All's well now that 89 wind-ravaged skiers have been evacuated from Snowbird Utah's Peruvian Express Lift. The high-speed quad was battered by strong winds and forced the cable to jump the track for the first time in it's short history.
"The fixed grip on top of the chair moved into the wheels at Tower 23 (near the top of the lift) and blew off the track. That triggered the automatic stop," Snowbird's Jared Ishkanian told OnTheSnow.com. "We had a choice. To fix the chair with everyone sitting up there or get them down. We opted to evac."
With gusts up to 60 miles an hour Wednesday (March 4), most of Snowbird was shut down before noon with just Chickadee, Baby Thunder, Gad II, Gadzoom, and MidGad open. Peruvian shutdown at 11:35 a.m. and, with the help of patrol from both Alta and Snowbird, everyone had safely landed at 1:45 p.m.
Snowbird is repairing the troubled section today. "Winds are supposed to get stronger, not die down," said Ishkanian.
A storm front moving through is expected to bring high winds ,but not much precipitation, which is something the Wasatch resorts could use right now as they head into Spring Break season. "Skiing [at The Bird] was fantastic today," said one guest. "It's like East Coast conditions so it made it fun and unique. We don't usually have this in Utah. Not wind buffed but wind scraped."
Sharpen your edges. With 4-6" expected for tomorrow, the conditions will be as locals say ... "dust on crust" for the next couple of days.