One of the potentially most dangerous avalanches (as it occurred on one of the most popular and central faces on the mountain, and the crown was greater than 12") at a major Tahoe resort occurred on a pitch that the patrol had cut and bombed earlier in the morning. The reason for this was that mountain operations did not open the lift until 11:30 am, and the snow safety took place prior to 9:00am. There was a strong SW wind and the face wind loaded while operations was in the process of not opening the lift, my opinion, shear lack of the will to do so. Nothing was wrong with the lift, as when they did open it, no further work had taken place on the lift, the cable, the shivs, the electrics. We were there waiting and watching, so we know. No mechanics were present, at all. So, the ski area has to support snow safety by opening the lift to skiers when the patrol expects them to open it. Skiers stabilize the snow after the patrol do the snow safety. Perhaps the public awareness that operations had created that dangerous situation due to major sloth and miserliness would prompt mountain operations to be more conscientious in lift openings, thereby supporting critical snow safety work done by the professional patrol.
post #1 of 10
11/5/07 at 8:11am