Mammoth Mountain Ski Report Jan. 29, 2011 for Mammoth Ski Club

I’m happy to report that snow is forecast to fall at Mammoth Mountain ski resort with a 30% chance of about an inch tonight, and a 90% chance of 3-7″ tomorrow, possibly more at the top of Mammoth Mountain. The snow level is 4500 feet, so this should be a dry snow by Sierra standards.

I’m glad to get the snow. We need it. It was the wettest December on record with 209″, and now it is probably going to be the driest January on record. But the steeper slopes at Mammoth Mountain are so firm now, I fear most of it will slide off the top. Let’s hope it fills in some any way.

The winds are stronger, but tolerable today. Face protection will be recommended the next few days, and maybe a hood over your helmet. And be sure to always carry a charged cell phone with the Ski Patrol phone number for Mammoth Mountain Ski resort programmed for easy retrieval. I’ve written in posts before about how it could save your life.

Well, earlier this week, a snowboarder strayed outside the western boundary of Mammoth. David Joseph, 27 of Chrystal Heights, CA was able to get a cell phone signal, and call his dad. His dad in turn called Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol. They began searching for Joseph, but he had reported to them that he was inside the ski area boundary.

At that point Search and Rescue had Joseph call 911 and the Bishop California Highway Patrol dispatch center was able to triangulate his position with a GPS reading from his cell phone. Mammoth Mountain usually has a death or two every year from someone wandering outside or intentionally straying outside the ski area boundary. It’s not a good idea, and what would have happened if he got stuck somewhere where he could not get a cell signal? What would have happened since Joseph had to make all those calls he exhausted his cell phone battery prior to succesful location? He probably would have froze to death that night.

Be safe. Carry and wear your safety equipment, and I’ll See You On the Slopes!

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