us,” Gregory said.

Aspen Skiing Co. officials are encouraged that business is hanging tight with what became a record season in 2018-19.

“It’s been good,” Hanle said. “We’ve been happy with everything.”

It could be a challenge keeping pace with the skier visits racked up during the last few days of February and first two weeks of March last season. An epic storm cycle dumped prodigious amounts of snow on the slopes and brought out the locals. Pass use was up by as much as 40% at one point last season and ended the season up by double digits.


Jody Churich is Keystone Resort’s 2nd female general manager, reflecting a growing industry trend

KEYSTONE RESORT — On Oct. 11, Keystone Resort became the first ski area in North America to announce it would open for the season the following day. Two hours later, in a surprise move, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area officials announced they would open the ski area that afternoon. As the news broke, skiers scrambled for first chair.

That was Keystone Resort General Manager Jody Churich’s third day at work.

Despite the chaos, Churich said opening day was amazing. 

“I mean, the team here is absolutely so experienced and so in love with what they do and with Keystone,” Churich said. “People here love what they do and are passionate about snowsports, and it’s just been an amazing environment.”

Churich, who is the second female general manager at Keystone Resort, came to Colorado via Utah.

“I came by way of Park City and was in Park City for the last seven years,” Churich said. “For the last year, I was working for Vail as the senior director of skier services — so overseeing all of the ski schools, product sales and services — and before that I was the chief operating officer for Woodward.”

She and her husband moved to Summit County with their dog as empty nesters, and she felt Keystone was a good fit for her. 

“Really the brand fit for me was ideal because I come from a lot of youth action sports and really kids programming,” Churich said. “And that’s where my passion is, is in youth sports.”

Her experience working with children also ties into her vision for what she wants to bring to Keystone: inspiration for kids to progress in their snowsports passions and to strengthen Keystone’s family experience.

Churich also talked about being a woman in leadership in the snowsports industry.

“One of the things that I’m most stoked about in joining Vail is the new POWDER initiative, which is about providing opportunities for women, diversity, equality and respect,” Churich said. “… It’s just so inspiring to be able to be a role model for other women coming up in this industry.”

Churich also said she is surrounded by a lot of next-generation leaders within Vail Resorts. 

“Myself and Beth Howard at Vail and Nadia Guerriero at Beaver Creek, the three of us being in Colorado together as leaders within Vail is really inspiring for me,” Churich said. “It’s so cool to be part of a group of women that are doing such great things in this industry.”

In 2006, Churich and Pat Campbell became the first female general managers in the industry. At the time, Churich was at Boreal Mountain Resort and Soda Springs Mountain Springs in California, and Campbell was at Keystone. Churich recalled someone telling her that she had broken a glass ceiling.

“It never even occurred to me,” Churich said. “It was just, I got tapped and went for it.”

Skier dies at Winter Park Resort

A skier died Tuesday at Winter Park Resort after suffering from an apparent medical episode, according to the resort.

Around 1:20 p.m. Tuesday, a 58-year-old man from Westminster was skiing on White Rabbit when he appeared to have a medical episode. Ski Patrol responded to the incident and took the man to the Winter Park Denver Health Medical Center, where continued efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

“Winter Park Resort extends its deepest condolences to the man’s family and friends in the wake of this incident,” a resort spokesperson said in a statement.

This is the second skier death at Winter Park Report this year after 25-year-old man died Jan. 18 after colliding with a tree on White Rabbit, the same run that the man from Westminster was skiing.

The man’s name has not been released.

Vail’s Josef Staufer named latest Vail Trailblazer winner

Josef Staufer, known for his impassioned speeches that have inspired bold and visionary actions by Vail’s leadership for nearly 60 years, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Vail Trailblazer Award. Presented by the Vail Town Council, the annual Vail Trailblazer Award honors those who contribute their time and talent to make Vail a great resort community. 

Staufer and his family, including wife Anne, son Jonathan, daughter-in-law Wendi and granddaughter Freyja, will be formally recognized at the March 3 Vail Town Council evening meeting, in which a mayor’s proclamation honoring his significant contributions will be read into the public record. Recognition will also take place during the Vail Annual Community Meeting March 10 at Donovan Pavilion. 

