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Mammoth to host ski patroller memorial fundraiser Friday, April 14

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Someone else already posted about the three Mammoth Mountain ski patrollers who died last week after falling into a deep gas vent on the mountain. I just received the following press release from Mammoth Mountain and since I know many people here ski Mammoth, I thought I'd pass on the information. Please note that if you can't make it to the mountain Friday, you can still buy a ticket online and it will be added to the memorial fund.

Mammoth Mountain, CA - Rusty Gregory, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Chairman and CEO, issued the following statement to the community today:

"The community of Mammoth Mountain is much larger than our family of 2,800 employees or the 7,000 full time residents in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. You are part of our community and I know you feel, as I do, that the loss of our patrollers in last Thursday's tragic accident has broken our hearts and ripped at our gut. Many of you have e-mailed me wonderful ideas on how best to raise money and respectfully honor the memory of Walter, James and Scott. Instead of working on many separate small-scale efforts, I want to give us all one big idea that will raise a significant amount of money for the families and give us all something to focus on to ease the pain we feel. I have decided to contribute all -- 100% 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, April 14, in a day of solidarity to honor the memory of Charles Walter Rosenthal, James J. Juarez, John Scott McAndrews and to recognize Mammoth Mountain's Ski Patrol and their brothers and sisters of alpine safety and rescue professionals world-wide who risk their lives so the rest of us may enjoy the wonder of our mountains."

There are two ways to participate: join us on the mountain this Friday, April 14 or make a symbolic gesture through the purchase of a ticket for Friday online at MammothMountain.com and be with us in spirit.

About the accident:
On Thursday, April 6, 2006, four experienced Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrollers were inspecting the mountain after recent heavy snowstorms. The patrollers were fencing off a natural hazard, a deep gas vent, on Christmas Bowl run, east of Chair 3 when the snow around the vent collapsed. Two patrollers, John "Scott" McAndrews and James Juarez, fell into the approximately 6-ft hole, down 21 feet of snow to the earth. Two patrollers attempting to help, Walter Rosenthal and Jeff Bridges, descended into the hole. Members of Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol working nearby quickly initiated additional rescue efforts and were assisted by the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and Mono County Paramedics. The victims were immediately transported to Mammoth Hospital. Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller Jeff Bridges survived and Rosenthal, McAndrews and Juarez perished as a result of the accident.
post #2 of 24
Thanks for the info Thatsagirl!

I think I'm going to head down to Mammoth that day....and for one day I'm glad their lift tix are expensive!!
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
You're welcome. I hope more people see this and do the same, or just buy a ticket to be there in spirit.

Thatsagirl
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
I should have posted the following link for those interested in buying an online ticket as a show of support for the families:

http://www.mammothmountain.com/memorial/fundraiser/
post #5 of 24
Thanks Thatsagirl,

I just bought a Friday tix even though I'm 2500 miles away
and won't show to ski.

This is as tragic as it can get.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdskier
Thanks Thatsagirl,

I just bought a Friday tix even though I'm 2500 miles away
and won't show to ski.

This is as tragic as it can get.
We're doing the same.

We just found out that one of the patrollers at the rescue scene who performed CPR on two of the victims used to patrol at Sugarbush, and so this has hit home even more for my husband and his colleagues here in the East. A lot of patrollers plan to buy tickets.

Thatsagirl
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsagirl
You're welcome. I hope more people see this and do the same, or just buy a ticket to be there in spirit.

Thatsagirl
Thanks for the link TAG ...done
post #8 of 24
I bought a ticket I won't be using. I can't imagine what it is like in the patrol room there these days.
post #9 of 24

Patroler Fundraiser

I'll buying a ticket Friday. I'll hang it on my season pass until the Fourth of July! I'll be twisting arms of all my Masters' racing buddies.
post #10 of 24
Pardon my ignorance, but what is a deep gas vent?

What a tragic loss.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonni
Pardon my ignorance, but what is a deep gas vent?

What a tragic loss.
Mammoth is sitting on an active geothermal area. There are several places where Volcanic or other heated geothermal gasses rise to the surface. Nearby there are natural hot springs etc.. This particular vent just spews hot gas that is about 97% CO2 so anyone near or in that area would not be able to breathe.

More info here

DC
post #12 of 24
FWIW
For those fiscally challenged, there are options to buying a regular adult ticket for $62. You could buy a child pass - $30 or a teen - $48.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlord
FWIW
For those fiscally challenged, there are options to buying a regular adult ticket for $62. You could buy a child pass - $30 or a teen - $48.
Excellent suggestion! If you're not using it, it won't matter which ticket you buy!
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonni
Pardon my ignorance, but what is a deep gas vent?

What a tragic loss.
The vent itself is not all that deep. The snow base in that area was about 21 feet though, so you have that depth, then the depth of the vent. In the summertime, the vent is just an opening in the mountain.

Normally, the gasses just dissipate into the air. But what I understand from talking to some of the patrollers who participated in the rescue, a "snow dome" formed over the vent, which trapped the heated gasses within the chute. These deadly gasses kept increasing, and eventually built up such that instead of just being emitted straight up through the snow chimmney of the vent, they seeped under the snowpack, making everything around the vent unstable. Once the patrollers fell through, they were quickly overcome by the fumes.

There are more opportunities to donate to the families of the fallen patrollers. If you missed the ski ticket purchase today, or even if you were able to participate, there are many more opportunities to donate. You can check it out at the Mammoth Mountain web site.
post #15 of 24
I just called Mammoth Marketing department, as the ticket sales only allow US credit card participation while this message has been distributed world wide through this and other web sites I participated. I am sure many Hong Kong and Taiwan skiers wish participate in this cause but will not be able to.

