MAMMOTH LAKES (AP/CNN) — An avalanche prompted the closure of a second major California ski resort in as many days.
The Mono County Sheriff’s department says three people were partially buried but unhurt by an avalanche Saturday at Southern California’s Mammoth Mountain ski resort.
Resort officials said the avalanche occurred at about 10:15 a.m. while resort workers were in an area closed to the public attempting so-called avalanche mitigation, which includes purposely creating smaller slides.
The avalanche poured down the mountain and into an open run crowded with skiers and boarders. The resort then closed for the day.
On Friday, an avalanche hit five people at a resort in Squaw Valley, leaving one hospitalized with a serious lower body injury, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said.
Another person was treated and released, while the other three were unharmed.
Heather Turning was spending her birthday snowboarding at the resort when the avalanche hit. She was among those who helped in the rescue.
“It looked like a blazing cloud of snow coming down,” she said. “It went pretty fast.”
As the avalanche settled, she heard a woman yelling, “‘My husband, my husband!'” she said.
People saw a tip of a snowboard in the snow and raced toward it, Turning said. Everyone started digging furiously around it, gingerly removing snow from the man’s face and Turning caught the scene on video.
Heavy storms have drenched coastal areas and dumped more than six feet of snow in some higher elevations.
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