Getting tipsy on New Year's Eve is no rare feat, but we bet this kind of tipsy was not what guests of Alyeska's Seven Glaciers restaurant had in mind on Monday. While New Year's Eve wind speeds were only in the teens as the the tram car was bringing guests of the mid-mountain restaurant back down to the base, a freak 45 mph gust hit just as it was passing a lift tower a few hundred feet from the upper terminal, dropping the five passengers to the floor. The tram subsequently got stuck on the lift tower's guide rails, and as the storm continued building strength, the passengers had to be rescued in a specialized rescue car sent out on the tram cables Air-Force-One-style with carabiners and harnesses.
Once rescued, the five were eventually brought down the mountain in a snowcat, and one woman was treated for minor injuries, while the rest of the restaurant guests descended on a different chairlift. Two resort employees also had to be lowered down from the other tram car to the ski slope via rope and harness with a ski patrol assist. Word is the tram will be down until mechanics can figure out what, if any, kind of damage was caused by the collision. We're guessing the seven who had to be rescued might have gotten a few free rounds of shot skis on Alyeska's tab in the meantime.
· Wind slams Aleska tram car into tower, injuring 1 [Anchorage Daily News]