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 Post subject: Mammoth Avalanche, April 17th, 2006
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:14 pm
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Location: SoCal
Greetings everybody! My first post.

Here's a bit of daunting news from Mammoth Mountain:

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First responders and volunteers search for victims of an avalanche that struck Mammoth Mountain Monday, April 17, 2006, in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., where at least three people were injured. The avalanche came on the heels of an April 6 tragedy when three members of Mammoth's ski patrol were asphyxiated by gas from a volcanic vent. (AP Photo/Jeff Wright)

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First responders and volunteers search for victims of an avalanche that struck Mammoth Mountain Monday, April 17, 2006, in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., where at least three people were injured. The avalanche came on the heels of an April 6 tragedy when three members of Mammoth's ski patrol were asphyxiated by gas from a volcanic vent. (AP Photo/Jeff Wright)

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Mountain rescue personal and volunteers dig through the snow looking for survivors in the avalanche area at Mammoth Mountain Monday, April 17, 2006, in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. No one was found in the snow after hours of searching and no one was reported missing, a resort spokeswoman said. The avalanche came on the heels of an April 6 tragedy when three members of Mammoth's ski patrol were asphyxiated by gas from a volcanic vent. (AP Photo/Janel Jenowitz)

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Firefighters and hundreds of searchers using poles to probe the snow every six inches work across the avalanche area at Mammoth Mountain Monday, April 17, 2006, in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. No one was found in the snow after hours of searching and no one was reported missing, a resort spokeswoman said. The avalanche came on the heels of an April 6 tragedy when three members of Mammoth's ski patrol were asphyxiated by gas from a volcanic vent. (AP Photo/Janel Jenowitz)

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Firefighters and hundreds of searchers, using poles to probe the snow every six inches, work across the avalanche area at Mammoth Mountain, Monday, April 17, 2006, in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. No one was found in the snow after hours of searching and no one was reported missing, a resort spokeswoman said. The avalanche came on the heels of an April 6 tragedy when three members of Mammoth's ski patrol were asphyxiated by gas from a volcanic vent. (AP Photo/Janel Jenowitz)




Edit: photos added


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:16 pm
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Location: Seattle and PDX
sweet jesus, that is a big slab.

does anybody know the aspect and heading of that slope?

wow.

hope that no one was trapped in that slide.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:46 pm 
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i have to ask, where was pro-patrol on that one? don't they bomb slopes like that? also, if no one was caught, was it a natural release?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 5:57 am 
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Location: san diego CA
This slide happened after 7 hours of bombing within the resort. The area is a class "A" avalanche resort with hand charges and a 105 mm howie. They do know what they are doing, just goes to show what a 20 foot snow pack and 55 degree days can do. This slope faces north and is about 40 -42 degree slope with some rock outcroppings in the release zone.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:00 am 
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Location: Denver
California snowpack does not release like continental snowpacks either. Back in the 90's there were a few deaths at Homewood on the Quail face. Ski patrol had just bombed the shit out of it and it didn't release. As soon as some bodies got on it they were able to trigger a slide. I wouldn't be surprised if much the same happened there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am 
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Location: SoCal
patroller420 wrote:
This slide happened after 7 hours of bombing within the resort. The area is a class "A" avalanche resort with hand charges and a 105 mm howie. They do know what they are doing, just goes to show what a 20 foot snow pack and 55 degree days can do. This slope faces north and is about 40 -42 degree slope with some rock outcroppings in the release zone.

Thanks for the info, patroller420

Here's a trail map. The slide ocurred in the Upper Dry Creek and Climax areas:

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Speaking of the 105 mm howie, it reminds me of something I saw two years ago:


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The military lent two to Alpine Meadows and three to Mammoth Mountain.

Alpine Meadows and Mammoth Mountain are the only ski resorts in the nation using the 119-A howitzer, the most modern model available, said Bob Moore, a U.S. Forest Service specialist in Truckee, Calif. Other resorts have older 105 mm howitzers.

