Three Ski Patrollers Die at Mammoth
SAM Magazine-Mammoth Lakes, Calif., April 10, 2006-Three Mammoth Mountain ski patrollers died last Thursday while working to fence off a geothermal vent following a heavy snowfall. The snow they were standing on collapsed and they fell into a 20-foot-deep well around the vent.
Two patrollers, John McAndrews and James Juarez, were attempting to remove an existing but nearly buried fence when the snow gave way, sending them into the six-foot-wide well. A third patrolman, Charles Rosenthal, went into the hole to retrieve them. All three died. Other patrollers who attempted rescue were overcome by carbon dioxide and hospitalized, though they were later released.
It is not clear whether the patrollers died from the fall or from fumes. The cause of death won't be determined until completion of autopsies and toxicological tests, according to an Associated Press report.
A memorial service for the three patrollers will be held Friday, April 14, at Mammoth. To support the families, Mammoth chairman and CEO Rusty Gregory said, " I have decided to contribute all-100 percent, without any deduction or adjustment-of this Friday's gross ticket sales to provide financial support to the Rosenthal, McAndrews and Juarez families and to create a permanent tribute on the mountain to our fallen heroes. I encourage you to participate this Friday.
"There are two ways to participate: join us on the mountain . . . or make a symbolic gesture through the purchase of a ticket for Friday online at MammothMountain.com and be with us in spirit."