Avalanche Damages Chairlift at Mammoth Mountain

Photo: Mammoth Mountains

Mammoth Mountain is currently buried in 7 feet of brand new snow. The massive snowfall has closed the nearby highways, making it nearly impossible to travel to the area. It’s also created a dangerous situation on the mountain, one that was seen in the form of a damaging avalanche at the resort.

While Mammoth ski patrol was conducting avalanche mitigation work on Thursday morning, an avalanche was triggered in the closed Lincoln Mountain area. The powder cloud formed during the avalanche knocked the communication cable off the closed Canyon Express chairlift. Luckily, no one was caught in the avalanche, but it’s a lesson of the risks involved when dealing with large amounts of fresh snow.

“This storm is another reminder about the power of Mother Nature,” the mountain wrote in a statement. “Conditions are currently dangerous. It will take considerable time and extreme caution and care by our team to dig out and prepare the mountain to open the next few days. Please be aware that lifts and facilities will be significantly delayed in the coming days. Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS) danger will remain a threat through the weekend – ski and ride with a buddy and keep your buddy in sight at all times.”

The chairlift will remain closed throughout the day on Friday and Mammoth officials are foreseeing a busy weekend when Highway 395 reopens to traffic. With Covid protocols in place, Mammoth is already sold out on Saturday.

If you’re going to ride this week, take every precaution to be safe.

P.S. Did you know that Mammoth uses World War II canons to trigger avalanches? True story. Check it out:

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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