Mont-Sainte-Anne Gondola Failure

Earlier today at Mont-Sainte-Anne high winds reportedly caused a gondola cabin to detach and fall to the ground. The gondola has 80 cabins that can carry up to eight passengers each, fortunately it was an empty cabin and nobody was injured.

Lift Blogs reported that the L’Étoile Filante gondola cabin was down bound when it detached and fell from the haul rope before the mountain opened for the day. A tower safety system stopped the lift automatically and workers arrived to find the cabin on the ground. The mountain has been closed for at least the weekend while the incident is investigated.

“We continue to verify the entire lift and secure the site, read a statement from the resort. “A full inspection procedure was initiated to verify and validate the causes of the event. The teams of the lift manufacturer as well as the competent authorities were called upon to assist our teams in the inspection of the gondola.”

This incident follows two major accidents with numerous injuries on the same gondola. On February 21, 2020, the gondola came to a sudden stop injuring 21 people, including 12 who were taken to hospital. A passenger commented that “the cabin swung from one side to the other and almost did a 360. Two of the three cabin windows came out and another passenger almost fell out. We had to hold him by his feet.” On March 11, 2020 another abrupt stop on the gondola left one person with minor injuries. The gondola was closed for a year and underwent a major rebuild.

Fortunately the kids’ race program and other pass-holders who normally ride the lift early were not loaded at the time of the incident.

Mont-Sainte-Anne has is experiencing much disappointment and call for change from their pass-holders, the surrounding community, and the Province. The Calgary based owners, Resorts of The Canadain Rockies (RCR), are subject to a collective action by those injured in the gondola accidents, and legal proceedings by the Quebec Government aimed at temporarily regaining ownership of the land around the mountain.

This fall the Groupe Le Massif attempted to acquire Mont-Sainte-Anne with the objective of increasing activities and offer an improved four-season Quebec product for the North American market. Their offer reportedly generated no response from the owner.

Todays gondola failure will add to the public disappointment with current management and incite additional fear of further gondola failures. We’ll update the news on the gondola and other developments as they unfold.

Ski the World!

Mont-Sainte-Anne is a ski resort located in the town of Beaupré, Quebec, about 40 km northeast of Quebec City. The mountain is part of the Laurentian mountain chain and has a summit elevation of 800 m above sea level with a vertical drop of 625 m.

For day skiing, there are 71 available downhill ski trails covering 71 km the southern, northern and western sides of the mountain. For night skiing, there are 19 trails covering 15.2 km the southern part of the mountain only. It is the highest vertical for night skiing in Canada. The average natural snowfall at the summit is 475 cm.