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Tower tilt and avalanche danger close slopes

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Alaska, USA

Tower tilt and avalanche danger close slopes - Snow pressing down on Alyeska's Chair 6 pushed one of the towers out of alignment over the weekend, which, combined with continuing poor snow conditions, will delay skiing at least until Friday, resort officials said Tuesday. Tower 12 on the mountain's highest lift was discovered a few degrees out of alignment Monday after it apparently had been forced out of position by the pressure exerted when a crack opened up in the area. The tower's foundation tilted along with the tower itself. A lift engineer and soil engineers are working to realign the tower. Tuesday afternoon, the resort said everything would be shut down until Friday because of avalanche danger on the mountain. This is the first time a tower has been forced out of line at Alyeska. Avalanche danger has been rife in the area so far this season because of higher-than-normal temperatures and wet, heavy snow falling on the upper mountain, while the base has seen mostly rain. "All our base has been pretty much wiped out. Avalanche danger is still the main reason we've been closed." The poor snow conditions have left the slopes closed longer into the season than usual, with the resort closing the mountain during the normally busy Thanksgiving weekend because of the high avalanche danger.

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