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Holy Crap! So much for High Campbell at Crystal...Avalanche

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 

OK, normally PNW stuff goes in the PNW thread. But this is pretty newsworthy. After hours control work at Crystal brought this sucker down today. FWIW, they did have the lift closed all day. However, we did ski right through the area in the pic this morning (the area near the lift base was open). 

 

*

 

More info on the Crystal FB page.

 

The big question though: Is the lift cursed? It used to be at Yodelin - which was destroyed by an avalancheI

post #2 of 58

What's that? Like 20+ feet of debris? Amazing that no one was hurt. And big slides in Bear Pits, Powder Bowl, and Employee Housing. What a mess. The snowpack is just super saturated and heavy.

 

http://youtu.be/Yxi8aWWg3n0

 

It's going to be really tough to do control work without the lift until it's replaced/rebuilt. Lot's of intermediate terrain will be affected. 

post #3 of 58
Thread Starter 

Crystal says it released at 4:45 PM from a charge on the throne.

 

And yeah - all those other slides too. The patroller we talked with in the AM was pretty clear on how crappy the snowpack was. And it showed even in vanilla places like Middle Ferks . Maybe I'm a wimp - but I thought the snow even in there skied pretty weirdly. Kind of alternating ice crust and breakable surface into just rotten stuff. With the odd couple of nice turns just to sucker you in. Although all in all it was a fun enough day of skiing...

 

My head is still spinning looking at that image. I can't even imagine the force of that much snow/ice/water.

post #4 of 58

Man, you don't see something like that very often.  That's amazing, and scary.

post #5 of 58

Someone should post this in the in bounds avalanche thread.  How's that for inherent danger?

post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Someone should post this in the in bounds avalanche thread.  How's that for inherent danger?

 

 

I tried... posted the link to the 'old' employee housing slide. Remember though, lot's of explosives were involved. Honestly, I think the folks who don't think these things happen just can't wrap their minds around our terrain and snowpack.

post #7 of 58

Ya, I kind of expected this when I saw the huge totals over the past couple weeks piking up.  Not just a lot but a lo of wet, heavy stuff crashing down and laying waste to everything in the path.

post #8 of 58

It's the heavy rain that causing current problems, not just deep snow... we have the deep part a lot.

post #9 of 58

Hah @ FB...

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

What's that? Like 20+ feet of debris? Amazing that no one was hurt. And big slides in Bear Pits, Powder Bowl, and Employee Housing. What a mess. The snowpack is just super saturated and heavy.

 

http://youtu.be/Yxi8aWWg3n0

 

It's going to be really tough to do control work without the lift until it's replaced/rebuilt. Lot's of intermediate terrain will be affected. 

Upper Crystal is a mess.

 

How are things over in Northway?  Whole lot of aspects there that should be prime to go too.

post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

 

 

I tried... posted the link to the 'old' employee housing slide. Remember though, lot's of explosives were involved. Honestly, I think the folks who don't think these things happen just can't wrap their minds around our terrain and snowpack.


Really fortunate that nobody was hurt.  The Crystal patrol are pretty Olympian and deserve major credit for all that they do to keep the terrain safe. I think that we often forget that is pretty serious out there, even with regular snow pack. 

 

On FB the mountain is already saying that a new lift, similar to Northway is in the works for the summer.  That would be a miraculous turn around if they pull it off.  If not, I suppose they could operate a cat ski operation in Southback.  But you are right, Mark, more important is access to the ridge for avy control.

post #12 of 58

I was thinking about bumping this thread - Avalanches inside the ski area boundary?   - 

But decided to start a new one. 

 This goes to show you, the term "controlled avalanche" is ....ummmm unpredictable.

 

This photo was posted by Kim Kircher with this note: 

Down to ground. This shot took out Chair 6 at Crystal today.

Then this on Crystal Mountain's page  

Quote:
 As you may know by now, an avalanche destroyed the bottom terminal and towers of the High Campbell lift today. A lot of you are asking about getting on the list to buy one of these chairs, we will announce a plan for this soon so please stay tuned. In the meantime, just be thankful no one was hurt and that our ski patrol is looking after our safety. We plan to build a new lift this summer similar to the Northway chair.

 

Avalanche knocks bottom of High Campbell 15 feet off its foundation. Nobody was hurt. Time for a new lift this summer.

High Campbell towers and chairs down from after-hours avalanche, Queens Run closed until further notice.

Avalanche triggered by ski patrol on the Throne takes out High Campbell chairlift.

post #13 of 58
Can one of you guys consolidate the Crystal avy threads? Thanks in advance! smile.gif
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Can one of you guys consolidate the Crystal avy threads? Thanks in advance! smile.gif

I did a quick search and didn't see Spindrifts thread.  Merged.  Thanks. 

Are there more? 

post #15 of 58
I posted one... Think it was titled ' a little control work'
post #16 of 58

whoa.

post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

whoa.

Xactly:eek

post #18 of 58

This raw news footage just showed up.  I think this would be considered crud.  Discuss if you want, but I don't want to ski that stuff.

 

http://www.kirotv.com/videos/news/raw-video-chopper-7-over-crystal-mountain/vCS52N/

post #19 of 58

Kim Kircher posted this link on her Facebook wall with a comment: KUOW reporter gets it right. 