After I spoke to Mammoth, they will publish a phone number for international skiers to donate if they wish.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
UPDATE Saturday, April 15:
Just so folks know, Mammoth is still selling lift tickets for this fundraiser. The site does not say when it will end, so I urge you to check out their site if you are still interested in donating.

Thatsagirl
post #17 of 24
At Park City Mountain Resort we had our end-of-season employee BBQ party yesterday afternoon and the resort took all the beer money, plus extra from resort funds, and made a donation of $6,000 to the Mammoth's ski patroller memorial fund.

Best wishes to Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol - sorry for your lost ones.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Pinecone, what a great gesture. It really is heartwarming to see how the ski community is reaching out to their own...
post #19 of 24
Just did and it feels so good. Thanks for the info Thatsagirl.
post #20 of 24
Just to want make it clear that it feels good to contribute to the ski patroller memorial fund.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
You're welcome, turnmeloose. (Only after your second post did I chuckle at the wording of the first... ).

To everyone else, there is still time to donate if you are interested.

Thatsagirl
post #22 of 24
I heard there was an inbounds slide at Mammoth yesterday.

Is that right?

Everyone get out all right?

I also heard that over 52 feet of snow has fallen there since October.

Wow! That's over 624 inches.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
I heard there was an inbounds slide at Mammoth yesterday.

Is that right?

Everyone get out all right?

I also heard that over 52 feet of snow has fallen there since October.

Wow! That's over 624 inches.
Lars, yes, there was a huge inbounds avalanche at Mammoth on Monday. Here's a link to a thread here:
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=40408

Everyone is OK, a few people were buried but rescued within minutes.

Thatsagirl
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
I wanted to provide an update. The resort is still accepting donations, including the purchase of a ticket for April 14 with proceeds going to the families. You can now print out a copy of the commemorative ticket for your records if you plan to deduct your donation from your taxes.

The resort is reporting that more than 10,000 people have participated in buying the lift ticket, translating into hundreds of thousands of dollars for the families left behind. I find that truly inspiring!

Here is the latest on the resort's website, about the memorial service:

In Loving Memory
Memorial Service held at Mammoth Mountain Friday, April 14, 2006.

The outpouring of support in the form of letters, phone calls and donations has been overwhelming. Following one of the biggest tragedies at Mammoth, our community of skiers, snowboarders, employees, ex-patrollers, friends and family, who all share the mountain, has its heart in the right place. On Friday, April 14, 2006, all lift ticket proceeds went to the families of the fallen Ski Patrollers and to build a permanent memorial on the mountain, a decision made by Mammoth CEO Rusty Gregory earlier in the week when he felt the overwhelming interest in community support. Over ten thousand people participated Friday, both "in spirit" online and at ticket windows, translating into hundreds of thousands of dollars for the families of Scott McAndrews Walter Rosenthal, and James Juarez.

Support from other Ski Areas is another testament to the overwhelming kindness. Ski Patrol members from nearby ski areas offered their time on the hill at Mammoth during the past two weeks and were in attendance at Friday's memorial service. Mt. Rose joined in Friday's fundraiser by donating one hundred percent of ticket sales to the families. Vail Resorts President Bill Jensen personally delivered contributions from their employees and guests and attended Friday's services. Aspen Ski Company has flown flags at half-mast.

For those who were unable to attend the memorial service held by Mammoth Mountain on the evening of Friday, April 14, at the Ski Area Main Lodge, it was a "tragic and wonderful" two-hour service, according to Gregory, where a thousand people remembered the lives of three heroes.

At the front of the faintly-lit main room, where there was standing room only, three photographs on easels captured three of the strongest, handsomest men anyone could know. In one image an energetic James carried a surfboard and looked over his left shoulder flashing the peace sign and a bit of sex appeal. In the one next to it, Walter's face showed off its weather-worn years brilliantly through lighted eyes and a big smile. In the last, a straight-on close-up of Scott with both hands behind his head, kicking back, enjoying life, and glowing nobly at whoever was holding the camera. Over shared stories, laughter and tears we remembered their colorful and meaningful lives. Scott was a multitasking toddler, dressing up as the Lone Ranger and Superman; James tracked a person down on the mountain because he insulted his friend; and Walter, twice their age, was about to re-write snow science. Walter, James and Scott had more than a job in common. They found heaven in the outdoors and purpose when they could be of service to others. They took the road less traveled and didn't take their job for the free lift tickets. We in the audience were closer to understanding the infinite number of reasons that being a member of Ski Patrol gives you to smile every single day. In videos set to personal music they set off avalanches and skied beautiful deep lines of powder. Several speakers mentioned that these men died doing what they loved. "They'd want us to...try not to cry," sang Ski Patrol member Julie Rosen at the closing of the service.

Accident recap: On Thursday, April 6, 2006, seven members of ski patrol were working to uncover a fence around a fumarole on Christmas Bowl. The snow caved in, McAndrews and Juarez fell 20 feet to the ground, and Rosenthal was the first rescuer to go in to help them. All three were overcome by toxic fumes.

There are plans for a permanent memorial to be erected on the mountain. There are two ways to make a donation to the Memorial Funds: purchase a memorial lift ticket or make an individual donation.

Read more about their lives here

Share your thoughts: livevibe@mammoth-mtn.com
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