Rider fell off Red Lady Express chairlift in early January

Scant details released but no major injury reported

[ By Mark Reaman ]

While few details are being released, Crested Butte Mountain Resort did confirm that a person riding the Red Lady Express chairlift fell off the lift on January 2.

The Crested Butte News received an email January 6 asking about the accident. “A boarder fell some 35-40 feet onto the groomer at the top of Red Lady lift on 1/2/2021. I don’t know much more than that, but there was definitely blood on the snow,” the email stated.

The News reached out to CBMR senior communications specialist Will Shoemaker about the incident. He replied by email that, “Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) confirms that on Saturday, Jan. 2 CBMR Ski Patrol responded to a report that a 20-year-old male fell from the Red Lady Express lift. The guest was transported to Gunnison Valley Hospital.”

When asked for more details about the incident, Shoemaker said he was not at liberty to provide any more details.

The Mt. Crested Butte police department reported that they were not informed of any such accident that occurred on the Red Lady Lift.

Gunnison Valley Hospital spokesperson Kylie Murgatroyd said GVH could not release information under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations.

The U.S. Forest Service responded on January 25 to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the News on January 11. The Forest Service responded that medical situations and personal privacy were protected information. “We have determined that the release of the personal information that has been redacted from the enclosed documents would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy for the individual; therefore, this information is being withheld…” the Forest Service letter stated.

The response did include a basic incident report with redactions. The USFS report added only that the male in his 20’s “fell from the chairlift between towers 18 and 19. No severe injuries. The safety bar was not down. The Tramway Board was notified.”

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