LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The heavy snowfall caused by the “Pineapple Express” system across the Southwest poses unique dangers for the ever-prepared Mt. Charleston residents.
Residents are aware that these systems can cause avalanche dangers, like what skiers witnessed on Monday.
“These pineapple expresses really bring heavy, wet snow. While we’ve had situations like this in the past, it’s not very common that we get this much snow,” said long-time resident and community advocate Jean Perry-Jones, who has lived on Mt. Charleston since the 1970s. “As [snow] stacks up, the steeper the slope, it’s going to slide more. That’s the avalanche danger,” Perry-Jones said.
She described to FOX5 how to survive an avalanche.
“You can make an air pocket. Sit and watch which way the split goes. That’s the way you want to start digging,” she said, as people trapped can be disoriented about whether they’re upside down.
Perry-Jones said residents must be prepared with snow blowers, plenty of firewood, a generator and a week’s worth of supplies in case snow blocks them in.
Even those residents with weather-ready vehicles and tires have trouble traveling in these conditions.
The Mt. Charleston Mountain Man, also known as Jimmy Alderson, shoveled snow all day to travel south to the Valley. Once it took him an hour to return, he had to leave his vehicle half a mile away.
“I parked the vehicle, got out, put one load of grocery bags on the sled, moved it up about a half a mile. I trudged up through the snow, which is two-and-a-half, three feet deep with that sled behind me, and got up here. Lo and behold, I had to go back down and get another load, and got one more load of the groceries on the sled. Luckily I was able to make it back,” he said about the exhausting ordeal and posted on X. He plans to stay home until conditions improve.
“There’s no need to go anywhere we got our supplies. We’re ready. Let the first responders do what they can do to clean the roads and keep them safe for everybody else,” he said.
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