Gondola reopens after shutdown | AspenTimes.com

Gondola reopens after shutdown

Aspen Times Staff

Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times

Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” It’s was a long ride up Aspen Mountain Thursday morning.

A mechanical problem forced operators to shut down the Silver Queen Gondola. That left skiers and boarders anxious for powder turns to embark upon a three-lift ride to reach the upper mountain. They took a ride up the Little Nell chair to the top of the Little Nell run, then skied down to Lift 1A for a ride up 1A and the Ruthie’s chair to reach the top of the ski area.

Jeff Hanle, spokesman for the Aspen Skiing Co., said he didn’t know what time the gondola quit loading passengers, but thought the breakdown lasted more than an hour. When the problem was discovered, the gondola continued to run until the passengers who were already riding it were unloaded at the top.

Passengers were again loading the gondola shortly after 11 a.m.

Skiers already on top of the mountain when the gondola broke down had the slopes pretty much to themselves for an abundance of untracked powder.

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“The mountain was empty. It was pretty amazing,” said one.

Anyone in Aspen/Snowmass is enjoying uncharacteristically empty slopes anyway, as many resort-bound holiday travelers remain stuck at the airport in snowbound Denver or can’t get into Denver for a connection to Aspen.