Mammoth Mtn - three ski patrol deaths today

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Messages 1 - 130 of total 130 in this topic
Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 6, 2006 - 06:51pm PT

They were cordoning off a sulphur vent in the area to keep skiers away, not sure if it collapsed on them or the fumes killed them. But three confirmed fatalities (all members of ski patrol), up to 7 others injured.

WBraun

climber
Apr 6, 2006 - 06:58pm PT
Oh NO!!!!!

More information please ......?????
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Apr 6, 2006 - 07:02pm PT
Was it CO2?

That is tragic!

When I had to service the seismic station at the Mammoth Airport I dropped an oxygen sensor down to the bottom of the vault 10 feet down.

Jeff
Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2006 - 07:04pm PT
Supposedly it was near the center bowl on the west side of the mountain. Around noon they were adjusting a snowed in fence line area near where there's a suphur vent (gate keeps skiers out) and it either collapsed or they fell in. 10 ski patrollers were working in the area, three fell in and were killed.

Hydrogren sulfide and carbon dioxide fumes from the vent I guess were pretty strong. Unclear right now if it was the fumes or the fall into that underground cave that did it.

Sad, Mammoth's had a lot of tragedy this winter.
WBraun

climber
Apr 6, 2006 - 07:07pm PT
Fluoride

This is terrible, do you have names?
Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2006 - 07:11pm PT
I'm trying to find out more.
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Apr 6, 2006 - 07:12pm PT
CO2 dissplaces O2. So falling down into something would be very bad.

eeh

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 6, 2006 - 07:20pm PT
The mammothmountain.com forum has some more information...
Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2006 - 08:02pm PT
It happened near Center Bowl next to the Panorama Gondola. Two fell in, the third died attempting a rescue:

dirtbag

climber
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:07pm PT
This is terrible news. I feel sick to my stomach.
WBraun

climber
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:19pm PT
Center Bowl?

Is that the front face of Chair #3.

Hey, I don't ever remember anything like this there? Kathy how about you?

Is this a new thing that came out of the ground recently?
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:27pm PT
Bad news...I heard Walter Rosenthal may have been one of the unfortunate three...nobody is 100% sure but it doesn't sound good so far....jb
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:29pm PT
There is a vent on Center Bowl that is vents stinky steam. Last week when I was there it was bamboo'd off as it usualy is. After the big dump the vet was probably covered. The steam finds it'e way and forms a pit that after a new snow can have a small opening on the surface of the snow but be undercut around it and scary to be near. I dont know if those were the conditions during the accident but kind sounds like it. Sounds like they were placing boo around it when a portion gave way. I am sickened by the news. I'll be praying for the loved ones.
:(
WBraun

climber
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:29pm PT
Hey John

That is real bad news ......
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:33pm PT
Just now saw it on the news. Horrible. 13 injured according to the news. 3 dead. I was in tears watching it.
Knoxville

climber
San Francisco
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:33pm PT
does any one have a link to the names of the patrollers? One of my best friends from college patrols there and I can't get a hold of her. holy crap.
GoMZ

Trad climber
Paradise
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:36pm PT
I was up there today when it happened. They shut down most of the mountain in order to get as many patroliers over there ASAP. Unfortunatly they could not save those three people. I heard they died from co2 inhalation. It has been a very tough year for Mammoth Mtn ski patrol.
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:38pm PT
Reminds me of that tragic accident on the ice at Convict Lake.
I pray you all that are so sad find peace.

Jeff
GoMZ

Trad climber
Paradise
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:39pm PT
Blinny-it is that same vent on face of three

Haven't heard any confirmed names yet
10b4me

Ice climber
The Happies
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:41pm PT
yes, Walter was one of the victims. very unfortunate.
I also have a friend on the ski patrol. if anyone knows the names can they email me.
thanks.
WBraun

climber
Apr 6, 2006 - 08:53pm PT
Who are the two other unfortunate souls?

Walter Rosenthal was a great soul.
Ouch!

climber
Apr 6, 2006 - 09:04pm PT
ABC in LA has a 5pm TV report. Click on the link in the box on the left.


http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=special_coverage&id=4061879


poop*ghost

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Apr 6, 2006 - 09:04pm PT
3 Mammoth Ski Patrollers Killed Clearing Snow

By Amanda Covarrubias, Times Staff Writer
3:07 PM PDT, April 6, 2006

Three members of the Mammoth Mountain ski patrol were killed today while clearing snow on the upper mountain after this week's record snowfall, authorities said.

The accident occurred in the early morning while the three were performing maintenance work, said Shannon Kendall, a spokeswoman for the Inyo County Sheriff's Department, which investigated the accident.

Details of the accident were not available, but authorities said they planned to provide more details in the coming hours.

The accident is the latest chapter in a deadly winter in Mammoth. In late January and early February, five skiers died over a seven-day period.

Mammoth Mountain ski area, about 310 miles north of Los Angeles, announced Tuesday that it had set a seasonal snowfall record with 619 inches having fallen this winter. That includes 50 inches since Saturday.

