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Holy Crap! So much for High Campbell at Crystal...Avalanche - Page 2

post #31 of 58

Pretty sure that people are less upset over losing the lift than they would have been had they just left it un mitigated and opened up as normal that day...

post #32 of 58
I believe that may be Kim K. In the middle of the pic I posted from the blog? That's a priceless look in any case.
post #33 of 58

As an easterner, stuff like that blows my mind.  Even more so having skied there.  About how steep are Campbell Basin and Powder Bowl?

post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

 

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. 

I've never been to Crystal but I would assume patrol can climb to the top of the area in question from the top of the next chair over. Around Squaw , Alpine and Sugar Bowl there's a lot of avy work that requires significant climbing (which people who complain about how long it takes to get 100% open after a storm don't seem to understand.)

Certainly not the first lift taken out by a slide. Olympic Lady at Squaw was taken out by a slide years ago, and of course there was the Alpine Meadows slide that took out the base lodge and killed people.

Obviously this was a very impressive slide and it may be a surprise to some who ski western resorts, but it shouldn't be.

Three winters ago--the last time we had much snow--there was a slope at Squaw perhaps a few hundred yards across and maybe four hundred vertical feet on which I counted 37 separate bomb holes--none of which produced. Not an important or popular area to ski but it was above a groomed intermediate trail and so had to be controlled. That same year a huge cornice in the Mainline Pocket area was blown by linked charges--about fifteen of them I think. Patrol tries very hard to bring bad stuff down before it comes down on somebody, which is their nightmare. I am constantly in awe of the skill, dedication, and bravery of professional patrol. I am less in awe of what they are paid.

post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

I've never been to Crystal but I would assume patrol can climb to the top of the area in question from the top of the next chair over.

 

Umm, no.  There is no "next chair over." 

 

http://crystalmountainresort.com/The-Mountain/Our-TrailMaps

 

Without a chair, the current route to the top would be to skin 1000 vertical feet up the slide path or aspects of the lift line.  Or you could take a chopper.  Or maybe you could bring a cat up through the back of Silver Basin and hike from someplace back there, but it is probably too steep to get very far in a cat - and that terrain needs to be controlled as well if you are going to go back there.  The other issue is controlling Powder Bowl which is on the other side of where the lift drops off.  Powder Bowl, a slope that is even steeper (at the top) and of similar aspect as the Thrown, looms directly above a main thoroughfare down from the upper mountain (Lucky Shot).

 

@markojp knows what he is talking about. 

post #36 of 58

My question- Is the lower terminal located someplace that was generally considered to be in a slide zone? It looks like a long runout before the terminal...

post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

My question- Is the lower terminal located someplace that was generally considered to be in a slide zone? It looks like a long runout before the terminal...

Fed by Forest Queen lift.  Needs to be pretty much where it was to ski down from FQ and pick it up.

 

Avy control by spine climb up Silver Queen from backside catwalk (tough slog - risky)  or chopper.

post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

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!

 

 

I was thinking the same thing.  
I follow Kim's blog in part because she touches on some interesting topics, and in part because she has diabetes and is an inspiration to a few young girls I know who have diabetes and are dreaming of working in the ski industry when they get older. 
post #39 of 58
Thread Starter 

Well, I suspect it downplays her role to relegate her to "owner's wife". I guess absent specific info on how they view things or about a prenup, I think of her as also being an owner (in the context of Boyne, as best I understand it). One who can hike stuff that would leave me beat, and who happens to be qualified to use explosives... That said, if I or anyone I knew destroyed a lift, I'd expect some serious ribbing to go down. :)

 

BTW - I was calling in a skier down report to Crystal patrol yesterday when, before the emergency number even rang, a different patroller Kim showed up. I was really impressed with her immediate (and professional and compassionate) command of the scene. I made a quick joke about response times - and took off just to avoid cluttering things up - but If that's any example of the standard there - Crystal patrol gets a thumbs up on that front too IMO.


Edited by spindrift - 3/13/14 at 6:24pm
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 

Without a chair, the current route to the top would be to skin 1000 vertical feet up the slide path or aspects of the lift line.  Or you could take a chopper.  Or maybe you could bring a cat up through the back of Silver Basin and hike from someplace back there, but it is probably too steep to get very far in a cat - and that terrain needs to be controlled as well if you are going to go back there.  The other issue is controlling Powder Bowl which is on the other side of where the lift drops off.  Powder Bowl, a slope that is even steeper (at the top) and of similar aspect as the Thrown, looms directly above a main thoroughfare down from the upper mountain (Lucky Shot).

High Campbell was added in 1976, and I skied Crystal several times before that.  Lucky Shot was the main intermediate run down from the top as I remember.  What did they do for avalanche control before then?  Howitzers?  It was common then.

post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 

 

Umm, no.  There is no "next chair over." 

 

http://crystalmountainresort.com/The-Mountain/Our-TrailMaps

 

 

200 vert from the top of Ranier lifts? Of course I have no idea of what the ridge looks like--it's permanently closed on a map i saw and perhaps it is too steep to be climbed safely  in avy conditions or too rocky to be climbed safely in any conditions. Just curious. Obviously those who actually have been to the place know far better than I. I do know that patrol routinely gets to places that most of us would not want to be.

post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

200 vert from the top of Ranier lifts? Of course I have no idea of what the ridge looks like--it's permanently closed on a map i saw and perhaps it is too steep to be climbed safely  in avy conditions or too rocky to be climbed safely in any conditions. Just curious. Obviously those who actually have been to the place know far better than I. I do know that patrol routinely gets to places that most of us would not want to be.

