Sugarloaf Blames Lift Manufacturer for Rollback Brake Failure
Borvig lifts operate in 5 of 6 New England states.
Thursday, March 26, 2015,

In a March 25, 2015 media advisory, Sugarloaf posted additional findings from its investigation of the March 21 King Pine chairlift rollback, which resulted in 7 injuries.

According to the advisory, a gearbox shaft fractured around 11:30 AM. The chairlift subsequently rolled back 460 feet, reportedly in about 30 seconds. The chairlift normally operates at an uphill speed of 450 feet per minute.

With the failure of the shaft, two braking systems were unable to engage. A third brake, known as a drop dog, did not stop the lift either. According to the advisory, the switch used on the brake was insufficient: "[t]he investigation indicates that, had an appropriate switch been included in the system, the drop dog would have deployed and the rollback would have stopped immediately." The advisory also claims that "[t]his switch was provided by the lift's original manufacturer, and is still provided by the company that manufactures components for this type of lift."

The rollback was stopped after the lift operated activated the bullwheel emergency brake.

The King Pine Quad was installed new in 1988. The original manufacturer of the lift, Borvig, ceased making lifts decades ago. 10 other Borvig chairlifts remain in operation in Maine, including 6 at Sugarloaf. Borvigs also operate in every New England state except Rhode Island.

Borvig Brand Lifts - New England Ski Lift Database

  • Sugarloaf Rollback Investigation Reveals Apparent Lift Design Issue - Sugarloaf External link

  • Related Stories on
  • Lift Construction Kicks Off as Future Projects Go Through Permitting - April 27, 2024
  • Sugarloaf Opens West Mountain Expansion - February 18, 2024
  • Sugarloaf Announces Start of West Mountain Expansion - January 12, 2023
  • Sugarloaf Moving Forward with West Mountain Expansion - April 16, 2022
  • Boyne Announces Sugarloaf Expansion Plan - February 18, 2020
  • RFID Ski Pass Technology Growing in Popularity - November 5, 2019
  • Boyne Resorts Completes Purchase of Leased Ski Areas - May 9, 2018
  • Boyne Resorts to Purchase Leased Ski Areas - March 13, 2018
  • Sugarloaf Mogul Course Worker Dies After Fall - March 3, 2017
  • John Christie Passes Away - May 9, 2016

  • More Information
  • Sugarloaf Mountain Resort on
  • Sugarloaf Mountain Resort on

  • comments powered by Disqus
    Copyright 2014-, All Rights Reserved