Staufer was among a handful of hospitality-trained Austrians who were drawn to Vail during its early days and is perhaps best known for helping shape Vail’s identity by cautioning that bigger is not always better. On numerous occasions, Staufer has been eager to share his cautionary observations about overdevelopment and has implored Vail to resist unbridled growth. “The only people that can ruin Vail is us,” he once observed. 

Trailblazer nominators provided examples of Staufer’s hard work, integrity and steadfast persistence over the decades in working to make Vail better for everyone — in ways both big and small. His European roots, they say, have been the basis for Staufer’s appreciation for beautiful architecture and furnishings, excellent cuisine and warm hospitality.

During Vail’s initial years, Staufer embraced the vision to model Vail after an alpine mountain town saying, “if this place doesn’t make it, nothing will.” He served in hotel and restaurant management positions at Mid-Vail, Lodge at Vail and Manor Vail before eventually partnering with an investor to purchase the Vail Village Inn in 1969.

In his quest to help the resort succeed, Staufer was instrumental in founding Vail’s original resort association and served as president for a time. He is also credited with convincing his bosses to extend the Lodge at Vail’s season during those early years in recognition of Vail’s potential as a summer destination.  

Staufer’s civic leadership was realized in 1972 when he was elected to the Vail Town Council. As Vail was turning the corner on its first decade that year, a profile in the Vail Trail newspaper identified Staufer as “A Fighter for Tomorrow.” And fighter he has been. Staufer helped lead an unpopular effort to acquire the land that would eventually become Ford Park, saving it from certain development. In another instance, he was instrumental in insisting that a new parking structure planned for Vail Village needed to be buried and landscaped. This required convincing fellow residents to vote to issue bonds to pay for it. 

Looking to the future, Staufer was among those who helped persuade Eagle County Schools to build an elementary school in Vail by offering town property for the eventual construction of Red Sandstone Elementary, which opened in 1977. He continued his service on the council through 1977, the last two years as mayor pro tem. 

Staufer’s presence as a business owner continued for more than 30 years with operation of the Vail Village Inn hotel and restaurant until its sale in 1998, while wife Anne had her own success in operating a gift shop, including the present-day Annie’s. Son Jonathan was born and raised in Vail and, like his father, has become an advocate for environmental stewardship. Jonathan is the owner of Grappa Fine Wines and Spirits, located in Vail Village.  

Now in retirement, the elder Staufers enjoy splitting their time between Vail and their home in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Today, at age 85, Josef never tires of sharing his love for Vail by weighing in on issues that matter most to him. His letters to the editor and his passionate commentary at town meetings serve as a reminder of his unwavering conviction that have helped shape Vail as we know it today. 

“It is a great honor to be recognized by my peers — the people who worked so hard to make this place — for my contributions to our amazing home, Vail, Colorado,” Staufer said.

The Vail Trailblazer Award was established during the town’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2016. Staufer is the fifth recipient to be honored and was selected by a Town Council committee from among other deserving nominations. 

For more information about the Vail Trailblazer Award and the nomination process, go to vailgov.com/trailblazeraward.

Walsh wins World Cup GS; salutes Shiffrin family

Vail’s Thomas Walsh won Wednesday’s Para Alpine Skiing World Cup giant slalom in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, and dedicated the victory to Jeff Shiffrin, who passed away earlier this month.

Walsh, a cancer survivor, and Mikela Shiffrin grew up together skiing and have been close friends throughout the years.

Walsh, wearing “Be Nice. Think first. Have fun,” Jeff’s words by which to live, taped to the front of his helmet, posted on Twitter after his win.

“Jeff Shiffrin, who passed away, a really good friend of mine, I owe a lot to him, helping me continue to live and continue to ski race,” Walsh said in his video tweet. “I just want to give a shoutout to the entire Shiffrin family, Mikaela, Taylor, Eileen and all the extended family. I’ve been thinking about Jeff. I’ve had this on my helmet every day. He was definitely with me as I won this GS.”

