UP to 200 people were left stranded for hours in ski lifts gondolas in the French Alps resort of Chamrousse.
An extensive rescue operation was launched after the skiers became stuck 82ft (25m) above the snow when the lift broke down at about 3pm local time.
Two civil helicopters were drafted in to help, dropping 20 rescue personnel on to each ten-person gondola.
They were then able to open the emergency roof hatches and help those inside out – before lowering them to safety.
All those trapped had successfully been freed by 5.30pm, with no reported injuries.
The lift was built in 2009 to replace a cable car and two chairlifts, and the cause of its breakdown has not yet been established.
The gondolas in the Isere region connect the town of Chamrousse to the summit of the Croix de Chamrousse, which is about 2,250metres above sea level.
Authorities later tweeted thanking the rescuers, adding that without their help, those trapped could not have opened their presents.
https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Fnews%2F5208344%2Ffrench-alps-france-gondolas-trapped-broke-ski-life-chamrousse%2F&text=” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter