March 12, 2014 in City

Intentional avalanche breaks Crystal Mountain chairlift

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Snow from a 30-foot-deep avalanche that wiped out a chairlift a day earlier is seen Tuesday at Washington’s Crystal Mountain.
(Full-size photo)

Man killed

COOKE CITY, Mont. – Park County authorities say an 18-year-old Minnesota man died after he was buried in an avalanche while snowmobiling. The name of the victim was not released.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office said it received a report of a snowmobiler buried in the Daisy Pass and Crown Butte area near Cooke City about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The Sheriff’s Office said the victim was with a group of six others and was sitting on his snowmobile about halfway up the slope when he was overtaken by the avalanche.

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. – An avalanche that was intentionally triggered by the Ski Patrol brought down more snow than expected and wiped out a chairlift at the Crystal Mountain resort at Mount Rainier.

No one was injured. The area had been closed, and the explosion was set off at 4:45 p.m. Monday after the resort had closed, marketing director Tiana Enger said.

Members of the Ski Patrol threw a 40-pound explosive on unstable snow as a safety precaution on a slope known as the Throne in the High Campbell basin.

“That got a bigger result than any of us anticipated,” Enger said Tuesday.

An avalanche 30 feet deep hit the High Campbell chairlift, the highest of 10 chairlifts at the resort on the northeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park.

The slide knocked the lower terminal off its foundation and toppled one of about 10 towers, Enger said.

Slopes have been left unstable by recent rain that fell on top of a thick layer of snow that fell at the end of February, Enger said. The Ski Patrol has been reducing the danger to skiers and snowboarders by intentionally bringing down controlled avalanches.

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