Aspen gondola expected to be back in action Tuesday |

Aspen gondola expected to be back in action Tuesday

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” The Aspen Skiing Co. hopes to have the Silver Queen Gondola operating at Aspen Mountain at opening time Tuesday or soon after, company spokesman Jeff Hanle said Monday evening.

“We’ll have the gondola at some point,” he said.

The popular chairlift was out of commission Sunday and Monday to correct a problem created by high wind Saturday. A communication line got tangled with a cabin when winds blew in excess of 75 mph. That line is critical to the safe operation of the gondola. It senses potential derailments and makes operators aware of problems, for example, Hanle said.

Crews were making and assessing repairs to that line Monday. If the gondola cannot operate immediately Tuesday, passengers will ride the Little Nell and Bell Mountain chairlifts to access the upper slopes.

The Back of Bell I and Seiberts trails opened Monday and will remain open, Hanle said. Knowlton’s opened Monday but is unlikely to remain open for now. The additional trails boost the open terrain on Aspen Mountain to about 200 acres, Hanle estimated. The Ajax Express and Gentlemen’s Ridge chairlifts are open.

Ski patrollers at Snowmass were assessing what additional trails could be opened. “We’re just fighting the wind there,” Hanle said.

The gusts scoured some slopes and loaded others. The patrol is assessing what can be opened on the Big Burn, Snowmass’ signature section of the mountain.

Snowmass and Aspen Mountain opened Thanksgiving Day with limited terrain. A snowstorm over the long holiday weekend dumped between 16 and 13 inches of snow on the slopes.

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