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Crystal Mountain chairlifts replaced

Helicopters transported new poles Sunday for a Crystal Mountain chairlift that was destroyed by an avalanche last season.

The slide wiped out the High Campbell chair, which accesses expert-only terrain, in March. No one was injured.

Crystal Mountain, off state Route 410 southeast of Tacoma, said the new $1.5 million lift will be open this season. Crews have worked on it through the summer, and on Sunday they started setting chairlift towers into place.

It’s a SkyTrac fixed-grip double lift with 85 chairs; it will operate at 500 feet per minute.

Also in preparation for an opening this season, the mountain will install the poles for the new double Quicksilver lift, which is being replaced after being in service since 1965.

It’s been moved slightly, too, which creates a new graded run for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders.

The lift is a CTEC fixed-grip quad, has 114 chairs, goes 450 feet per minute, and costs $2.3 million.

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