Great Big Story look at how adventurous rangers in California are fighting avalanches with World War 2 cannons. Falling snow is one of the biggest killers on mountains and avalanches are a constant threat for skiers.

But on California’s Mammoth Mountain, the rangers there have started using World War 2 cannons to shift snow. By firing large shells at snow sheets, they can cause small, safe avalanches. They can also make sure that no one’s on the mountain at the time, allowing them to get the avalanches “out of the way” instead of risking them happening in peak ski season.

In the past, they use live charges to shift snow, but they quickly realised that they would need something bigger to have a serious effect. The WW2 cannon was chosen because it can have a big impact without doing serious damage to the mountain face. It’s an explosive idea that’s part madness, part genius!

Avalanches|Great Big Story|Documentary

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