On Saturday, December 23rd, we experienced a severe ice storm. The storm coated all of our lifts and our mountain coaster with a thick sheet of ice. Most affected were the Panorama Quad and the Mountain Coaster.
The first issue at the Panorama was two partially toppled large trees which interfered with the lift line. The trees required a professional tree cutter to remove, and we were not able to secure one until Christmas Day. We could not spin the lift until the trees were removed, so our crews used that time to climb every tower and bang ice off the moving parts. Once the trees and ice on the line were removed, ice had to be chipped off each of the 133 chairs on the lift. This process took two crews approximately 10 hours to complete. This video will give you an illustration of what they were dealing with.
The crew worked well into the night to make sure the lift was ready for an 8:30 spin on Wednesday the 27th. More frozen parts (likely re-frozen overnight) and an unrelated electrical fault delayed our start until 10am.
Similar to the lifts, the entire Mountain Coaster track was coated in a thick sheet of ice that could not be removed with hammers. After consulting with the manufacturer, it was determined the only safe way to remove the ice was to melt it off. We'd had crews with blow torches working on the 4,100 foot track since Christmas Eve. One person with one torch is able to clear about a foot of track in 1 to 2 minutes depending on how thick the ice coating is. That equates to nearly 70 person/hours to clear the track. In addition to the track itself, ice was removed from all the safety sensors and switches around the track. Check out this footage of the melting process!
We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our guests, but we wanted everyone to be aware of the magnitude of the icing problem and to ensure you that we did everything in our power to correct those issues as quickly as possible. The Panorama lift and the Mountain Coaster have both been de-iced and restored to working order. Thank you all for your patience.