Red Cone up track
Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 12:15pm
Multiple reports came in this afternoon of a remotely triggered avalanche in the Mammoth lakes basin. This avalanche occurred on an east aspect below treeline on a slope above the typical skin track to the Red Cone bowl. The party involved reported approaching the slope from above when they felt a large collapse and herd a loud whumph. At this point, they stopped to reevaluate and saw debris flowing approximately 100' away. This particular slope ends in a gully feature that is often used as an up track. Luckily this avalanche did not hit the skin track and no one was hurt. However, this acts as a good reminder to be wary of danger from above and to be particularly cautious of the elevated hazard posed by terrain traps.
Report from a witnessing party.
"As my partner and I were skinning up for a second lap we came across a pair of ladies skiing down who warned us of an avalanche they remote triggered a few minutes earlier. We saw them just below the rocky and narrow gully on the typical skin track. They said they were skiing down the skiers left East face and came to the steep section directly above the skin track. One member of the party was skiing with skins on due to ice on her skis. They stopped to look over the edge and assess conditions when they triggered a massive slide remotely below them. (According to their report to us) They then traversed skiers right out of the situation and skied down the skin track. This was confirmed by their tracks we could see as we got above the area. We did not venture in to take any measurements, as they cleared only 4/5 of the slope with the avalanche. Conditions did not warrant further examination without danger to us. Possible 2 ft crown. Pure luck it didn't take out the skin track and no one was injured. "