mammoth mountain

Avalanche Halts Ski Lift Operations at Mammoth Mountain

Eight people were caught in the avalanche, but were able to free themselves.

Eight people were caught in an avalanche at the popular Southern California ski resort Mammoth Mountain Saturday, a spokesperson confirmed.

The avalanche happened around 10:15 a.m. in a closed area on the Climax ski run as members of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol were performing avalanche mitigation work, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area spokesperson Lauren Burke said in a news release.

The avalanche traveled down the mountain to the bottom lift terminal known as Chair 5 in the High Five Express area.

The powder cloud from the avalanche extended about 100 meters into an area open to the public, the resort spokesperson said.

Two guests were partially caught, the company said. Eight employees were caught in the avalanche and suffered minor injuries, according to the company's statement. The employees were able to free themselves.

A massive search effort was launched over six hours, using approximately 200 people, according to the resort.

The searchers included employees, first responders and guests.

Avalanche dogs were used along with a manual probe search.

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Lift operations on the mountain were halted for the rest of the day.

Nobody has been reported missing, but anyone who thinks a friend or family member might be missing is asked to call 760-934-0611.

The resort will resume normal operations on Sunday.

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