The old record dates to the winter of 1992-93, when 617 inches fell. That mark almost fell last season when snow accumulations reached 607 inches.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 6, 2006 - 09:14pm PT
That's unhappy news and I'm very sorry to hear some of you have lost friends in this incident. Such vents are extremely dangerous and it might be worthwhile for someone to ask that the company start providing [url="http://www.scotthealthsafety.com/airpak.htm" target="_blank"]SCBA[/url] [url="http://www.scotthealthsafety.com/c100.htm" target="_blank"]air[/url] [url="http://www.msanet.com/catalog/product1515.html" target="_blank"]rigs[/url] for anyone working around them in the future.
10b4me

Ice climber
The Happies
Apr 6, 2006 - 09:24pm PT
very sorry for you Kath.
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 6, 2006 - 09:37pm PT
A great man he was and a great spirit. Not too many like him today. May peace be with you Walter....you will be sorely missed.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Apr 6, 2006 - 09:59pm PT
That's one of the most beautiful eulogies I've heard.

Bring it home.
Gramicci

Social climber
Ventura
Apr 6, 2006 - 10:10pm PT
That brought tears to my eyes Kath, it’s very hard to hear all this. My condolences to his family. My distant memories remember a good man.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Apr 6, 2006 - 10:43pm PT
Just wanted to throw this into the mix - both gases that were indicated to be present are heavier than air and would tend to collect in a cavity. i guess it is unknown the proportion or amounts of each?

People who breathe 5% carbon dioxide for more than half an hour show signs of acute hypercapnia, while breathing 7%–10% carbon dioxide can produce unconsciousness in only a few minutes.

800 ppm hydrogen sulfide is the lethal concentration for 50% of humans for 5 minutes exposition. Concentrations over 1000 ppm cause immediate collapse with loss of breathing, even after inhalation of a single breath.

Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2006 - 11:49pm PT
Kath - that was beautiful. If you want to send an e-mail of support and condolence to them (MMSP), the addy's patrol@mammoth-mtn.com. I'm sure a story like yours could be of comfort to those guys at a time like this.
ladd

Trad climber
land of fruits, nuts and flakes
Apr 7, 2006 - 12:25am PT
Kath...... I can sense your sincere cries as if this whole world is a canyon of echos... The sulphur hole may have taken their bodies, but couldn't even come close to taking their souls. Peace be with you and to the surviving families and loved ones.
WBraun

climber
Apr 7, 2006 - 12:39am PT
Healyje was right, they should have had SCBA air rigs for this operation.
akcIimber

climber
Eagle River, AK
Apr 7, 2006 - 01:00am PT
dave, you guys are heroes to the nth degree. As a "Monday Morning Quarterback" here, I think the powers that be at Mammoth should hang if it is shown they knew or should have known the situation was this hazardous. Sorry about starting the blame so soon but this loss of life just pisses me off! Hang in there buddy.
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Apr 7, 2006 - 01:16am PT
Thanks for the first hand info dave. What a shitty way to end the year. All of MMSP are in my prayers! Like ak said you are a HERO!!!
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
Apr 7, 2006 - 01:37am PT
http://www.mammothlocal.com/news/3_ski_patrollers_die.php for more:

3 Ski Patrollers Dead After Fall Into Volcanic Vent; One Survives
by George Shirk
Three members of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol died Thursday morning, April 6, when they fell 21 feet into a volcanic fumerole in a "snow collapse" near Chair 3/Facelift, ski area officials said.

"Four patrollers were involved and three didn't make it," said ski area communications director Joani Lynch.

The names of the dead were not made available by mid-afternoon, but the Associated Press identified one of the dead as Walter Rosenthal, a researcher for the University of California, Santa Barbara. The AP quoted UCSB spokesman Paul Desruisseaux as confirming Rosenthal as one of the victims.

Rosenthal, who was in his 40s, worked at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Laboratory (SNARL) iMammoth Lakes and was an expert in snow hydrology and remote sensing of snow.

"He apparently jumped in to try to help with the rescue effort of those who were on the patrol and as a result, he died," Desruisseaux said in his interview with the AP.

Rosenthal was also president of the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, said Allan Pietrasanta, a director of the organization. Pietrasanta said Rosenthal and others started the avalanche center in the winter of 2004-05 to release information about snow stability and "increase the public's awareness of snowpack stability."

Mammoth Lakes Mayor Rick Wood, also quoted by the Associated Press, said the police detective working on the case indicated there was a significant amount of gas involved in the accident at the 10,000-foot level of the mountain.

"His impression was that the level of carbon monoxide inside this cavity was extremely high," Wood said.

The actual type of gas was unconfirmed.

Citing the detective, Wood gave an account that differed from the resort's.

Wood said heat from hot rocks below had hollowed out the snow and two ski patrol members fell in. A third patroller attempted a rescue and perished as well, and the fourth was injured, he said.

"This is a steam vent that has been there hundreds of years," Wood said.

Lynch, meanwhile, said the ski area will release details of the accident as they become available and can be confirmed.

The fumarole area is one of the more distincitve areas on Mammoth Mountain and frequently is called "the stink hole." Lynch said the patrollers were fencing off the natural hazard, situated on Christmas Bowl, at 11:29 a.m. "when the snow around the vent collapsed and the patrollers fell 21 feet into the opening.".........
maculated

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Apr 7, 2006 - 03:27am PT
I have a couple friends on that patrol that I've fallen out of contact with. I'm going to be watching the reports closely. Dave, thank you for your account.

fcross

climber
Bishop
Apr 7, 2006 - 11:35am PT
Blinny-

Your words for Walter are beautiful!

I have only know Walter for a couple of years. I worked with him on the board of ESAC. He was an inspiration to many and a genuinely wonderful soul. There will be a hollow spot in the Eastern Sierra for a long time to come.

I also know many of the other patrollers involved. My thoughts go out to everyone that is affected by this tragedy.

Dave, thanks for clearing up some of the details. You guys are all heros in my eyes. I wish the outcome would have been different. I know that you guys tried so hard. Stay strong in the days to come!
Sheik aka JD

Trad climber
San Diego
Apr 7, 2006 - 12:28pm PT
Hey D - Jen just left me v-mail. Sorry about the losses. Glad you are ok. Call/e-mail me if you want to talk. I am in J-Tree this weekend, then India for two weeks.
artifact

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 7, 2006 - 12:56pm PT
Thought and prayers out to the MMSP.

I first met Walter through the snow science course while I was at UCSB. I was amazed at the depth of his knowledge in the mountains and everything related to weather and snow. I think that experience was one of the deciding factors of joining MMSP when I graduated.

I remember one slow midweek day working at the top of chair 3. Another patroller was chilling in the shack not to eager to ski, so Walter and I took nonstop laps all day. I made it to about 50 before I was totally done, but not Walter, he kept going well over 60 laps smiling all the way!

Walter on Avy Control Feb 2000


ralph_teh_klimber

climber
ralph town
Apr 7, 2006 - 03:34pm PT
sounds like they should have been roped up for the job.
Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
Apr 7, 2006 - 03:50pm PT
It doesn't matter what they should have done, its what has been done.
You guys on MMSP stay strong, Learn from what happened, and take some runs in there honor....
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 7, 2006 - 04:18pm PT
Here's an article from the SF Gate (Chronicle website):

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/04/06/national/a174712D86.DTL

-which is the source of this photo:

Personnel gather around a vent at Mammoth Mountain. Three members of the
Mammoth Mountain ski patrol were killed when they fell into a volcanic gas fissure.
Associated Press photo by Steve Taylor

Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Apr 7, 2006 - 04:48pm PT
Let's not monday morning quarterback this tradgedy. Sure SCBA'a and being roped up would have saved them but it was never a problem in the several years past. I am sure there will be SCBA's in the shack at the top of 3 from now on. This is a task performed after every large storm and as far as I know it has never been an issue. I'll let the folks on the ski patrol give there impressions and leave it at that.
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Apr 7, 2006 - 04:59pm PT
What type of cavity do the vents produce?

What do they look like from above?

Is it just a circular hole in the ground?
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Apr 7, 2006 - 06:11pm PT
I'm so sorry to hear this. I heard the sobering knews last night from none other than Bill Lundeen. Be careful everyone.
LuckyPink

Trad climber
Petaluma
Apr 7, 2006 - 06:45pm PT

James Juarez, John "Scott" McAndrews & Charles Walter Rosenthal:
heard from someone else, cannot confirm. tragedy for all, especially surviving patrollers.
GoMZ

Trad climber
Paradise
Apr 7, 2006 - 07:07pm PT
Here is what Mammoth has to say.

April 7, 2006

Contact: Rusty Gregory, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO 760.934.0645



Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, CA -- At approximately 11:29am yesterday,
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 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.



Additional employees who assisted in the rescue were transported to
Mammoth Hospital for observation. A total of seven were admitted and six
were kept overnight including Bridges. All are expected to be released
by mid-morning today.



The cause of death has not yet been determined by the Mono County
Sheriff's Department but is possibly due to oxygen deprivation and/or
being overcome by toxic gasses. The information will be released pending
autopsies and toxicological results.



Victims

James Juarez, 35, a five-year veteran of Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol
originally from Granada Hills, California.



John "Scott" McAndrews, 37, a Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller for one
year from Bishop, California.



Charles Walter Rosenthal, 58, of Sunny Slopes, California a veteran of
Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller since 1972.
T-2

Mountain climber
Baldwin Park , Calif.
Apr 7, 2006 - 07:17pm PT
This is terrible news in a season aready filled with enough bad news from Mammoth. I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend, Kath. I did not know Walter, but would have been honored. Very sad. All are in my thoughts.
Tony Yeary
TC

Social climber
No matter where you go, there you are.
Apr 7, 2006 - 07:23pm PT
WBraun

climber
Apr 7, 2006 - 07:46pm PT
Seeing his colleagues in danger, Charles Rosenthal, 58, of Sunny Slopes, Calif., a veteran of the ski patrol since 1972, went into the pit.

He carried oxygen tanks for each of his friends, but wore none himself. "He too was overcome," said Gregory.

Gregory said Rosenthal moved into the area "without regard for his own life…it was truly a poignant human tragedy."

At that point, a fourth ski patroller, Jeff Bridges, 51, went into the hole, using an oxygen tank. He too was quickly overcome.

Finally, an unidentified patroller (dave from the above post?), attached to a rope, went in without oxygen and pulled Bridges to safety.

JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Apr 7, 2006 - 07:50pm PT
Seems to me a 3" steel pipe about 30 ft tall should be installed to mark the vents location. Never let anyone get within say 50ft of the pole.

marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Apr 7, 2006 - 08:30pm PT
Scottie was an incredibly warm, caring person who touched a lot of lives through Outward Bound, potlucks, and more recently, at the bakery in Bishop. I can't believe he's gone. Even on this side of the mountains in SF I can feel the loss of something special on the East Side.
If anyone out there has contact info for Eric Malone or Peter Carrick, please pass word along to them. I'm sure there's a phone relay thing being done through the OB community, but those guys should know.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Apr 7, 2006 - 08:43pm PT
Here's some updated info from SF Gate with more details of the heroic rescuers:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/04/07/state/n135038D09.DTL

Holy shIt.
WBraun

climber
Apr 7, 2006 - 09:30pm PT
Me and Walter Rosenthal lived together for a few years both in Camp 4 on the Sar site and he was my roommate in Mammoth for two winters at the Davidson apartments.

Now it's two great Walters that have succumbed to tragedy.

There's not much for me to say about this tragedy except I'm so sorry all this happened to these wonderful people yesterday.

May God be with you three and your surviving loved ones.
Mike Morley

climber
San Luis Obispo
Apr 7, 2006 - 09:41pm PT
Scottie and I worked together as instructors for Outward Bound (PCOBS) out of the Sierra basecamp. I can honestly say that he was one of the most caring, kind-hearted, and generous individuals that I've ever met. At our annual fundraising events to raise money for kids who couldn't afford to come on an OB course, Scottie would invariably (after a few beers) start donating large portions of his future paychecks. That's just the kind of guy he was. Scottie, I'll miss you buddy.
sexy rexy

Trad climber
north west las vegas
Apr 7, 2006 - 09:46pm PT
man thats f*#king terriable, i worked as the room nurse in patrol back in 2001 all those guys are rad as sh#t walter was one of the coolest guys i still have a book i borrowed from him about high sierra ski traverses, i used to sit in the main patrol room and bullshit with walter all day about the snow pack and he would just fill my head with knowledge. man that guy was one cool ass dude and one of the smartest guys i have ever meet, its a sad day indeed.. rex
Mini

Social climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 7, 2006 - 11:56pm PT
We heard about it yesterday late in the afternoon but had no names. Was tipped off about some wild Mussypotamia thread and was logging in late last night for a fix. Sadly and in disbelief found Walter's name mentioned. I woke up my wife and all she could say was, "but he was just here with Lilly and Laurie." Isn't that always just how it is with this life.

We spoke to Laurie this afternoon and she seems to be hanging in there. I think she's more worried about what is going to happen when its all "over." When everyone surrounding her now shrinks back into the woodwork and life grinds on again...

I watched giant spindrift vortexes blowing off the tops of Basin and Mt. Tom today, biggest I've ever seen. Furious, delicate.
Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Bangkok
Apr 8, 2006 - 02:58am PT
This morning in the Bangkok Post I read 'Three ski patrol men...' and I thought of Walter. Meet him in '70 and he was kind and cool and fun. Taught me first about aid and then about being comfortable wiht being ones self. Smart, yes, great on boards, you bet, but most in my mind a very good person who knew how to be a friend. Let you into his house, go climb cause it'd be fun, talk and joke, yeah, he sure laughed great. Had to say, Walter was a special kind.
cliffhanger

Trad climber
California
Apr 8, 2006 - 05:44pm PT
By grooming the area of the dangerous volcanic vents with a snowcat after every snow storm the danger could be eliminated. Groom it so that the snow slopes down to the vent, creating a big open depression. There would be nothing to fall into and nowhere for much deadly gas to accumulate.

Or build a 30' concrete chimney to vent the gas and heat safely up.
kevin Fosburg

Sport climber
park city,ut
Apr 8, 2006 - 09:43pm PT
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

I never knew Walter Rosenthal though I recall he was someone who others I respect seemed to hold in high regard. My condolences to his loved ones.
Mike Morley

climber
San Luis Obispo
Apr 9, 2006 - 04:43pm PT
Scottie McAndrews

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g204/mike_morley/101-0173_IMG.jpg
Manky

Social climber
Austin
Apr 9, 2006 - 07:30pm PT
To Blinny, thank you for the great words about Walt and his family. I met him on MMSP back in 1981 and we became lifelong buddies and did lots of climbing and hiking and traveling and doing serious damage to the all you can eat salad bar in Bishop after our numerous trips up the peaks of the eastern escarpment of the Sierra and across the valley in the Whites. I gave him his first flute and he would practice it down in the canyons of the buttermilks while I sat up on a rock and tried to be a buddha. If there was any one human I would pick to emulate now, it would be him. He would deny being a deep person, but one would be lucky to find someone as selfless and compassionate and curious and fun! His intelligence and sense of humor were incomparable. Whaa!
Stimbo

Trad climber
Crowley Lake
Apr 9, 2006 - 10:01pm PT
Here's a photo of Walter Rosenthal, a tragic loss to all who knew him...

