Every year hundreds of people visit the summit of Sulphur Mountain, located in Banff National Park in Canada. However, earlier this week, a group of visitors who had taken a cable car to the mountain had to spend an entire night at the cable service’s summit lodge after a lightning storm caused a power outage leading to a complete shutdown of the services.
The visitors who were stuck in the gondola cabin were rescued using an emergency drive system. However, those who were already at the top of the mountain had to spend the night on the mountain before they were brought down in helicopters the next morning. Interestingly, some people choose to hike down the mountain in the middle of the night despite the bad weather.
As per the National Post, among those who were stuck on the lodge were Jaclyn and Brennen McConnell, newlyweds who had taken the Banff Gondola cable service to the mountaintop to click pictures on their wedding day. However, the couple had to spend the night on the cold floor of the lodge.
As per social media posts of the guests stuck at the summit, the lack of communication from employees of Banff Gondola made the situation uncomfortable and caused panic among them.
One of the guests who was stuck at the summit, Helena Gil (@gil_helena), shared a video that showed people lying down on the floor of the gondola company’s premises and wrote, “Current situation at the @BanffGondola The lack of preparedness for situations like this is astonishing. Not even the gift shop is giving away blankets, sweaters etc… only the restaurants started to provide food after 2 hours here and with nobody telling us what is going on”.
Current situation at the @BanffGondola 👎🏼 The lack of preparedness for situations like this is astonishing. Not even the gift shop is giving away blankets, sweaters etc… only the restaurants started to provide food after 2 hours here and with nobody telling us what is going on pic.twitter.com/ERUWf3MI27
— Helena Gil (@gil_helena) August 8, 2023
On Wednesday, Banff Gondola posted a clarification in connection with the incident on Instagram. In it, the cable car service wrote, “Following the power outage, our first priority was to ensure the safety of those in the gondola cabins. Once hose guests were safely downloaded, our team provided guests in the upper terminal food, beverages and blankets to keep everyone as comfortable as possible, while updating them on the situation as we learned more.”
However, in the comments, many people criticised the company for not dealing with the situation well and even demanded refunds. An Instagram user wrote, “ Lies lies and lies @banffgondola we were there, and you gave us 0 information about anything.. We asked the “manager” to keep us updated and make us less “afraid” and nothing was done. We asked for blankets nothing was provided to us, because you gave everything away. When we asked for at least a hoodie, we had to pay for it ..Stop pretending you did everting to handle the situation while it was a massive shit show.What about the ticket we originally paid when we hiked down ? What about any compensation for all of that ?”