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High winds blow tree down onto resort power lines

A Rocky Mountain Power crew spent Sunday repairing a downed power line at Park City Mountain restoring power to the Jupiter chairlift.
Oleksandr - stock.adobe.com
A Rocky Mountain Power crew spent Sunday repairing a downed power line at Park City Mountain restoring power to the Jupiter chairlift.

Winds gusting as high as 70 miles an hour Saturday blew down a tree at Park City Mountain that took the electric lines fueling the Jupiter chairlift with it.

Rocky Mountain Power crews spent most of Sunday repairing the power lines that came down Saturday near the top of Thaynes Canyon. According to Park City Mountain Senior Manager of Communications Sara Huey, the storm brought 20 inches of new snow and the winds were fierce.

“We saw winds that were more than 70 mph on some of our ridgelines and there was lightning during the day on Saturday,” Huey said. “So, as our teams were out there assessing the impact of that storm, they saw that there was a stretch of down power lines in Thaynes Canyon, specifically between the Thaynes and Jupiter chairlift kind of towards Scott Saddle.”

As a result, the Jupiter chairlift was closed Sunday as ski patrol wasn’t able to access the area to conduct snow safety. Huey is hopeful the power will be turned back on with Jupiter back open on Monday (today).

“We'll update that status on the website when it's safe to reopen, she said.”

Depending on the location of any power outages, she says the resort can assist the power company to get up the mountain.

“We do assist, and we assess each situation and either provide them access with a snowcat or snowmobile, depending on the specific area that they need to get to and the safety situation.”

When the winds moved in Saturday, the resort delayed the opening of several chairs; Jupiter and Condor never opened. While the resort was able to get the Orange Bubble Express open it, along with the Cabriolet, were later put on wind hold shutting down mountain access from Canyons Village for a bit. When the lightning moved in, the resort tweeted that all chairlifts had to be put on hold to keep skiers and riders safe.

Huey says with the storm passing, the resort is looking to get all of the mountain open for Monday.

With snow falling more than two inches an hour and numerous slide offs on local roads, Park City Transit suspended the 9 Purple and 4 Orange bus routes Saturday afternoon so roads could be plowed.