Waging War on Avalanches with World War II Cannons

Wednesday April 24, 2019 Written by Toby

The ski patrollers at California’s Mammoth Mountain won’t settle for negotiation or diplomacy when it comes to avalanches. To protect the 5,000 to 18,000 skiers who hit the slopes on any given day, they are waging war. Chief in their arsenal is a World War II-era Howitzer cannon.

This video from Great Big Story offers a war correspondent’s perspective of the ongoing snowy skirmish. Most of the time working blind during storms, the Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol wheel out the cannon, load the shells and fire like a besieged artillery company. The idea is to encourage smaller, controllable avalanches instead of letting a big avalanche build up. Probably intimidates the avalanches a bit, too.