Pam Murphy, senior vice president at Mammoth Mountain just east of Yosemite National Park, said the military has provided the ski resort with recoilless rifles and other guns for avalanche control for 30 years. The howitzers are the most effective, Murphy said.

"It was designed to kill people, but it's a very valuable safety tool for us," said Rachael Woods, a spokeswoman at Lake Tahoe's Alpine Meadows, where seven people were killed in an avalanche in 1982.

Resort officials said they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to transport the guns, reimburse the Army for training and build firing platforms.

But Murphy said she understood the Army's decision: "We're certainly at a different place in the world than when we first got the guns."

The Forest Service said it is working to secure older howitzers for the ski resorts, and the Army's Bowen said he is optimistic that will happen.

source


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An Alpine Meadows ski resort vehicle transports a 119-A howitzer, April 23, 2004 through the resort's ski runs above Tahoe City, Calif., near Lake Tahoe. This 119-A was one of five U.S. Army-loaned howitzers used at the Alpine Meadows and Mammoth Mountain resorts to intentionally trigger avalanches in hazardous areas by firing rounds into snow-covered mountainsides. The U.S. military is demanding the resorts return the howitzers so they can be deployed for the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, Rachael Woods)

:wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:05 pm 
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Location: CA
Yeah, that's a serious slide no doubt. Sounds like so far no one is missing, just hope that continues to be the case. The Mammoth area has already had more than it's share of tragedy this season.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:38 pm 
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The thing that strikes me is the number of tracks that are on that slope. It looks like hundreds of runs were made over the area before it slid.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 2:33 pm 
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patroller420 wrote:
This slide happened after 7 hours of bombing within the resort. The area is a class "A" avalanche resort with hand charges and a 105 mm howie. They do know what they are doing, just goes to show what a 20 foot snow pack and 55 degree days can do. This slope faces north and is about 40 -42 degree slope with some rock outcroppings in the release zone.


It never got above freezing but the sun was warm.

4-18-2006> Top Weather Station (el. 11,083 ft)

Month Top Top Top Top Top
Day Hour Gust Avg Dir Temp RH
mph mph deg F %
--------------------------------------------------------
4 17 1400 35 18 43 11 90
4 17 1500 33 12 46 13 90
4 17 1600 28 10 62 14 91
4 17 1700 37 11 53 15 91
4 17 1800 41 15 48 14 91
4 17 1900 44 24 36 13 90
4 17 2000 47 32 34 11 89
4 17 2100 45 34 33 10 89
4 17 2200 44 27 26 10 90
4 17 2300 21 9 15 10 89
4 18 0 5 0 223 10 89
4 18 100 16 10 212 10 90
4 18 200 20 16 203 11 90
4 18 300 21 18 206 12 90
4 18 400 20 17 215 13 91
4 18 500 21 14 217 13 91
4 18 600 14 11 215 14 91
4 18 700 9 4 249 14 91
4 18 800 6 3 325 15 91
4 18 900 16 7 46 17 92
4 18 1000 17 14 48 18 93
4 18 1100 20 15 56 19 93
4 18 1200 19 14 50 20 93
4 18 1300 13 10 55 22 94
4 18 1400 12 3 50 24 95


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:05 pm 
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Thanks for the info, mlca, but we're not talking about the 17th and 18th alone.
;)

The point was that 50+ degree conditions have existed for over two weeks prior to the new snowfall last weekend.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:32 pm 
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Location: boise, id
wow, thats amazing. I guess that kinda blows away my false sence of security while riding at resorts!
im glad noone was kille


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:20 pm 
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The mammoth patrol website (http://patrol.mammothmountain.com/) has lots of great info including detailed pit profiles and, to the point of this thread, profiles of the in-bounds slides that happen every year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:40 am 
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Exactly what I meant, warming up over several days.


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