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Cascade Express a full day of storm recovery and we are still not quite done

Categories: Guest Stories Inside Meadows Weather Blog Media Center

Upper terminal of Cascade Express following a major storm at Mt. Hood MeadowsThe video we showed of the Vista towers ice over was impressive. But what we found on the Cascade Express towers and rope line was almost beyond belief.

UPDATE Wednesday, January 2 - Cascade Express opened at 12:14 PM. And then went on wind standby at 1:04 PM. 
"The power of nature can make fun of the power of man at any time!"
-- Mehmet Murat Ildan

The photo above was shot by V.P. of Mountain Operations Steve Warila this morning. Here is his accounting of the day’s progress:

“Towers are clear from top down to 16, and below 11. Ice was very thick and solid, I’m exhausted from swinging a hammer. Rope ice started coming off on its own -  spinning as it slid down the haul rope.  I tried to video but was distracted by holding on to bucking tower. You can get an idea of what was happening by looping it several times.”

"Rope ice remains on light side between 18 and 19 and heavy side 17 to 18.

  We had to pull off because sun and warm temps was allowing large ice chunks to fall on their own making climbing too dangerous. We just  tried bumping the lift through ice but sheaves weren’t turning so quit to avoid damaging liners. The thickest ice is off but It could take most of tomorrow morning to get the lift turning.”

We hope these compelling images and personal accounts help you understand what it takes to deice these magnificent lifts following a major storm, and the commitment and dedication our team makes to get lifts back in service as expeditiously as possibly.

Here’s some bonus video - deicing Vista Monday morning shot from the top of Vista mountain cam. Deicing continued through Monday and this morning, and the lift opened at 9:44 this morning.