WBraun

climber
Apr 9, 2006 - 10:05pm PT
Excellent picture of Walt, Jim.
Stimbo

Trad climber
Crowley Lake
Apr 9, 2006 - 10:11pm PT
Sorry for such a large photo, but the guy was larger than life. We miss him terribly...
Stimbo

Trad climber
Crowley Lake
Apr 9, 2006 - 10:25pm PT
For all concerned, a memorial service is planned for the evening of Friday, April 14th at 6:30. This is a service to honor all of the patrolmen that died that afternoon. It will held at the old gondola station, the Main Lodge of Mammoth Mountain. Bring your hankys...
Manky

Social climber
Austin
Apr 9, 2006 - 11:25pm PT
Hi Blinny, that is me, but we don't need to correct the spelling as i want to keep as much info away from dubya as possible. I just found out yesterday. i'm disoriented still. I'll call her. thanx.
Stimbo

Trad climber
Crowley Lake
Apr 9, 2006 - 11:54pm PT
Hey Steve -- You were on my list of people to contact. Lori will be glad you have been "found." Sorry bro'... Walter died a noble death. We're still tweaked at him though. The knucklehead left behind a great family. Jim
Derek

climber
Apr 10, 2006 - 01:28pm PT
Damn, damn damn. I too knew Scottie through PCOBS. We did new instructor training together in 1993 or 94. What a gentle, caring soul. Rest in peace, Scottie. My most heart-felt condolences to all those touched by this tragedy.

-Derek
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Apr 10, 2006 - 01:30pm PT
I am so sad to hear of this terrible tragedy.

Lacking specific information, I can nevertheless provide some information regarding gases typically found in situations like this:

Hydrogen Sulfide is a highly toxic gas often present near volcanic vents, heavier than air, colorless, with the odor of rotten eggs. Normal concentration in clean air is 0.0001-0.0002 ppm.

At concentrations of only 150 to 200 ppm, (.015% to .02%) it causes paralysis of the olofactory nerves, whereupon the odor will no longer be apparent. Attempts to rescue unconscious people from spaces with high concentration of hydrogen sulfide can often lead to the death of rescuers (so called "second man fatalities").

Concentrations of over 1000 ppm (0.1%) cause immediate collapse and loss of respiration, leading to death, even after inhalation of a single breath.


Carbon Dioxide: colorless and odorless, present in the atmosphere in low concentrations. Often present in higher concentrations near volcanic vents. People who breathe 5% carbon dioxide for more than half an hour show signs of acute hypercapnia (unusually high concentration of CO2 in the blood,) while breathing 7%–10% carbon dioxide can produce unconsciousness in only a few minutes. Carbon Dioxide is one of the primary hazards when exploring the steam caves inside the crater at the summit of Mt. Rainier.


Carbon Monoxide: Also often present near volcanic vents, typically in concentrations ranging from 0.01% to 2%. A concentration of 0.01% will cause a headache after several hours' exposure, whereas 1.3% and above will cause death in less than 3 minutes.

I am so very sorry to be sharing this information in such tragic circumstances. Although these gases are often a hazard in confined spaces in the industrial world, we so often take fresh air as a given when in the out-of-doors. My heartfelt sympathy to Kath and all others who knew the victims of this terrible event.

Brutus
schilds

Trad climber
eastside
Apr 10, 2006 - 01:49pm PT
For anyone who knew Scott McAndrews, his friends and family are gathering to celebrate his life this Saturday, 4/15 at 10 am, here in Bishop. All are welcome; bring stories, photos, something to sit on, and maybe food to share. If you're coming from out of town we can find places for you to stay. Mary D., another former OB'er and longtime friend of Scott's, is here in town and has been hearing from a lot of PCOBS people. Let me know if you would like to come or want more info, or just if you want to email anything about Scotty that we could share with his friends and family. Thanks. My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the losses of these three men.

email: sarahechilds@yahoo.com

--Sarah (just one of the many, many people who counted Scott as a good friend)
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Apr 10, 2006 - 01:50pm PT
So all these years the danger existed around the vents. Its sad no one foresaw this type of accident happening. But that seems to be true of many accidents.

Jeff
bobh

climber
Bishop, California
Apr 10, 2006 - 02:49pm PT
Stimbo, thanks for that shot of Walter, and thanks Dave for posting some of the facts about the incident -- understanding what happened helps me. It was just a year ago both Walter and Scott were so kind in helping me through my own grieving process. This is rough.
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Apr 10, 2006 - 09:20pm PT
bump for those from other sites looking for information.

Brutus
WBraun

climber
Apr 10, 2006 - 09:35pm PT
Brutus

Thanks for the information, very helpfull for the understanding.
GoMZ

Trad climber
Paradise
Apr 10, 2006 - 11:15pm PT
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."

Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 11, 2006 - 12:15am PT
"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."

So Friday, April 14th if you've to a way to be there, be skiing on the Mountain. You know your lift ticket fee that day's going to benefit the families.
Stimbo

Trad climber
Crowley Lake
Apr 11, 2006 - 12:39am PT
Calling all east-siders -- see you on the Mountain this Friday! Let's raise some hell out there...

Bon Voyage my friend!

Courtney

Trad climber
California
Apr 11, 2006 - 01:00pm PT
Hi All,
My condolences to friends and family of Walter, James, and Scotty as well as the entire patroller community and their famiies. I was lucky enough to spend a smidgen of time with James, who my husband Jim patrolled with and thought of so highly.

