Avalanche strikes on crowded Mammoth Mountain

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. — An avalanche struck on Mammoth Mountain this morning as the popular snow resort was crowded with visitors.

Eight people were partially buried including six resort employees and two guests, Mammoth officials said. The guests were able to free themselves without injury, while the employees suffered minor injuries.

After rescue efforts, including a search by avalanche dogs, the officials said there were no people found trapped in the snow. Mammoth Mountain said on the resort’s social media outlets that no missing persons had been reported, but that the search continues.

The avalanche struck shortly after 10 a.m. on Saturday, as Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol was performing avalanche hazard mitigation work. It occurred at the top of the mountain and snow and debris pounded downward toward a ski lift area called the High Five Express.

The area where patrols were conducting avalanche control work had been closed to the public at the time of the incident, though some debris reached areas where skiers and snowboarders were permitted.

If members of the public are aware of missing friends or family, they’re encouraged to alert search teams at 760-934-0611.

The resort will remain closed for the rest of Saturday, but is expected to reopen on Sunday.