July 14, 2017
By Lee Vining
Even when snowbound (click here) and inaccessible to vehicles, the rustic Tioga Pass Resort (click here) on the crest of the Sierra Nevada range offered homemade pie, a wood-burning stove and plump sofas to relax on after a day of backcountry skiing....
....Entombed in 20 feet of hard pack known as “Sierra cement,” the lodge “suffered severe crunch injuries,” said Dave Levy, manager of the resort, which is owned by a consortium of investors.
A team led by Levy used shovels to dig down through the snow to reach the kitchen door. Sheared structural support beams appeared like ghostly shadows in the glare of a flashlight.
“Inside, the bad news was much worse,” he said. “Doors won’t open, windows are shattered, floors are warped, the roof sags. We may reopen sometime next year, but it won’t be easy fixing a place built like a jigsaw puzzle with antiquated construction techniques.”
A creek running through the property leased from the U.S. Forest Service is surging over its banks with snowmelt, undermining the foundations of the lodge and several cabins surrounding it....