Even if you can't make it to ski Mammoth this weekend, you can buy a ticket online to support James', Walter's, and Scotty's families: https://secure.mammothmountain.com/memorial/index.cfm?cid=214h

My deep admiration goes to all the Mammoth patrollers--they are an unbelievably dedicated, skilled, and professional team. Yosemite is lucky to have had three of these patrollers on YOSAR last year: Ben, CJ, and Alex. I know Ben is returning to Valley SAR this year (I haven't heard CJ's and Alex's plans).

Wishing everyone safe adventures,
Courtney

Cath

Mountain climber
Descanso,CA
Apr 11, 2006 - 01:36pm PT
Thank you everyone for the eulogies and pictures of Walt Rosenthal. If you don't mind I want to forward them to Walt's college friends from UCLA Bruin Mountaineers. This was a sorrowful way of finding an old friend. My best trip with Walt was in the late 1960's when he, I and Ed Mercurio bagged Tindal, Williamson, Muir and Whitney one week. I had to do Whitney in sandals becuase I got blisters coming down from Williamson to the valley floor in one day.
jsavage

climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 11, 2006 - 05:02pm PT
I am looking forward to seeing people on Friday. This has been pretty hard. I rented a room from Scotty this past May through September before I found my own place in Bishop. Over the past several weeks we had played phone tag and talked briefly once trying to set up a time to get together. I'd seen him at the mountain a couple of times and once driving. The waves hi were fine and all but we were missing really getting to talk about how his new career was going. I knew he was loving it but I wanted details. This sucks. I didn't really know Walter and I never met James but I feel a loss there too. What amazing people! Thanks everyone for your parts at the scene and in the grieving.
Jim
Manky

Social climber
Austin
Apr 12, 2006 - 06:57pm PT
oh walt, why did you have to jump into that hole without taking the neccessary precautions for yourself? i know that you knew how dangerous it was. you probably knew the exact concentration of the dangerous molecules to the fourth decimal place when you went down there. where did that sense of incredible rationalilty go? did you think that maybe you were going to die before you jumped? or were you just so overwhelmed by your sense of compassion and lack of concern for your own needs that you just had to do it? did you forget who you were? did you think you would just jump out of there when the going got rough? what where you thinking? i'm not ready to be cut free yet, you still need to tell me more how great and okay i am. i still need your unconditional acceptance. don't go yet.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 12, 2006 - 11:45pm PT
You know, sometimes, it just is really hard to take. Such a cool guy, so, so, so many years---all of his own making, in our wilds, and this incredible soul.

It reminds me of Leigh Ortenburger, dying in his 80’s, in the Oakland/Berkeley Hills fire, again, after all those amazing years in the mountains. So hard to take.

The horses hear the barn door open in the morning light, and again, rush to their feed doors, waiting. And another day begins.

Best to you all, PH
apogee

climber
Apr 7, 2009 - 01:36am PT
April 6, 2006. I was in Seattle, attending my sister's wedding, and got a call from a friend of mine in Bishop- there had been a terrible accident at Mammoth Mountain, and a good friend of mine, Scott McAndrews, had been killed in an incident along with two other Ski Patrollers, Walter Rosenthal and James Juarez.

It's been three years, and I still think of Scotty regularly- while he would self-effacingly say that he considered me to be one of his important role models, the real truth is that he is one of mine. Very few people I have ever met exhibited the degree of true heart and love that Scott had for other people, commitment to his own ideals, and selfless devotion to support others before his own interests.

There are so many examples of Scotty's purity of heart and spirit that it seems trivial to list them here. Suffice it to say that today, as the sun arose over a canyon here in the mountains, I thought of Scott, and gave thanks for the blessing of having known him.

Paul_in_Van

Trad climber
Near Squampton
Apr 7, 2009 - 01:56am PT
Apogee;

Kind words indeed for your friend. May we all behave as though we will be remembered by our last act.

Peace for you and your friend.

Paul
schilds

Trad climber
eastside
Apr 7, 2009 - 02:43am PT
Apogee, thanks for posting this...we were definitely thinking of Scott (and the other patrollers, though we didn't know them) today. That photo is on our fridge! Knowing Scott, he was probably carrying gear in that huge pack for about five extra people without letting any of them know. We'll be out on the slopes this week with our nieces, just trying to pass on the love Scott had for skiing and being outdoors:)
Riotch

Trad climber
Kayenta, Arizona
Apr 7, 2009 - 09:04am PT
I had the pleasure of working and climbing with Scotty. The way he lived his life is a shining example to all of us.

I will forever miss this man!


east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Apr 7, 2009 - 10:37am PT
BUMP for walter- climber,skier,snow scientist- RIP
Riotch

Trad climber
Kayenta, Arizona
Apr 7, 2009 - 12:30pm PT
Sometimes it seems that the best ones are taken from us.

It is up to us to carry their torch . . .
Dirka

Trad climber
SF
Apr 7, 2009 - 02:37pm PT
Blessings to their friends and family.
nita

climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Apr 7, 2009 - 05:52pm PT
Bumping..for Remberance and Respect.


nice words eKat... and J.T.

hossjulia

Trad climber
Eastside
Apr 7, 2009 - 09:04pm PT
Thanks for the smile Kath, I've been in a funk since yesterday.
apogee

climber
Apr 6, 2010 - 04:59pm PT
Remembering Scott, Walter and James today.

