The ski community is still hurting from the deadly avalanche that hit Palisades Tahoe yesterday morning. The sad result of Tahoe’s unstable snow included the death of 66-year-old Kenneth Kidd, a resident of Point Reyes and the Truckee Tahoe area.
Now, we are learning the unstable snowpack is not limited to Tahoe and is also being seen in the mountains of Mammoth.
Carter Murphy, a ski and weather enthusiast in Mammoth Lakes, shared an image of a massive inbounds avalanche on Mammoth Mountain Thursday morning:
After yesterday’s in bound avalanche in Olympic Valley, everyone is finally realizing the snowpack is unstable… the only reason I have not been in the backcountry yet this season. Pictured here is a massive in bounds avalanche this morning on Climax on Mammoth Mountain pic.twitter.com/E4ETOWCQzl— Carter Murphy ?8?? (@cartermurphy218) January 11, 2024
The details surrounding the avalanche on Mammoth are unclear, but it was likely triggered during typical avalanche mitigation in the morning from the mountain’s ski patrol. The threat of avalanche is mitigated by dropping explosives into unstable snow, letting the snow slide down the hill before skiers get to the area. In fact, Mammoth uses a unique system of avalanche mitigation which includes World War II howitzer guns:
The Sierra Avalanche Center issued a stern warning about the snowpack on Thursday morning.
“Dangerous avalanche conditions will continue today. New snow and high winds have loaded existing weak layers in our snowpack. Large avalanches are the main concern today failing well below our recent storm snow.”
For all you skiers and snowboarders out there, be careful!