More than 170 skiers rescued off Mt Hutt chairlift after breakdown

A mechanical breakdown caused more than 170 skiers to be rescued from a chairlift at Mt Hutt today.

Winds up to 180 km/h caused a fault on the chair lift which saw 172 people having to be rescued from the chairs yesterday. Source: 1 NEWS

The ski field's Summit 6 chairlift broke down about 11.45am, with staff using ropes to help abseil skiers to the ground.

The lift evacuation, the first at Mt Hutt in more than two decades, took about two hours.

Ski area manager James McKenzie said staff focused on getting children and elderly people off the lifts first.

He says it was a textbook rescue, with no medical events or injuries and skiers were offered hot chocolate once rescued.

Staff were "still looking into" what caused the breakdown, including whether the windy conditions were a factor.

Mt Hutt skifield Source: 1 NEWS

He says it’s too early to say if the lift would be open on Monday.

Mr McKenzie said skiers inconvenienced from the incident would be offered a refund.