Devil's Head hosts snow event despite lift accident - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Devil's Head hosts snow event despite lift accident


MERRIMAC (WKOW) -- Devil's Head ski resort is hosting the second Riders Alliance Rock-N-Ride event, despite Thursday evening's lift accident that left more than a dozen skiers and snowboarders injured.

Like the blanket of snow that covers these hills.. the memory of thursday's lift accident.. is still fresh.

"It's definitely in the back of everyone's mind," said Julie Moran, who came up to Devil's Head for the weekend with a snowboarding club from Chicago. "Everybody's asking, 'Which chair lift was it?' and everyone's kind of cautious and thinking, 'Okay, if it happened to this chair lift, what would we do?'"

But besides the one broken lift, workers say this Saturday is like any other; they've seen no drop in numbers and no cancelled lessons.

"The resort is running as usual and it really hasn't affected our business," said Lynn Mallach, a ski and ride director at Devil's Head.

Paul Hightower drove his son and his friends all the way from Green Bay to go to this year's Rock-N-Ride. He says accident or not, Devil's Head is the place to be.

"We love this place and I mean, what happened here the other day, it could happen anywhere, at any point in time. It's not going to deter us at all. They could open that lift right now and I'd get on it. I wouldn't have any problems with it," said Hightower.

Right now there are no plans to re-open the broken lift, but workers say the other nine lifts are perfectly fine.

"Safety is important to us. We would not be open if we didn't feel that everything was safe," said Mallach.

Snow enthusiasts know there are risks involved with hitting the slopes, but they'll take their chances.

"I'm not anxious about getting on the chair lift right now, but definitely thinking about it when we're on the chair lift on our way up and it's high up off the ground," said Moran.

"It happened, it's unfortunate, but you know, life goes on and we're not going to stop doing what we love and enjoy," said Hightower.

Authorities are still investigating what caused the chair lift to roll back suddenly Thursday evening.

Three people were seriously hurt, but all are expected to recover fully.

The general manager at Devil's Head says a veteran worker was operating the lift at the time.

Online reporting by Jamie Hersch
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