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The Victims

April 08, 2006|Michelle Keller | Times Staff Writer


A Ski Patroller and Lifeguard Who Was Passionate About Both

James Juarez, 35, was a trained lifeguard and ski patroller, switching from one passion to the other four years ago.

His father, Jorge, said he fretted constantly about his independent-spirited son who he said had a reputation for generosity.

"He was very giving," the elder Juarez said. "I was worried he would give his life to save somebody."

In 2002, the younger Juarez became a ski patroller at Mammoth Mountain.

After a year, he broke his back in three places while working on ski runs near the lifts, his father said. It took him nearly a year to recover and hit the slopes again.

Juarez was born in Encino and lived in Granada Hills for most of his childhood. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1997 and joined the Marine Corps soon after. He attended Pierce College in Woodland Hills and finished his education at a community college in San Diego.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday April 13, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
Mammoth Mountain: An article in Saturday's Section A about an accident at Mammoth Mountain ski area said one victim, ski patroller James Juarez, had graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills in 1997. He graduated in 1989.

He studied business and history, but it was the outdoors that called to him. He became a lifeguard in the late 1990s in Solana Beach, Calif., and traveled to Indonesia and Malaysia to surf huge waves, his father said.

Juarez moved from the beach to the Mammoth area to become a ski patroller. Earlier this season, his girlfriend, Sara Johanna Carlsson, 31, another ski patrol member, was killed in an avalanche while skiing off-duty.

Juarez loved to cook and was known for his specialties. "Everybody loved his wontons," his father said.



An Avid Outdoorsman Who Was Thrilled With His Job on the Slopes

John Scott McAndrews, 37, was an avid outdoorsman and teacher who was drawn to California by its natural beauty.

McAndrews, who used his middle name, started working in Mammoth in October 2005 and was thrilled with his job, excitedly sharing his experiences with his family. The night before the accident, he called his parents to tell them that his peers had chosen him "Rookie of the Year."

"He really loved what he was doing," said his father, J. Briggs McAndrews. "He was very upbeat. He was quite happy in the area."

McAndrews was born in Scranton, Pa. As a child he was active and "loved the outdoors," said his father, an educator in New York. He played football in high school and was an enthusiastic skier.

A love of the mountains led McAndews to Outward Bound, a nonprofit wilderness educational organization, and he moved to California after he graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1991. He stayed with the nonprofit organization as an instructor for about 10 years.

McAndrews went to New York to earn a master's degree in special education but returned to California intent on joining the ski patrol. "That was part of his real goal. He was very service-oriented," said his father.

McAndrews' father, his mother, Isabelle, and his sister, Donna, plan to attend services in New York before heading to California to join his friends in Bishop.



For Accomplished Skier and Climber, Snow Was a Thing Worth Studying

Charles Walter Rosenthal, 58, loved snow so much that he devoted his life to studying its unique structure.

Rosenthal, who earned a master's in snow hydrology at UC Santa Barbara, worked at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory near Mammoth Lakes, studying how snow grains bond.

Rosenthal was also the president and a founding member of the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center.

A member of the Mammoth Mountain ski patrol since 1972, Rosenthal "was very understated about a lot of his mountaineering accomplishments," said neighbor Rick Kattelman, a classmate from graduate school. "He was a superb climber and skier."

Rosenthal grew up in Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where he earned a degree in political science.

Later, while conducting hydrology research at UCSB, he worked part time as an assistant specialist at the school's Institute for Computational Earth System Science.

"He was forthright and opinionated, but he was intelligently opinionated, so it made him fun," said Jeff Dozier, a UCSB professor who was Rosenthal's advisor in graduate school.

Rosenthal lived in Mammoth Lakes with his wife, Lori, a printmaker, and their 14-year-old daughter, Lily.

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