Scotty, your influence on my life and so many others will always be felt.
Anastasia

Mountain climber
hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Apr 6, 2010 - 05:12pm PT
Sending Love to all of you.
AFS
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
Apr 6, 2010 - 05:14pm PT
This bump scared the crap out of me because I thought it happened AGAIN.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Apr 6, 2010 - 06:08pm PT
God, the pain of loss and grief really never goes away. Those that have experienced it have a lifelink no one else can know or feel. Reading this today, brings big tears and takes my breath away.

This happened before my time here on the taco. Reading all your responses is pretty overwhelming. Since loved ones and close friends never really "get over" such an incredible loss, my heart and prayers go out to you right now.

Peace to you, in a crazy world that often makes no sense. lynne
apogee

climber
Apr 6, 2011 - 02:11pm PT
Another year has passed, and Scotty's presence in my life is still with me. Thinking of you, Walter & James today.

apogee

climber
Apr 6, 2012 - 12:08pm PT



Thinking about all of you today...
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Apr 6, 2012 - 12:16pm PT
great pic of walter. the little bit i knew him started with that big smile.
great reminder to us all, to keep 'em handy ... workin' the magic
DrDeeg

Mountain climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Apr 6, 2012 - 04:49pm PT
Six years ago today, Walter Rosenthal, James Juarez, and Scott McAndrews died in the volcanic fumerole at the bottom of China Bowl / Far East on Mammoth Mountain. Walter was my friend, and a friend of many on SuperTopo. Those of his friends in the snow science community still think of him every time we dig a pit or look at a snow crystal.

Thank you Walter, for your insight and your friendship. We remain grateful.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Apr 6, 2012 - 05:16pm PT
I had the privilege of hanging out with Walter back in the old days.
He was such a hero and role model to us aspiring young wall climbers.
We scorched his fixed ropes on an epic attempt on the Trip year one of my climbing career (76-77) and he was incredibly forgiving and gracious.
Tested "foilies" (imagine a giant aluma head made of tin foil wrapped around a piece of knotted webbing) on the Camp 4 boulders with Walter and Tom Carter during their prep for Tribal Rite (their working title was War of the Newts).
Terrible loss in so many ways.
RIP.

PB
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Apr 6, 2012 - 07:51pm PT
A little known fact of Walter Rosenthal's legacy it his 1st skie descent of "The Checkered Demon," a bit south of Mt Humphries, and not visale from anywhere else.

This coulor was originally ascended by Doug Robinson, et al, in the 70's, as an AI climb.

About 1800 feet, its elevator shaft goes for hundreds at a width of 170cm.

"Inhabited by strange flying rocks," read the Peak, of the same name, during my summer recon from its top, desirous of a 2nd descent. My 1st view was while I'd skied neighboring Kindergarden Couloir, at the suggestion of Alan Bard, who lived across the street. It's only 65 degrees, but a great deal wider, if a double fall line off-camber. I was chased out of the Demon's base by a falling Volkswagan Microbus.

I later chartered a private plane, to drop in from Humphries Basin, to photograph the Demon top to bottom; an aerial recon.

To the best of my knowledge, the 2nd (and possibly only other) descent was done by Glen Plake, who approached via snowmobile, and published it in "Powder." While I was sorely tempted to write the rag, and inform its readership that most folks do these things car to car, and not for money, I guess I forgot to.

Usually, the snow depth around the Chair 3 fumerole is just a few feet, is staked, and I've visited it more than a few times out of interest. The day of the deaths, the Mtn had many days of heavy snow. Clearly, the Ski Patrol' stakeline extended well over an undercut melthole.

Witness the Convict Lake catastropy, whith which I am more tnan intimately familier.

I'm sorry to revisit the past. We all have to live with it. What, exactly, is a 1st ressponder to do? My understanding is that the Chair 3 responders where dead within their first breath.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Apr 6, 2012 - 07:54pm PT
Peace... Let it flow. Good folks, good times...

Eric
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Apr 6, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
I remember buying a beer at Tom's place after work and being told that a ski patrolman from sunny slopes had died that day on the mountain by falling into a fumarole...I told the cashier it couldn't have been Walter because he was too competent and experienced to die like that...God was i wrong...! The first time i had ever seen Walter was in 1980...He was walking on Old Mammoth Road out by where snowcreek golf course is now located...He had this huge sh#t eating grin on his face like he had just eatin a pound of mushrooms...Did the Mt. ever get sued for this incident...As i remember , they had been cited by Cal Osha for not mitigating the danger prior to the accident...? RJ
hossjulia

Social climber
Eastside (of the Tetons)
Apr 7, 2012 - 03:06pm PT
What's really rotten to me, John, is that the mountain did NOTHING to mitigate future accidents at that site. Since they can build their own lift towers, they can close off that fumerol. The monument on top of the Paraniods is nice, but it should have been part of a permanant closeur at the site. It WILL happen again.
During training, Reitman heard somebody joking around about the fumerol, he came out of his office and chewed us all out. We got a 20 minute tirad about how dangerous it was and how if anyone dies on his watch, it'll be in that hole. Man was he right!