When Walsh was 14, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. He completed his radiation treatment in 2010. In the process of fighting the disease, he had parts of his lung and pelvis removed.

Having skied with Shiffrin in then-Ski Club Vail, Walsh and the Shiffrin family stayed close through his trials and travails.

“He has that kind of ‘zest-for-life’ that is very rare, very contagious, and cannot be stifled. Not even by cancer,” Shiffrin told The Associated Press last spring. “Thomas was always a much better athlete than I was. He was literally good at everything. I mean, everything. Skiing, soccer, a triathlon, dancing, acting, singing, school — you name it. He did it all and he was always the best.”

Walsh has gone on to make the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team. Walsh finished fifth at the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018. He won two bronze medals at the 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Italy.

And Wednesday, he won by 0.21 seconds over Arthur Bauchet in the giant slalom. With the victory came a heartfelt message to Jeff and the Shiffrin family.

“It is one of the messages I carry in my heart,” Walsh said on Twitter. “I find myself in debt to people who helped me overcome my cancer treatment and continue to support me while living with a disability. Jeff was one of the most influential people (to help) me do that.”

Obituary: Cesar ‘Pollo’ Andres Almanza Hernandez

Cesar “Pollo” Andres Almanza Hernandez, 29, passed away enjoying one of the many activities he loved with one of his best friends — Dillon Block — at his side on Feb. 15 near Vail.

He was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Nov. 2, 1990, to Librado and Guadalupe (Hernandez) Almanza. Pollo grew up in Eagle, arriving in the community at age 3. He graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 2009. While at EVHS he received several sports awards and was named to the All-Western Slope team.

Pollo made sure to live the 29 years of his life to the fullest. He enjoyed many activities such as dirt biking/snow biking, trail rides on his side-by-side, snowboarding and basketball. More than anything, he loved his trucks.

He was a dreamer, a big bear with a heart of gold and a perfect soul. He was a wonderful role model for his nieces and nephews. His family and friends will always remember being embraced in one of his trademark bear hugs, followed by a kiss on the cheek.

“Everyone always said how Pollo was the tall one and we were all much shorter,” said his sister Yazmin. “It was because every time he hugged me my head would lie in the right spot, near his heart of gold.”

He is survived by his mother Guadalupe (Hernandez) Almanza; father Librado Almanza; brother and sister-in-law Luis Carlos and Carol Almanza; sister Yazmin Adriana Almanza and Francisco Lopez; nieces Adriana, Isabella, Lexi and Breanna; nephews Carlos, Christian and Luis Andres; and many dear friends.

A funeral Mass is planned at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Eagle at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, with interment at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Gypsum following the service. Additionally, a celebration of the lives of Pollo and Dillon is planned at Eagle Valley High School on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 4 to 9 p.m. A time of remembrance is planned at 4:30 p.m. followed by a community meal. The main dish will be provided and attendees can bring side dishes to share.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Pollo Almanza memorial account at FirstBank. Farnum Holt Funeral Home in Glenwood Springs is handling arrangements.

Vail chairlift death similar to 2000 case, attorney says

A local attorney said he sees similarities between last week’s chairlift death of a New Jersey man, and a case he won against Vail Resorts following an incident 20 years ago.

Attorney Joe Bloch won a chairlift injury case against Vail Resorts stemming from a Feb. 1, 2000, incident on the Arrowbahn Express lift in which a chairlift seat was flipped up and a woman was injured when she fell through.

Jason Varnish, 46, of Short Hills, New Jersey, died Feb. 13 while riding Chair 37 in Vail’s Blue Sky Basin, according to Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis.

Bettis said the chairlift seat had flipped up and Varnish fell through. His ski coat got caught on the chair and went around his head and neck in a position that compromised his airway.

“It’s a dangerous sport. We all know that. There are risks. But falling through a lift chair and asphyxiating should not be one of them,” Bloch said in a phone interview.

Two decades ago

It was Feb. 1, 2000, when Sallyann Aarons and her husband Alan, a 28-year veteran of the National Ski Patrol, tried to get on the Arrowbahn Express lift. Aarons, who was 68 at the time, was an experienced skier of more than 40 years.

