How Mammoth Mountain Uses World War II Howitzers to Battle Potentially Deadly Avalanches

Mammoth Mountain is known to receive a lot of snow. With massive snowfall each winter, ski patrol is forced to use some unorthodox ways to battle potentially fatal avalanches.

As part of its ski patrol unit, the ski resort has an artillery program which uses World War II cannons to ignite snow slides in avalanche prone areas. While most resorts use hand charges, which could potentially be dangerous for the ski patrol, Mammoth has an artillery room where they can open up a window and fire cannons at the beautiful slopes of the mountain.

The goal of the program is to ignite a bunch of small, controlled avalanches during dangerous conditions in order to avoid one large avalanche that could be dangerous to skiers. They have become so experienced at firing the machinery, that they can nail a specific area on the mountain with zero visibility during whiteout conditions.

Watch this video highlighting the program:

Great work by these brave and skilled ski patrollers!

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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