UCSB Bren School researcher Walter Rosenthal, 58, died last week in a tragic incident at the Southern California ski resort Mammoth Mountain. Rosenthal – a specialist in snow hydrology and a 33-year veteran of the ski patrol – was one of three victims who fell to their deaths in a volcanic gas vent on the Christmas Bowl run last Thursday. The vent – a known hazard to ski patrol members – was covered by recent heavy snowfall, and the patrollers were digging out the warning fence bordering the vent’s opening. The snow suddenly gave way, and two patrollers fell into the 21-foot-deep vent. Hearing his colleagues’ cries for help, Rosenthal rappelled into the hole with oxygen tanks. It is believed that the three died from gas-related asphyxiation.
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN TRAGEDY:
Originally published 12:00 p.m., April 13, 2006
Updated 11:43 a.m., April 27, 2006
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