Just came back from 3 days at Mammoth. Absolutely beautiful days and actually some fun skiing in spite of the limitations.
The mtn is mostly barren of any significant snow base, other than the trails which are open and undergo snow making and maintenance. Generally only one run is open from the top of the Gondie - Cornice - which is good until about 11 AM because the boarders eventually sideslip/scrape the snow down and it becomes a skatin rink tilted to 30+ Degrees.
As an eastern skier, I had a great time, even though most of those who I was with (SB Ski Club) found it a bit 'icy' for their tastes. For a Right Coaster it was mostly 'good to excellent. with hard pack' - as is the standard eastern areas report, regardless of the conditions.
All three mornings brought the best conditions - corduroy or fresh machine made - on all the runs.
Some runs, like Stump Alley, held up well until late afternoon; others were becoming skied off by Mid-day. However if you could maneuver the trail edge, there was always some nice surface to be found. This is quickly drilled into every eastern skier, but the vast majority of skiers out on Mammoth, these 3 days, rarely ventured to within 20 ft of the trail edge. This made for some excellent conditions for me, on every run.
Other than Cornice, and the face of 3, all the other trails open were novice to intermediate. Friday, the cover was fairly thin and allowed one to work on their hard snow technique; which came in handy the other 2 days as well.
The trails were well groomed with some having decent loose cover and sometimes the frequent 'rock soup' of stones kicked up by the groomers. The conditions did vary from some solid eastern hardpack to places where there was some soft, loose pack.
There are no 'features' of any kind on most of the runs. Perfectly flat, made for a lot of speed non-stoppers until I decided to work on edge control and setting tight turn points down the edge fall-line.
Friday night thru all of Saturday and Saturday night, the temps dropped and the mtn made snow during the entire time. This all provided improving conditions over the three days, and everyone on the trip eventually came back with a big smile and had plenty of fun.
I had a great time and made the best of the limitations. Reminded me, alot, of days at Flatton, Bromley, Waterville, without any moguls...
I skied some Older Volkl Shapers - vertigo motions, which were not quite up to the task of carving hard surface and then moved to Nordica HR Pro Burners, which just tore up any hard surface I put them on!
Next time I go, I'll definitely bring along a pr of old 204/205 race bds.
It was way fun - 3 days was just about right - and i'm looking forward to another trip in 2 1/2 weeks - hoping they continue to make snow and are able to open just a wee bit more 'terrain'.
...I do miss last yr...
Oh - and the race area - to the right of chair 1 - was open, being used by 3 different race courses, well covered and in great racing shape.
here a webcam pic of the current state of affairs. Upper Left - New Chair 5 which was open down the left side, Upper Right Chair 23, Lower Left is face of chair 3, lower Right is Cornice.
Edited by moreoutdoor - 1/9/12 at 1:20pm