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Wed., Jan. 5, 2011, 12:48 p.m.

Crystal Mountain gondola a hit

WINTER SPORTS -- People began lining up an hour before sunrise on Saturday to be among the first to ride the state’s first enclosed ski lift that takes skiers and sightseers to the top of the Crystal Mountain ski area.

The new Mount Rainier Gondola opened after a 10-day delay due because of the weather and a cable that stretched more than expected, according to The Olympian. A mid-December press release from the ski resort said it’s typical for new cables to stretch but engineers wanted more time to address the issue.

Construction of the $5.5 million gondola began in April.

Before the skiing day ended Saturday, the gondola carried more than 3,000 skiers and sightseers on the 9-minute, 39-second trip from the ski area’s 4,400-foot elevation base to the 6,856-food Summit House. The restaurant and mountaintop gathering place has a panoramic view of Mount Rainier.

Kellogg comparison:  Idaho's Silver  Mountain Gondola lifts passengers 3,400 feet over 3.1 miles from the base village at Kellogg to Mountain Haus upper terminal.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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