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Mammoth - Feb 10-12 - Super!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just got back from a 3 ski day trip to Mammoth - Friday Feb 10 thru Sunday 12.

Wasn;t expecting great, considering the last snowfall was almost 3 wks back.

But I was more than pleasantly surprised.

Something about that 3 wk old snow - it had held up as though the snow had only been laid down 3 days before. Even large sections of off-piste were not only skiable, but soft in sections and was fun.

Most of the lower mtn had been well maintained by the mtn crew and the green/bue stuff seemed perfect conditions for that level skier - soft but not grabby, and evenly covered.

chair 3 made for great warmup and seemed to holdup very well under the moderate skier pressure it had all day. The section directly under chair 3 and slighty west/north was really fine and had some consistent soft fluff - just needed a little navigation to get thru a few rock piles - no problem and only a couple small areas.

Really surprising was how well the upper Mtn steeps had not been skied or blown off. Dave's was hugely great, and because Friday was a bit on the usual Mammoth windy side, tracks were quickly filled in with fresh windblown, over a mostly hard chalk surface. The upper section did have a hard ice ledge over which most had to 'slide' in order to get into Dave's. This was no problem, but helped to keep the traffic down and allow more open line selection for those who navigated the hard stuff quicker.

Heuvos Grandes, Hang Man's were too rocky, But Climax was very fun for anyone with strong line handling skills.

Cornice, was as always, a bowling alley. but early on the conditions were the most awesome I had seen on that pitch in a long time. Ripped a bunch of no-stops before the crowds built up a bit.

Upper sections of Dropouts and Wipeouts were very rocky, but could be done, just not worth much. Dipping under the rocks and taking lines all long the lowers faces was really, really fine!

I did a lot off chair 23. Then slide down to Scotty's and had a ball for the rest of the day - all under 23.

 

Saturday was a bit busier, but not nearly as busy as a normal - so doing a variety of stuff was easy and I got a lot more runs in than normal - it was mostly ski right onto the chair (walkon to the Gondie) without anyone ahead of you. The windbuff from Friday was still in good shape along most of the upper mtn.

 

Saturday night it snowed. My estimate was 2" to 4" - 2 over most of the lower mtn, upwards of 4-5" in many spots of the upper mtn.

FANTASTIC!  It was a Bluebird day, 14 Deg at the top, high 20s at McCoy. Perfect conditions to stay toasty and still have fine dry snow.

Did all the stuff from the prior days and then some.

Decided to drop past the gate to the skier's left of Scotties and worked my way around theose faces and Paranoids. Once off the hard upper lip, the entire face had been laid 4-5 deep in fresh onto another 4-5" of prior windbuff !  INCREDIBLE!

Every turn seemed almost fresh tracks!  Saw a few others venture over there as well, but mostly I was alone on every run, except for those runs I made with a few ski club friends. Those that did drop down into Scotty's would traverse skier's right to the areas under wipeouts and the chair line. I understand why, it was really great hero snow along that whole face. Soft enough to ski easily, not deep enough to load up into cut crud.

Stayed out of Phillippe's - chute looked good but both the entry and exit seemed rock strewn - not a good place to injure yourself by your lonesome...

 

All in all, it was just the best days of skiing!  I don;t know why there weren;t more people on the hill - course we all know why - it's a bad snow year.  It's not last year.  But everyone I skied with was totally stoked on how good it was and how much fun was had.

I am still jazz'd to get up again in a couple weeks - apparently been snowing most of last night and today....

...what are you waiting for?

post #2 of 14

I just got back from skiing Northstar.  The California resorts are starting to shape up nicely.

 

Thanks for sharing your TR!

post #3 of 14

We were there for the week up to and including last Friday and I totally agree! My husband skied a ton off Cornice and Dave's and while it was harder earlier in the week but still good, he said Friday's wind buff was awesome! (I'm not ready to go up there yet--part of it's the vertigo I'm afraid I'd get up there!)  He also accidentally ended up on Climax (he was alone and not super familiar with the mountain yet) but managed to get down with a series of jump turns, he said :D This was earlier in the week when it was pretty hard up there.

