High winds damage Eaglecrest Ski Area chairlift

Snowboarders head down upper Hillary‘s run after getting off the Ptarmigan chairlift at Eaglecrest Ski Area in March 2018.
Snowboarders head down upper Hillary‘s run after getting off the Ptarmigan chairlift at Eaglecrest Ski Area in March 2018. This photo was taken just above the location where the chairlift was damaged by high winds on Feb. 11, 2021. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

A chairlift providing access to the upper portion of the Eaglecrest Ski Area has been damaged by this week’s high winds in Juneau. It will be out of operation at least for this weekend, and likely longer.

Ski area general manager Dave Scanlan says the winds flipped two chairs up and over the haul rope for the Ptarmigan Chairlift. It happened near a chairlift tower located above the ski run called Insane.

The two chairs then got caught in the tower when the chairlift was started up Thursday morning. One chair was partially dislodged while the other chair disconnected completely and fell, and the haul rope derailed from the damaged pulleys on the tower.

Wind speeds of between 67 and 72 miles per hour were recorded at Eaglecrest after 2 o’clock Thursday morning.

No one was injured, and no one was on the chairlift when it happened.

Scanlan says they plan on assessing the damage and making repairs to the chairlift starting Saturday. But he doesn’t know how long it will take.

The other upper mountain chairlift — Black Bear on the east side — as well as Hooter and Porcupine on the lower mountain are still in operation.

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