Its a good read

http://kuow.org/post/intentional-avalanche-destroys-crystal-mountain-chairlift#.Ux-3hNlkaHE.facebook

post #20 of 58

Holy wow!!

post #21 of 58
post #22 of 58
post #23 of 58

Here’s some footage of the Throne avalanche and it’s aftermath. This video is courtesy of patroller Andy Harrington.

 

post #24 of 58

That is a serious slide. I was skiing that chair the first few years it was in there, it seemed to break all the damn time back then. I had to be evac'ed off it one time when it broke down during a storm. That wasn't the bad part. The bad part is that I was pretty young and ran out of weed waiting for ski patrol to get us down. Then I discovered Tahoe and it was all down hill from there. 

 

Maybe Crystal can make a deal with Squaw, Squaw has a bunch of lifts they don't use much. Granite Chief, Silverado, many more. 

post #25 of 58
Thread Starter 
A few shots from today.
 
This first one below is Powder Bowl. Lucky Shot & Little Portillo runs are below cat track level  - though Little Portillo is kind of "out of order" as it is in the big path. This is on the opposite side of the ridge from where High Campbell lift was taken out. Impressive in its own right...
 

 

A few shots of the High Campbell side of things:

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #26 of 58

I was just going to post that link.  

I can't imagine experiencing that kind of slide, let alone a slide that you set off.

 

Here's a little snip from the blog. 

Quote:
 

So what did it feel like to let loose such a big slide?

Scary.

Seeing a big avalanche up close is an awesome thing. There’s nothing like it. As soon as the shot went off, my route partners and I ( we were a team of three women that my husband now calls the Three Shivas) knew it was big. We approached the ridge and looked down. The avalanche was just separating from the slope and noisily tearing down the mountain. At first all I heard was a low whoosh. Then a deep rumble. Next I heard the terrible sound of trees snapping. Finally I heard the sound of twisting metal.

 

 

 
post #27 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
 

Here’s some footage of the Throne avalanche and it’s aftermath. This video is courtesy of patroller Andy Harrington.

 

 

This video is my favorite so far... Just awesome. Thanks for posting it.

post #28 of 58
Love this.

post #29 of 58

Something that really impresses me is that Crystal has embraced the media coverage of this news.  Fortunately no one was hurt, but many resorts would be blaming the Ski Patrol for the loss of the lift, or suppressing any contact with the media.  When was the last time you saw a ski patrol member actually allowed to talk to the media about their jobs, an accident or an avalanche?   Instead of gagging the Patrol members, we have Youtube video and open candid blogs about what happened and who was involved, and what they thought!

 

This is great, and props to the Crystal management team that not only allowed these people to speak, but is actually promoting the sale of the chairlift parts.  Just goes to show what happens when SKIERS run mountains.

 

Crystal Mountain to Sell Chairs From Avalanche

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. March 11, 2014 (AP)
 
Within hours of an intentionally-set avalanche wiping out a chairlift at Crystal Mountain, the resort at Mount Rainier started hearing from people who wanted to buy the damaged chairs.

The Washington state resort plans to replace the chairlift this summer and it routinely sells off decommissioned chairs, but it's still dealing with Monday's avalanche. The slide was triggered by an explosive set off by the Ski Patrol to remove unstable snow.

General Manager John Kircher says on the resort's website that people who want chairs should put their name on a list at the office. He says, "The demand has been overwhelming, but right now is not the time."

The High Campbell chairlift was hit by an avalanche 30 feet deep that swept down a slope known as the Throne.

post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
 

Something that really impresses me is that Crystal has embraced the media coverage of this news.  Fortunately no one was hurt, but many resorts would be blaming the Ski Patrol for the loss of the lift, or suppressing any contact with the media.  When was the last time you saw a ski patrol member actually allowed to talk to the media about their jobs, an accident or an avalanche?   Instead of gagging the Patrol members, we have Youtube video and open candid blogs about what happened and who was involved, and what they thought!

 

This is great, and props to the Crystal management team that not only allowed these people to speak, but is actually promoting the sale of the chairlift parts.  Just goes to show what happens when SKIERS run mountains.

 

Crystal Mountain to Sell Chairs From Avalanche

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. March 11, 2014 (AP)
 
 
 

 

Within hours of an intentionally-set avalanche wiping out a chairlift at Crystal Mountain, the resort at Mount Rainier started hearing from people who wanted to buy the damaged chairs.

The Washington state resort plans to replace the chairlift this summer and it routinely sells off decommissioned chairs, but it's still dealing with Monday's avalanche. The slide was triggered by an explosive set off by the Ski Patrol to remove unstable snow.

General Manager John Kircher says on the resort's website that people who want chairs should put their name on a list at the office. He says, "The demand has been overwhelming, but right now is not the time."

The High Campbell chairlift was hit by an avalanche 30 feet deep that swept down a slope known as the Throne.

The Owner's wife was one of the patrols that set off the charge that took the chair out!  "Geez, honey, could you be more careful next time, I wasn't gonna spend that $1.7 million for 5 more years"!:D 

 

By the way , my boys and I ski that EXACT line all the time!

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