An avalanche destroyed a chairlift at the Crystal Mountain resort near Mount Rainier on Monday afternoon when the resort was closed. The avalanche was intentionally set off by the resort's ski patrol and no one was hurt.
Despite the destruction, patrollers say they have no regrets.
As the slopes open, skiers’ and snowboarders’ giddy enthusiasm is overshadowed by an accident near Stevens Pass last season. Three people were killed: Jim Jack, Johnny Brenan and Chris Rudolph. They were caught in an avalanche in the nearby backcountry — the wilderness just outside the Stevens Pass ski resort, unmonitored by ski patrol. Jack, Brennan and Rudolph were all well-known and experienced skiers in the Washington ski scene.