Cornice-Clearing Effort Wipes Out Ski Area’s Chairlift

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. (March 12, 2014) The wall of snow produced by an explosion detonated in an effort to prevent an avalanche wiped out a chairlift at the Crystal Mountain resort on Mount Rainier in Washington state.

No one was hurt, but the area was closed.

Crystal Mountain marketing director Tiana Enger said the Ski Patrol members who detonated the explosives "got a bigger result" than they anticipated.

The High Campbell chairlift, the highest and one of the oldest at the resort, was hit by an avalanche 30 feet deep that swept down a slope known as the Throne.

Officials say it will be replaced this summer.

Within hours, meanwhile, the resort began to hear from people who wanted to buy the chairs from the lift.

The resort routinely sells decommissioned chairs.

General Manager John Kircher said on the resort's website that people who want chairs should put their name on a list at the office.

"The demand has been overwhelming, but right now is not the time,” he said.

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