Squaw Valley Creates Avalanches Via Remote Detonation

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SQUAW VALLEY--

Creating man-made avalanches at ski resorts to minimize the effects of a natural one is nothing new, but using a computer to set the blast in motion is.

Squaw Valley tested its "Avalanche Mitigation Detonations" Thursday.

There's not enough snow on the hillside to trigger an avalanche just yet, however, a loud boom could be heard echoing through the mountain.

The technology uses compressed gas to detonate via a super sonic concussion.

The beauty of this device is that workers will no longer have to trek up the mountain to manually set the blast in motion, instead using a click of a computer mouse about a mile away inside a ski patrol building does the trick.

"This allows us to do it without having people in harms way and it will be ready by the morning,"Avalanche Control Director Will Paden said.

Squaw Valley says in the event of a major storm they will continuously blast after snow has accumulated six inches to a foot.