Lift operators flip lift seats up when the ski day is done so they’re dry and free of ice and snow in the morning, Bloch said.

Local attorney Joe Bloch sees similarities between this 2002 case he won against Vail Resorts and last week’s chairlift death.
Jury Verdict Reports of Colorado

The seat on their lift chair had flipped up and Sallyann was pushed past the ramp and was thrown onto a rock pile below, Bloch said.

“When something malfunctions it happens fast and becomes extremely dangerous,” Bloch said.

Sallyann suffered a broken clavicle that never fused and a torn rotator cuff.

The case took two years to come to trial before Eagle County District Court Judge Richard Hart.

According to a case summary, Vail Resorts admitted that the lift operator was negligent for failing to stop the lift, and tried to flip down the chairlift seat instead of stopping the lift.

In the Aarons’ case, the lift operator tried to hold the chair back, Bloch said.

“They should have hit the emergency stop. It would have been stopped before it cleared the loading zone,” Bloch said.

After the two-day trial, the jury found Vail Resorts negligent in training and operation, the case summary said. The jury awarded the Aarons $175,000.

Bloch advocates for video cameras in chairlift loading and unloading zones.

“Why don’t they have them? Who cares about their exposure? Let’s care about making people safe,” Bloch said.

Varnish’s death ruled an accident

Varnish’s death has been ruled an accident.

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Varnish was a managing director for Credit Suisse Group AG. He most recently served as the bank’s global head of prime services risk. He’d spent more than 20 years at Credit Suisse after he joined in collateral and valuations in London in 1998.

“On behalf of all employees of Credit Suisse, we send our deepest condolences to Jason’s family and friends,” the bank said in a statement Tuesday.

Varnish, according to his obituary, is survived by his sons Cameron and Luko, his daughter Grace, and their mother Jo. His many passions included music, reading and cars, and he was an excellent and eager cook. Above all else, Jase loved his family, the obituary reads. A memorial is scheduled for Sunday at Prospect Presbyterian Church in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Last week Bettis said that, according to witnesses, the chairlift’s folding seat was in the upright position, instead of being folded down so riders could sit on it. That left an open area through which one could fall through if they did not notice the seat was not in place.

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board said that, for now, the investigation shows nothing mechanical failed.

“The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board is working with Vail Mountain Resort on its investigation into the Feb. 14, 2020 fatality on the Skyline Express Lift. There is no indication at this juncture that lift components or operations contributed to the tragic accident. Any further questions regarding this matter should be addressed to Vail Resorts,” Lee Rasizer with the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board said Wednesday morning in an email.

The ongoing investigation includes Vail Ski Patrol, Vail Resorts, Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle County Coroner’s Office, Vail Public Safety Communications.

Bettis had “no comment” regarding the investigation. Jessie Porter, a public information officer with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in an email Wednesday to the Vail Daily: “We have received several different requests for information regarding this incident. At this time this is an active investigation and our reports are not at an appropriate level that they can be released at this time.”

Vail Resorts did not respond to requests for comment on Bloch’s 2000 case and what had been done since then to mitigate chairlift seats flipping up.

Vail Resorts did release a statement after Varnish’s death last week.

“Vail Mountain confirms a serious incident that took place yesterday involving a 46-year-old man from New Jersey. The incident occurred when the guest attempted to load the Skyline Express lift (Chair 37). Vail Mountain Ski Patrol responded to the incident and performed CPR and emergency care on scene before the guest was transported to Vail Health, where he was pronounced deceased,” the company said.

The National Ski Areas Association, a resort trade group, wrote in a 2017 industry paper that chairlift deaths because of mechanical malfunction are rare. Kelly Huber, a 40-year-old Texas woman, was killed after being thrown from a ski lift at Granby Ranch resort in 2016 because of a malfunction with the lift’s mechanical drive. Lift injuries caused by other nonmechanical issues are more common, including one from 2017 where a skier’s backpack was caught by a chairlift at Arapahoe Basin. The man was dragged back down the hill hanging by his neck and unconscious before he was cut down and rescued.