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Icy storm and power fluctuations delay lifts

Categories: Guest Connection Weather Blog

Mt. Hood Express from the top of Blue cam at Mt. Hood Meadows The Mt. Hood Express was deiced and launched at 12:17 PM Wednesday, following a successful evacuation of around 150 passengers from the Blue chairlift.

It’s still nine days to when winter officially begins, but this major winter storm has blown its icy breath on Mt. Hood Meadows. The good news is it brought ten inches of overnight snow - but before the snow there was extended periods of freezing rain.

On these days an early call out for extra assistance for storm recovery and lift deicing, so teams attacked the main lifts to get them operational. At 8:55 we were prepared with Easy Rider, Buttercup and the Ballroom Carpet ready to launch. Teams were still deicing Mt. Hood Express and Blue was launched as an alternative. 

Fluctuating power contributed to the morning’s problems - and Blue was placed on standby with a lift evacuation initiated. That’s a process of belaying passengers down from their chairs with a harness, with teams directed by our ski patrol and mountain teams. Over 150 passengers (a nearly full chairlift) were safely and successfully evacuated from Blue, taking two hours and twenty minutes from the time the lift was stopped until the last passenger was evacuated. The Easy Rider chairlift was also affected by the power fluctuations and was placed on standby (without requiring evacuation,) but was returned to service this morning. 

Teams continue to deice the Shooting Star express with hopes of getting it open for some powder turns Wednesday. 

The lift delays coincide with the fever guests have for powder which further exacerbated the situation. We appreciate our guests today for their patience and understanding. We are continuing to work towards deicing lifts and opening up as much of the mountain as possible. Hopefully, your patience will be rewarded with some early season powder turns.