Montreal

Mont-Saint-Anne ski resort to remain closed until it can explain falling gondola incident

The Régie du bâtiment du Québec says it still does not have all the answers it needs to greenlight the reopening of the ski lifts.

Quebec government says it still doesn't have answers needed to authorize reopening of lifts

A gondola with red tape across it.
The Mont-Saint-Anne ski resort has been shut down since Dec. 10 after a gondola fell to the ground before opening hours. (Submitted by Simon-M. Morissette)

The Mont-Saint-Anne (MSA) ski resort will have to provide additional information to the Quebec government about what led to a gondola falling last month before it can consider reopening. 

In an email sent to its customers Tuesday, the resort's management said the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) had examined a report MSA compiled following the incident, which included inspections conducted by independent experts on detachable ski lifts as well as a record of the training offered to employees.

But the RBQ, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of chairlifts in the province, says the report did not provide all the answers needed to proceed with the reopening of the ski lifts.

It wants more clarification about what caused the gondola to drop on Dec. 10 at the Beaupré, Que., resort. 

MSA paused its operations for a few days after the accident and then, on Dec. 16, was ordered to remain closed. No one was injured, but the event follows an incident from two years ago that sent 21 people to the hospital after they were injured on the ski lift.

The government says it will not greenlight the resumption of lift operations at MSA until the resort meets the RBQ's requirements.

MSA requested that the order to close be lifted, but was denied.

The RBQ said all detachable chairlifts will have to comply with the same recommendations that will follow an analysis report of the damaged gondola line, L'Étoile filante (shooting star).

However, in an e-mail sent to its customers on Dec. 27, MSA stated that it had prioritized inspections of the main chairlifts, thus excluding, for the moment, the gondola line.

Corrective measures

For L'Étoile filante, resort management will have to provide an analysis report aimed at understanding the causes of the Dec. 10 incident and the malfunction of the attachment that led to its fall.

Corrective measures will then have to be proposed and approved by an engineer who practises in a field linked to lifts. 

In addition to the verifications and recommendations, each of the other detachable chairlifts will also need to have a safety certification signed by an engineer.

For the mountain's only non-detachable chairlift, La Tortue (tortoise), the resort must demonstrate that the training has been completed by the personnel who will be working on it.

Red ski gondola lying on its side in snow.
The Régie du bâtiment du Québec says it still does not have all the answers it needs to greenlight the reopening of the ski lifts. It wants more clarification about what caused the gondola to fall. (Simon-M. Morissette)

Continuous work

The ski resort says its teams are already back at work to provide the additional information requested by the RBQ. Extra training is also being offered to lift employees.

The first practical and theoretical training sessions began during the week of Dec. 26 under the supervision of an engineer.

With the exception of the school slopes, the ski area will remain closed until further notice. No date for the reopening has been set yet.

Based on a report by Radio-Canada's Érik Chouinard

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