A massive avalanche at the New Zealand ski resort of Mt Hutt has crippled one of the resorts 3 chairlifts.
The avalanche was triggered when ski patrollers dropped explosives from a helicopter during control work.
It is being reported that the avalanche travelled 700 vertical meters and was around 200m wide. The crown of the slide was over 2m high!
An investigation is underway.
Update from Mt. Hutt
Just a quick update on how things are panning out on the mountain. As you will know we have had a big avalanche today that has severely damaged the bottom return station of the Triple Chair. This chairlift is now creating a hazard across many of our trails and needs to be secured before we can reopen. We think that this may take another half a day to accomplish but possibly longer. In terms of progress today, both the Quad and Summit lifts have been de-iced and are good to go. Extensive heli-bombing has made the inner basin safe (with the exception of some bombing required on the Virgin Mile first thing tomorrow). The access road is proving difficult but we have cleared up to Memorial avenue from the Info Booth and to Rocky Point in the Bluffs. The car park is 50% clear but the top carpark and the far end of the main car park have masses of snow left to clear. Thanks to all staff who helped today and throughout the storm in very trying conditions. Cheers Mt Hutt Crew
The resort posted a video of the avalanche on Facebook but it has since been removed.