A Northern California ski resort surrounding a famed chairlift has been thrown back into the spotlight after an avalanche killed one person and injured another at Palisades Tahoe.
An avalanche began around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday above the GS gully area of KT-22, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. The debris field is roughly 150 feet wide, 450 feet long and 10 feet deep, officials said.
The lift was opened Wednesday for the first time this season, Palisades Tahoe said. It serves “steep and challenging terrain,” according to Powder.com, a ski news website.
KT-22, similar to other chairlifts, is an elevated passenger ropeway that carries skiers from one end of a mountain to the other. That’s where the comparisons stop.
In a June 2022 Ski Magazine article titled “Chairlifts are better than Fancy Trams. The End,” longtime outdoor adventure writer and photographer Steve Casimiro said, “KT-22 is the best chairlift in North America.”
“Simply put,” he added.
The story takes a look at the history of the chairlift, as well as what makes it such a popular choice, including its closeness to the terrain itself.
KT-22 — or KT for short — was named after Palisades Tahoe co-founder Sandy Poulsen, according to the ski resort’s website. The wife of business partner Wayne Poulsen completed 22 kick-turns in 1943 to make it down a north-facing slope that would eventually become the site of the famous chairlift.
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