FILE UNDER -- Alpine

Lensman Schmeckenbecher rues Lake Louise gondola snafu

Lensman Schmeckenbecher rues Lake Louise gondola snafuTwo World Cup photographers were trapped for more than 4 1/2 hours in a gondola following the alpine World Cup races in Lake Louise on Sunday.

The two men, from Germany, were rescued by mountain operations along with more than 60 other skiers who sat in subzero temperatures while the World Cup moved on to Colorado.

The two men, Ralf Schmeckenbecher and Daniel Ulmer, are from Pressefoto Ulmer, a German photo agency. They are part of the small coterie of photographers who travel regularly with the circuit.

‘The first two hours were not so bad, but then it started to get really cold’ said Schmeckenbecher, who likened the device his rescuers used to ‘something from a James Bond movie.’

World Cup photographers are a hardy sort, getting on the mountain early to find a perfect position for their shots and rushing indoors afterward to upload photos to the Internet so European newspapers can publish their work.

Schmeckenbecher left the uploading to his brother and went skiing. ‘The race ended and we wanted to take two runs because there was new snow’ he said.

Schmeckenbecher loaded the gondola about 2:30 pm, he said.

‘I’m happy that everything is ended up like this and no one got hurt’ said Schmeckenbecher, who returned with cold toes to the ski lodge at 7:30 p.m., sat drinking hot chocolate, packed up his lenses and cameras and left the race.


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