In November, Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory stated that his plans, as recorded in a report to the Forest Service, are to re-open June Mountain next season. There is nothing new on that statement, but the Forest Service did issue a press release to say that they and Mammoth Mountain have finalized an operating plan for the June Mountain Ski area for the rest of this winter season while the resort is in non-operational status. The biggest concern is avalanche danger.
The release says that the lift-served ski area is not open, but the underlying National Forest land will “generally remain accessible to the public for backcountry skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing.” Under the approved plan, ski patrollers are authorized to prohibit access to the area during avalanche control activities. Also, the ski area remains prohibited to entry by snowmobiles and other motorized use by an existing Forest Order.
District Ranger Jon Regelbrugge said, “It is important that anyone who travels in the June Mountain area treats this as the backcountry environment that it is.” He said avalanche control activities will be very limited. He added that dangerous avalanches can and likely will happen in areas that were normally controlled when the mountain was operating.
The Forest Service says other dangers include unmarked obstacles, June Mountain Ski Area snowmobiles and equipment, ungroomed slopes, and avalanche control work. Ski patrol will not conduct normal patrols in the area.
Those who fail to comply with posted avalanche control or other regulations will be subject to danger and citation. But the Forest Service says that winter backcountry enthusiasts can travel in and through the June Mountain area and will have access to adjacent backcountry areas. Any who visit the June Mountain area must stay out of avalanche control closures and carry backcountry avalanche safety gear.
You can find out about the latest avalanche advisory at www.esavalanche.org or call 760-924-5510. The Forest Service plans to produce a phone number and recorded avalanche closure information for June Mountain soon.