The planned avalanche triggered Monday at Crystal Mountain resort at Mount Rainier, Washington, was more powerful than expected.  So powerful that it took down a chairlift, moved  as well as some 100 tre

The avalanche was intentionally triggered by the Ski Patrol and no one was injured. The area had been closed, and the explosion was set off at 4:45 p.m. Monday after the resort had closed.

Tons of snow descended, patrollers estimated it was 30 feet deep in places along the pathway, a vertical 1,000 feet.  Approximately 100 trees each between 1½ to 2 feet in diameter were also dragged down as well as the chairlift bolted onto a 6-foot concrete base. A ski lift tower that had been bolted to a concrete block was knocked down and part of the terminal was knocked about 20ft from its foundation.  Reports describe it as the worst avalanche recorded on that path since the resort opened in 1962.

A total of 25lb of explosive was detonated on the popular Throne route, on a day the resort was closed. The massive wave of snow was estimated to have been a size four on the avalanche scale, where five is the most severe.

And the Crystal Mountain Resort in West Kelowna, B.C., will remain closed for the season as officials continue to investigate a chairlift incident two weeks ago that injured four people.  Crystal Mountain Resort said Thursday that the B.C. Safety Authority is still trying to determine what caused a double chairlift to plummet to the ground on March 1.  While the investigation continues, the resort’s operating license has been suspended until three on-site investigators determine that its two chairlifts and T-bar are operating safely

In a statement released from Crystal Mountain, resort general manager Mike Morin said the investigation into what happened will continue into April and prevent the mountain from reopening.  It ends the winter early for patrons and employees, all staff have been notified of the closure and their termination of employment.

Two men, a teen boy and a woman were injured when the lift failed, according to the safety authority. One person was in critical condition and the injuries of the other three passengers included broken ribs, a broken leg and a hurt shoulder.  Morin said all four injured victims have been released from hospital and are recovering at home.

Categories: Ski Safety, Ski Safety News & Advice
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