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Avalanche Destroys High Elevation Lift At Crystal Mt., Wash.; No Injuries

Avalanche at Crystal Mt., WashAn after-hours avalanche was likely triggered by a 40-pound blast set by the Ski Patrol in an area of Crystal Mountain, Wash., known as The Throne, late Monday afternoon.

There were no injuries in the 4:30 p.m. slide that swept down Campbell Basin destroying the High Campbell lift shack and burying its remnants under 6 to 8 feet of snow, according to resort officials and local news reports.

The two-story motor room and two lift towers were destroyed. The slide continued down beginners’ Queens Run. There had been about 500 skiers and riders on the mountain during operating hours Monday.

Campbell Basin had been closed Monday because of the deep snow. Resort spokesperson Tina Enger told The News Tribune,

“A 40-pound charge is pretty significant, so I’d say the odds of it being triggered naturally or by skiers was pretty slim. You could probably have 100 skiers in it and not trigger the avalanche.”

High Campbell will be closed for the remainder of the season, while Queen’s Run will be down for at least a week as debris is removed.

Enger told the newspaper that replacing the High Campbell lift was already high on the resort’s priority list, but the avalanche moved it to the top. The lift, which has been in place since 1976, will be replaced this summer.

Visitors to the resort’s Facebook page urged the resort to sell off the seats from the lift to benefit the ski patrol, something the ski area has done in the past.

Photo: Avalanche destroys Crystal Mt., Wash. lift (Crystal Mt./Facebook)

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