Crystal Mountain Avalanche Destroys Chairlift

We lost our beloved High Campbell chair today at my home mountain, Crystal Mountain Resort (www.skicrystal.com).

Aerial footage

Specifically, the bottom terminal and towers of the chairlift were destroyed.
A tower got knocked over and the bottom terminal pushed over 15′ off its foundation. (See below for updated photos).

More footage courtesy of Stohke

More footy

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Video of the Rockface slide

The NW has been seeing some unprecedented conditions the last few weeks all leading to a weak, very unstable snowpack.

Massive slides started through control work via the Crystal Mt. Pro Patrol these last few days have been like none ever seen before.

Not just the slide off of the Throne that took out High Campbell chair, but slides off of Rockface, Employee Housing run and Bear Pits have all seen incredible slides, with enormous crowns! Some as much as 5’!

After destroying the chairlift, the slide continued down Queens Run, all the way to the cut off point over to CMAC Run! A length of over a 1/4 mile!

The High Campbell lift, opened in 1976, and originally was three chair lifts combined into one.

High Campbell is the first chairlift destroyed by an avalanche in Crystal’s 52-year history.

The mountain has issued a statement with plans to build a new chair this summer.

The resort described Monday afternoon’s avalanche as “huge” and said it was “triggered by an explosive on The Throne.”

No people were injured, the resort reports.

Crystal Mountain will build a new lift similar to the Northway chair this summer, the Facebook post says.
“We are taking the instability in the snowpack very seriously and will continue to mitigate risk and close terrain as necessary,” the post says.

High Campbell lift was a “fixed-grip double chairlift” for experts only. The lift services single and double black diamond runs. And backcountry access points for hiking.

(Photos: Crystal Mountain Resort)

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