Linking Turns: Chair falls at Indianhead, Hall gets hurt in Minneapolis, Aspen avoids shutdown

Midwest Ski Journal likes to highlight a few pieces of skiing internet worth your time in Linking Turns. Find the best, most important, least important and otherwise links here each week.

This week we look at a chairlift incident at Indianhead in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Then, we check in with skiing legend Tanner Hall who was hurt filming in Minneapolis this month. Finally, we look at Aspen’s new COVID-19 protocols, what they mean and just how close they came to shutting down completely.

TURN 1: Indianhead Lift Closed Following Incident (Peter Landsman/Liftblog)

The Leelinaw Lift at Michigan’s Indianhead Resort is reportedly closed after a chair fell from it Jan. 9. This is according to Liftblog, which tracks lift incidents and news. Indianhead is in the Upper Peninsula.

One person was seriously injured in the accident, according to an update given to Liftblog from the victim’s brother.

Leelinaw became one of the world’s first triple chairlifts when constructed by Riblet in 1964. Like most Riblet lifts, it features clips which are inserted into the haul rope rather than grips which clamp onto the rope. Earlier this season, another chair with a Riblet clip fell at 49 Degrees North in Washington State.

Peter Landsman/Liftblog

TURN 2: Tanner Hall Out for Season After Tearing Achilles Tendon While Filming in Minneapolis (SnowBrains)

This tough news had an interesting Midwest nugget tucked into it. Tanner Hall, a decorated freestyle skiing legend, tore his Achilles tendon earlier this month, effectively ending his ski season.

What caught my eye was that Hall injured himself while filming on the streets of Minneapolis for an X Games Real Ski segment.

You win some you loose some and on the 2nd of January this month I was on the loosing side of things. Been trying to put together an @xgames #realski segment since November and was out in Minneapolis stacking some street clips where on the third feature we hit I ended up tearing my Achilles Tendon.

Tanner Hall/Instagram via SnowBrains

If you’re anything like me and you know the city, your head might also have been spinning trying to figure out where and when he was filming. Man, would I have loved to stumble upon Tanner Hall skiing in my city. Pretty cool. Best wishes to Hall as he embarks on a long, rough recovery ahead.

TURN 3: Aspen Skiing Co. tweaks protocols, responsive to outbreaks among workers, county says (Scott Candon/Aspen Times)

It was a tense week in Aspen as its county board discussed possibly shutting down the four Aspen/Snowmass ski areas all together. In the end, it voted to close in-person dining and set up a few more restrictions, putting at ease the minds of local skiers.

According to state health statistics, the county is experiencing the second highest COVID-19 outbreak in the state this week, which prompted the board’s actions in the first place.

Now, as outlined in this Apsen Times piece, SkiCo is making some changes to ensure it can remain open and stop spreading the virus.

Skico is seeking ways to keep its on-mountain restaurants operational after the county decided to prohibit indoor dining, at least temporarily, starting Sunday. Visitors will only be allowed to enter restaurants to order and pick up food, use the restrooms and briefly warm up, said Skico vice president of communications Jeff Hanle. There will be no indoor seating and masks are mandatory at all times indoors.

Skico will utilize its restaurants’ patios and outdoor, open-sided tents to the greatest extent possible, depending on weather conditions, Hanle said. Tables are limited to single household use only and groups cannot be larger than eight people.

Skico also is arranging the necessary staffing to comply with the county’s direction to increase enforcement of mask requirements and social distancing in lift lines, ski base areas and other points of congregation.

The company also is contemplating how to honor the county’s directive to more closely regulate riding of chairlifts among unrelated parties.

Scott Candon/Aspen Times

I think this is interesting for 2 reasons:

  1. I love Aspen.
  2. The shutdown of an iconic American ski resort like Aspen would create a roadmap for other resorts to follow suit if their situation worsens.

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