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Avalanche takes out chairlift at resort

WATCH: Avalanche Takes Out Chairlift at Resort

Things got out of hand at a Washington ski resort Monday.

'Crews were using explosives for avalanche control when you can see they started one of their own,' 'GMA' reported.



But it didn't stop there.

'An avalanche destroyed a ski lift at the Crystal Mountain resort in Washington state. Witnesses called the wall of snow 'huge.' Some of the lift and several towers were wiped out Sunday.'

So, that didn't exactly go as planned. The resort posted a bunch of photos of the aftermath on its Facebook page and said: 'We are taking the instability in the snowpack very seriously and will continue to mitigate risk and close terrain as necessary.'

Although starting an avalanche was obviously not the goal, KOMO points out the ordeal should raise awareness.

'The ski patrol says this is a good reminder for everyone that the threat of avalanches is high right now, and skiers and snowboarders should stay only within the resort boundaries.'

The resort added on its Facebook page that no one was injured in the avalanche because the area was closed. The resort plans to build a new chairlift sometime this summer.

Join the discussion

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goodgrief61945 March 11 2014 at 6:45 PM

They didn't intend to start an avalanche ?? I thought that was the purpose of the explosives.

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2 replies
dianekanca goodgrief61945 March 11 2014 at 7:26 PM

It is.

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lakearcher goodgrief61945 March 11 2014 at 8:10 PM

Yea, that's what I thought too.

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trimules March 11 2014 at 8:24 PM

I can't belive how many people (including the author of the piece) seem to be totally misunderstanding what went on here. The avalanche was not an accident or mistake or "misfire" - it was exactly what was supposed to happen if the conditions were right. Of course the area is not happy about the loss of the lift, but the point was to break any possible avalanche lose when there were not skiers on the runs. Patrol goes out and shoots these possible slides every morning to keep you safe. This slide WAS going to come down and it was delt with safely and professionally.

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1 reply
rothhammer1 trimules March 11 2014 at 11:44 PM

Well, except for the 'destroying the ski lift' part.

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lbreamer March 11 2014 at 1:56 PM

I'll just hang out by the fire sipping my hot chocolate... lala la!!!

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Brian Workman March 11 2014 at 2:20 PM

"E" RIDE!!??!!

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Intellitek March 11 2014 at 2:31 PM

Been there, skied that...It is fortunate that no humans were injured! Crystal Mountain ski patrol rocks!

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fred mosrie March 11 2014 at 7:34 PM

do not ski. stay in florida.

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randmhunley March 11 2014 at 5:42 PM

not as bad as it looks

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khiggins March 11 2014 at 12:11 PM

You understand that this is the purpose of the explosions... idiots... how stupid can you be.. that is the reason for the explosion...

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2 replies
mountainwolf8034 khiggins March 11 2014 at 1:10 PM

yes..idiot reporting....ski patrol does try to trigger avalanches by various means including explosives when the ski area is closed to prevent an avalanche later when the area is open. How dumb to report it was not intended, when it is absolutely the intention. Imagine the result of this large slide if it had not been triggered by ski patrol and had occurred later in the day when the area was full of skiers.

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3 replies
sarracen khiggins March 11 2014 at 2:28 PM

What made this noteworthy is that the avalanche took out the lift. The Ski Patrol regularly does avalanche control, as well as the Dept. of Transportation. Any time there is a large storm the highway passes are closed for several hours at night so they can trigger the slides. I'll assume part of the issue at Crystal was that last weekend's storm dumped a lot of fairly heavy snow, and combined with the winds, made for some hazardous conditions.

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catbell7 March 11 2014 at 5:15 PM

ski area avalances are very common - they try to knock them down earlier - its done at all the ski areas - usually very early before lifts open up -- its very scary to see it done from the bottom of the mountain on the deck with a hot cup or bowl of chili in your hand before the lift(s) open up - I won't ski on upper slopes on those days and I refused to ski on ice either-instead took a book to the bar and was so comfy all afternoon!! Sking at Sun Valley Idaho is amazing they love their tourists - big huge covers over the top of people on the 4-person lifts!! - they may have gone all covered lifts by now - it was so many decades ago when I took lessons - Paul Anka was having private lessons - oohhh he was so cute!!

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BOB March 11 2014 at 10:53 PM

OH CRAP, I did it again!!

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