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.


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