It would be a very very long slog from the top of Rainier to The Throne. Howitzer or copter would make a lot more sense. There is NO easy way down from, or up to the top of Campbell Basin without a lift. One gun mount by the patrol shack near Campbell day lodge should be able to cover the basin pretty well. Think there is one already down in the Valley bellow Powder Bowl.

 

 For all of those who have not skied Crystal, the terrain in this part of the mountain is not that far different from what we all raves about at Snowbird.  Bird gets better snow but Crystal gets as much.  Local lore says one of the reasons for the site location was because it did not get as much snow as the other sites considered.  For all of you have never skied there; do not go, you won't like it!

post #43 of 58

Just for before-after reference, here are two photos from a few years ago (actually on my first trip out west; I had no idea then there was terrain this insane!).  

 

The first is looking towards the Throne from near the top of the High Campbell lift.  The second is down the ridge after traversing towards the throne, looking down what I believe is the avalanche path.  You can see the bottom of the lift that was wiped out.  It's hard to see, but the lift line goes up diagonally to the top left.  

 

 

post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

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"!biggrin.gif  

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

So does everyone else from Crystal who posts here! smile.gif... , matter of fact all those lines that people have been posting avy crown porn picts of. biggrin.gif
post #45 of 58

Crystal's blog 

The Eulogy 

Quote:
 

On March 10, 2014, we lost a dear friend a bit before its time. High Campbell was always there for us skiers and riders on a pow day. That fixed grip double taught many to be a better rider, with its Hollywood lines, Powder Bowl, and the gate out South. It taught us patience. It taught us to be open minded and reach out to new people. And gave a new meaning to the word: Single! High Campbell held onto its identity even in the days of high speed and six packs. It was iconic, with its green coat of paint and center bar.  Chair 6, as some friends referred to it, was more than just a chair, it was a part of the family. Tragically, it was taken from us too soon. High Campbell, you may be replaced, but you will never be forgotten. Thanks for always being our friend on a powder day!


Edited by Trekchick - 3/15/14 at 11:21am
post #46 of 58

@Trekchick, your linky is not working...it's missing a few letters. :)

 

http://www.blogcrystal.com/2014/03/15/the-eulogy/

post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

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!

YES, an amazing line I've also skied. High Campbell WAS my fav lift in the PNW.

Actually it's now a rather old lift.- doesn't owe them much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

Love this.


The Three Shivas  (Diva's?)   -Don't mess with them !!!!!!! 

After they wiped Hubby's lift out!   :devil::cool

post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

Certainly not the first lift taken out by a slide. Olympic Lady at Squaw was taken out by a slide years ago, and of course there was the Alpine Meadows slide that took out the base lodge and killed people.

Top of Baby Thunder at Snowbird was damaged in a slide.

Palmer chair at Timberline was wrecked in a slide -or was it an ice storm?

Probably others.

post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

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.


 



Me also
post #50 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfifield View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

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.

 



Me also

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

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

 

 

It is worth noting, as markojp did, tat this was not just about lots of snow. We get that a bunch in the WA Cascades. And depending on particulars, that wet snow can actually stick and set up pretty well. A 120+ inch fully settled snowpack is not at all unusual this time of year. A few years ago, Stevens closed in April with something like 140 inches still on the ground. The issue here was - to a large degree -  a bunch of pretty wet new snow (with some funky layers) - combined with a warming trend and a couple or three inches of rainwater poured through it in a brief period of time. The morning of the slide, a patroller made the observation to us that in many places the rain had fully penetrated the snowpack and was running along the ground surface... can you say lubrication?

post #51 of 58

And skiing was so good the previous 3 days.  I think we skied every line that slide  on the Friday previous al with some pretty good snow.

post #52 of 58

Looks like the new bull wheel has been delivered. 

Photo from Facebook with this caption: 

Nothing like a shiny new bull wheel in the parking lot to lift your spirits. #longlivechair6

post #53 of 58

@kimkircher  wrote about her experience through this avalanche.  This is definitely worth reading. 

Chair 6 is Gone, Dude: What I learned about big avalanches

 

Thanks for sharing this story, Kim. 

 

Snip from the blog 

 

Quote:
 

Q and A that followed as well as in the hallways, many people asked, “how did it feel to start such a big slide.”

It’s a good question.

Wisdom comes through the stories we tell about our experience. Without a narrative, a near-miss becomes nothing more than an incident. If I told myself that the Chair 6 avalanche was an unlikely event I’d never see again, I could more easily dismiss it. However, I don’t want to forget how it felt to witness such force. We tell stories to invoke feelings. It’s that emotional response that reinforces learning, that leads back to wisdom. As a writer, I believe wholly in the power of story. The important part is that our stories invoke the proper feelings in order to instill wisdom.

So, how did it feel to witness such power and destruction?

Avalanche control is a funny thing. Like storm watchers and tornado chasers, ski patrollers are often present to the awesome power of Mother Nature. But unlike Anderson Cooper during Hurricane Sandy, we aren’t reporting from the front lines of a natural disaster, we are actually coaxing mother nature to do her worst.

post #54 of 58
New chair is in!
post #55 of 58
Chairs hung yet? Testing done?
post #56 of 58
Don't know towers have been in for a month, must be close if not
post #57 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

New chair is in!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

Don't know towers have been in for a month, must be close if not

 

?????????

post #58 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Looks like the new bull wheel has been delivered. 

Photo from Facebook with this caption: 

Nothing like a shiny new bull wheel in the parking lot to lift your spirits. #longlivechair6

Hiking in the Trinity Alps, 10 miles from any road, high in the mountains we came upon an abandoned mine that had been built and worked by Chinese who had worked on the railroad. There was a cog wheel 50% wider and twice as thick, made of cast iron. There was no flat bed truck to bring it in. It was carried by the workers. Sorry for the hijack.

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