Still pisses me off, can you tell?
Reeotch

Trad climber
Kayenta, AZ
Apr 7, 2012 - 04:29pm PT
I'm remembering good times sharing a rope with Scottie McAndrews. Such a fine compassionate and selfless soul. Left a big hole in the lives of all who knew him. My heart still aches.
I've never been to a more heartfelt memorial.

We miss you Scottie!

~Rich~
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Apr 7, 2012 - 05:54pm PT
Always will remember that day.My birthday's on the seventh so was kinda pre celebrating and skiing a half day that day.Skied by "stink hole" on my way out that day.Got back to Bishop by noon/one.Message on phone:"Dude,patty fatality at stink hole".Called friends all over the eastside to get the word.Total bummer as I found out one fatality was actually three.Scotty lived down the street from me and a couple weeks later I was at his memorial.He was so nice/friendly it intimidated me.Miss ya,wish I woulda said more.
zBrown

Ice climber
Chula Vista, CA
Apr 7, 2012 - 06:09pm PT
This brings to mind Steve McKinney. Folks aren't supposed to die this way. Didn't know any of them personally, but they made it possible for me and tons of others to enjoy our passion safely up at Mammoth. Can't thank enough, can't do a thing about it. It ain't fair.

eKat, you got that knack of talking right out of your heart. All the friends and families will love what you posted.

apogee

climber
Apr 7, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
"He was so nice/friendly it intimidated me."

I hear ya.

Scotty's good natured spirit, willingness to do anything for anyone at anytime, and his commitment to service to others always was a presence and role model that was, and still is, 'intimidating'. I'm fairly certain I'll never achieve that purity of soul, at least not in this lifetime.
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Apr 7, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
Well put brotha.

apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 6, 2013 - 10:05am PT
Thinking about Scotty, James & Walter today. You are in our minds and hearts, and continue to influence and guide our lives. You are missed, friends.
Stimbo

Trad climber
Crowley Lake
Apr 6, 2013 - 11:40am PT


Lori and Lily in Berkeley... Walter's wife and daughter. Lily will be graduating from Cal this May with a degree in English. Lily has her father's beaming smile.

We miss you buddy!

Leggs

Sport climber
Home away from Home
Apr 6, 2013 - 11:44am PT
This thread is a wonderful tribute...

~peace to all
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Apr 6, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
Remembering Scottie...
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Apr 6, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
Stimbo...Nice shot..! Thanks for sharing...RJ
OR

Trad climber
Apr 6, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
I remember much about the accident but never saw this thread. I just read it in its entirety. Vibes to the men their families and the other rescuers.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Apr 6, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
Sorry for your loss all. Sending my best vibes out there!
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 6, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
Nice shot, marty. Where was that taken?

I'm thinking about eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's today in Scotty's honor.
10b4me

Ice climber
Happy Boulders
Apr 6, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Seven years already?
yes it was a sad day. didn't know them, but certainly knew of Walter.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Apr 7, 2013 - 03:51am PT
I have so many great memories of times spent with Walter, climbing, bouldering, skiing, working, as off and on roommates, and just hanging out. But I suppose that his smile and chuckle are what I'll always remember most about him, what made so many of those times extra special. And which also, if I was having any doubts, reminded me why we had chosen to be there rather than anywhere else. Thanks Walter, RIP!
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Apr 7, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 7, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Some brave men unselfishly tried to rescue others, and died in the process

I would have been honored to meet these men
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 6, 2015 - 09:34am PT
Nine years.

One of my favorite memories of Scott was the time he hiked into the SEKI backcountry to a resupply for an Outward Bound course, and brought in a half dozen pints of Ben & Jerry's (carefully wrapped in dry ice to keep them cold) for the voracious instructors. This was the nature of Scott's view of service to others.

Your memory, and impact on so many others, lives on, Scotty.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 6, 2016 - 07:39am PT
Ten Years.

Your influence lives on, Scotty. Thank you for gracing our lives.
christoph benells

Trad climber
Tahoma, Ca
Apr 6, 2016 - 08:11am PT
wow, 10 years.

I was living in mammoth at the time, working at footloose and was up skiing this day.

I remember a perfect powder day, I was at the Mccoy Station after riding down the face On chair 3, literally feet from where this occurred.

A heavy feeling came over me, and everyone else. Noone knew what was happening but you could feel something wasn't right. Then , a minute later , all mountain ops shut down, and snowmo's and cats started coming from all directions.

That was a rough year for Mammoth, another patroller died in a BC avy, and there was the avalanche on climax which I witnessed from the top of the world.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Apr 6, 2016 - 08:23am PT
wow, Respect, peace and condolences,
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Apr 6, 2018 - 09:39pm PT
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Apr 6, 2018 - 09:46pm PT
Oh gawd - that's awful! I am so terribly sorry to hear about it, and send sympathy and love to all friends and loved ones.
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Apr 7, 2018 - 09:37am PT
Scott lived a block down from me here in Bishop. Incredibly awesome guy. April 6 will never be forgotten by me . Rest well guys.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Apr 7, 2018 - 10:11am PT
12 years went by too quickly...An opening of an old wound...
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