A post control Avalanche at Mammoth Mountain yesterday, sent one skier to the hospital with minor injuries. Avalanches are an ever present concern for back-country travelers, but they cant be completely out of mind in bounds at ski resorts. This is especially true after a big storm.
Mammoth Communications director Joani Lynch reports that the small slide occurred just before 2:00 yesterday afternoon off Chair 9 in one of the Dragons Head chutes known as head chute west. Three people were involved. One was taken to the hospital for observation and released the same day according to Lynch.
Ski Patrollers had opened the area about an hour before the slide. Lynch reports that patrollers used hand charges and ski cutting to control the area earlier Monday morning.
There have been as least two other post control avalanches at Mammoth Mountain this year that involved skiers. Lynch says that post control avalanches are not uncommon and are created by a wide variety of weather circumstances. This one appears to have been shallow with about a two foot crown of wind loaded snow.