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Three more deaths at Mammoth Mountain

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Three more deaths at Mammoth Mountain

Postby Snow Nymph » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:23 pm

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/06/mammot ... index.html

Fall into volcanic vent kills ski patrollers
Three die at California resort after heavy snowstorm

Thursday, April 6, 2006; Posted: 10:05 p.m. EDT (02:05 GMT)


MAMMOTH LAKES, California (AP) -- Three members of a ski patrol team died Thursday when they fell into a volcanic fissure at the Mammoth Mountain resort, officials said.

Whether they were killed by the 21-foot fall or were also affected by gases seeping from the cavity was not immediately clear.

The victims were part of a four-man team inspecting the mountain after heavy snowstorms and fencing off the gap in the rock, officials said.

Mammoth Lakes Mayor Rick Wood said heat from hot rocks had hollowed out the snow and two ski patrol members fell into the fissure on the 11,053-foot peak in the Eastern Sierra.

A third patrol member attempted a rescue and perished as well, and the fourth was injured, he said.

Additional rescue efforts were conducted by other ski patrol members and local firefighters and paramedics. Resort spokeswoman Joani Lynch said several rescuers were overcome by gas and suffered minor injuries.

The role that gas might have played in the three deaths was uncertain, but the mayor said a police detective told him that "the level of carbon monoxide inside this cavity was extremely high."

None of the victims' names were immediately released.

The mountain, about a six-hour drive north of Los Angeles, is popular with skiers from Southern California. The peak towers over a dramatic landscape in a volcanically active region.

The region has been quiet of volcanic activity for six years, said Dave Hill, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park.

The accident was not related to any volcanic activity, he said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



Another sad day in Mammoth. Condolences to the friends and family of those involved.
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Postby Randonnee » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:32 am

Condolences to the families and those who knew these people, whose goal was to make the mountain safer for others to enjoy!



I heard another patroller was hurt in a slide. He survived after being given CPR and is currently in Washoe Medical Center in Reno.

A very difficult season for the Mammoth Patrol.
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Postby copeg » Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:40 am

Sad news indeed :( My condolences to the family and friends. Mammoth has had a tough year.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:19 pm

here's the official press release from MMSA

http://www.mammothmountain.com/company_ ... cfm?id=377

[img]
April 7, 2006

Contact: Rusty Gregory, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO 760.934.0645

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, CA -- At approximately 11:29am yesterday, Thursday, April 6, 2006, four experienced Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrollers were inspecting the mountain after recent heavy snowstorms. The patrollers were fencing off a natural hazard, a deep gas vent, on Christmas Bowl run, east of Chair 3 when the snow around the vent collapsed. Two patrollers, John McAndrews and James Juarez, fell into the approximately 6-ft hole, down 21 feet of snow to the earth. Two patrollers attempting to help, Walter Rosenthal and Jeff Bridges, descended into the hole. Members of Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol working nearby quickly initiated additional rescue efforts and were assisted by the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and Mono County Paramedics. The victims were immediately transported to Mammoth Hospital. Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller Jeff Bridges survived and Rosenthal, McAndrews and Juarez perished as a result of the accident.

Additional employees who assisted in the rescue were transported to Mammoth Hospital for observation. A total of seven were admitted and six were kept overnight including Bridges. All are expected to be released by mid-morning today.

The cause of death has not yet been determined by the Mono County Sheriff's Department but is possibly due to oxygen deprivation and/or being overcome by toxic gasses. The information will be released pending autopsies and toxicological results.

Victims

James Juarez, 35, a five-year veteran of Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol originally from Granada Hills, California.

John "Scott" McAndrews, 37, a Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller for one year from Bishop, California.

Charles Walter Rosenthal, 58, of Sunny Slopes, California a veteran of Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol since 1972.
[/img]
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Postby Snow Nymph » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:37 pm

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby sierra_smitty » Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:07 pm

Simply tragic.....tragic!
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Ski Patroller Memorial Fundraiser FRIDAY APRIL 14, 2006

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:54 pm

E-mail from Rusty Gregory:

Date: April 10, 2006
To: The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Community
From: Rusty Gregory, Chairman and CEO - Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, LLC

Re: Ski Patroller Memorial Fundraiser FRIDAY APRIL 14, 2006 The community of Mammoth Mountain is much larger than our family of 2,800 employees or the 7,000 full time residents in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. You are part of our community and I know you feel, as I do, that the loss of our patrollers in last Thursday's tragic accident broke our hearts and ripped at our gut. Many of you have e-mailed me wonderful ideas on how best to raise money and respectfully honor the memory of Walter, James and Scott. Instead of working on many separate small-scale efforts, I want to give us all one big idea that will raise a significant amount of money for the families and give us all something to focus on to ease the pain we feel. My partners and I have decided to contribute all -- 100% without any deduction or adjustment -- of this Friday's gross ticket sales to provide financial support to the Rosenthal, McAndrews and Juarez families and to create a permanent tribute on the mountain to our fallen heroes. I encourage you to participate this Friday, April 14, in a day of solidarity to honor the memory of Charles Walter Rosenthal, James J. Juarez, John Scott McAndrews and to recognize Mammoth Mountain's Ski Patrol and alpine safety and rescue professionals world-wide who risk their lives so the rest of us may enjoy the wonder of our mountains.

How to contribute to the Memorial Fundraiser There are two ways to participate:
1) Join us on the mountain.
Come to Mammoth Mountain on Friday, April 14, and purchase a ticket to ski or ride on this Friday.
2) Join us in spirit.
Purchase a lift ticket for Friday online as gesture of your solidarity and support.

Read about the patrollers lives ( http://www.mammothmountain.com/memorial/?cid=214h ) and more about last Thursday's accident.
Please forward this email to other friends of Mammoth and our Ski Patrol.
Your support is deeply appreciated.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby ifernau » Wed May 03, 2006 1:34 pm

The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center is holding a Walter Rosenthal Memorial on May 14th. Here is a link with more info:

http://www.esavalanche.org/
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