Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol Avalanche Control Work Summary

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Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol Avalanche Control Work Summary

*Disclaimer:  These are avalanche result summaries from explosive control work and ski cutting done by professionals.  This control work covers mostly in-bounds areas, with the majority of areas receiving a high amount of skier traffic.  Take this into consideration when assessing how representative these results may be to avalanche conditions in nearby back country areas.   

1/31/16 (early morning) - (upper mtn socked in)  Lower hill hand charging and ski cutting produced avalanches in some areas with 4-6" crowns that propagated very widely.  Very sensitive conditions, very soft slab.  Take into consideration that not much snow fell overnight before these control efforts took place, and that much more snow fell throughout the day, and was mostly kept in check in-bounds during the day by heavy skier traffic.     

Feb 18th - Avalanches and wind loading

2/18/16 - Lower and mid mountain hand charging resulted in a mix of some paths avalanching 12-14" soft windslab, D2, and others not reacting.  Upper mountain was shot with artilery early AM (too windy all day to deploy personel to hand charge or ski cut) which resulted in many avalanches across top of mountain with 2-3 foot crowns, that propogated across slopes that were not shot, size D2+ = bury/injure/kill a person to destroy a house.

High SW winds throughout day, actively trasporting and loading northerly facing slopes.  Click here to see video of wind transport over Dragon's back today.

Feb 19th - Avalanches, wind loading

2/19/16 - Upper mountain and lower mountain avalanche control efforts this morning included artilery, hand charges, and ski cuts, all of which produced very minimal avalanche results.  One relatively small (R1, D1), 1 ft crown avalanche in Climax, and some other very small 2-3" crowns in other places.  Moderate SW winds continued throughout the day, but resulted in considerably less wind tranported snow in much more isolated areas than the day before.  

3/6/16 - Widespread lower and

3/6/16 - Widespread lower and mid-mountain avalanches, some natural during the night, and many as a result of hand charges and ski cuts this morning.  12-36" crowns, running full width of paths.  Some avalanches failing within density changes of new snow, and many failing at new/old snow interface.  

3/12/2016 - Control work

3/12/2016 - Control work (dynamite) produced widespread avalanches this morning.  Mostly 12-24" crowns mid-mountain, mostly running full width of slide paths, 600'-1200' long. (Dragon's Wazoo 1,2,3, Avy 1/2 bowl, Shaft, Grizzley, Bear, Waterfall, )  Widepsread results across upper mountain as well, with 3-4' crowns in some places.  Sesame weather plot recorded 10" of new snow just above 9000', however strong SW winds created much deeper deposits.     

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