 

We skied the whole mountain and found really great conditions everywhere on piste, with the exception of the areas by chairs 9 and 25, which was a small letdown because I usually love skiing over there. We found protection from the wind on chair 12 early on Friday, and nobody was over there so we could let loose and have some fun. That was before the husband got bored and took off onto chair 23.

 

We found that customer service everywhere we went was fantastic. A side effect of the lean year? Not sure. Last year, I was a little put-off by the service. This year, it was really good.

 

I ended up demoing skis on Wednesday on-mountain, which was really fun because I could trade them out at any of the lodges. Took two pair out of Canyon, headed over to chair 3, decided I wanted to see what they had at Main, and found Blizzard Black Pearls. I ended up loving them, skiing them the rest of the day, and was able to buy them out of Canyon despite the fact that they didn't send them out of Canyon. They made sure I didn't have to drive over to Main to buy them. I thought that was great service.

 

Can't wait to get back up there, unfortunately might not be until early April and might be sans-husband since he's due to deploy :(  He might try to get up there one more time with the Aerospace Ski Club, we'll see. I hope some more storms roll through so they can remain open into April! Conditions were good, but overall snow depth is not!

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I just got back from skiing Northstar.  The California resorts are starting to shape up nicely.

 

Thanks for sharing your TR!



You owe it to yourself to come to Mammoth. It's a helluva mountain! biggrin.gif

post #5 of 14

Nice report and I concur..

 

We were up Sat & Sun...our first trip of the season. We buy passes every year and by the looks of this year we were starting to wonder if we were going to get much use from ours this year. So glad we went. Sounds like we skied a lot of the same stuff. Gonna try to get up there again in two weeks.

post #6 of 14

Unfortunately, we all missed this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by contesstant View Post

...

We skied the whole mountain and found really great conditions everywhere on piste, with the exception of the areas by chairs 9 and 25, which was a small letdown because I usually love skiing over there. We found protection from the wind on chair 12 early on Friday, and nobody was over there so we could let loose and have some fun. That was before the husband got bored and took off onto chair 23.

 

We found that customer service everywhere we went was fantastic. A side effect of the lean year? Not sure. Last year, I was a little put-off by the service. This year, it was really good.

 

I ended up demoing skis on Wednesday on-mountain, which was really fun because I could trade them out at any of the lodges. Took two pair out of Canyon, headed over to chair 3, decided I wanted to see what they had at Main, and found Blizzard Black Pearls. I ended up loving them, skiing them the rest of the day, and was able to buy them out of Canyon despite the fact that they didn't send them out of Canyon. They made sure I didn't have to drive over to Main to buy them. I thought that was great service.

 

Can't wait to get back up there, unfortunately might not be until early April and might be sans-husband since he's due to deploy :(  He might try to get up there one more time with the Aerospace Ski Club, we'll see. I hope some more storms roll through so they can remain open into April! Conditions were good, but overall snow depth is not!


Yes sadly, Lincoln mtn has not been a starter yet this season. It's either too thin or just too hard. It's one of my fav places, especially during a heavy snow. The tree faces are great when visibility is tough during a storm; but it has pitch and the trees mean the snow is more evenly distributed.

I'm looking for a later start for Lincoln Mtn area.

Chair 9 and a lot of Canyon is very variable, glad you found some places which suited you desires.

 

Demo-ing at Mammoth is a great way to try out bunches of skis - they have good stock and no matter where you drop down into, there's always something interesting to ride.

 

Yes, have always had pretty good C/S at Mammoth, just occasional rough spot. I'm not a chatty guy, but the lifities are always friendly and it's hard to coast on without having a friendly word with most of them. Although it was a little annoying that the chair 23 liftie, on Monday, did the one-finger chair hold... having to restrain that chair slam as you get on could be avoided by him using 2 fingers... ;-\

No matter, the rides up were awesome beautiful.

 

Hope you all get up again. Even though the cover is not as much as we'd like, history tells us Mammoth gets some huge WINTER dumps all through March, April and into May.

I'm counting on it...  beercheer.gif

post #8 of 14

I hope history is right--for selfish reasons but also the water situation. It's been a very abnormal year.

 

I hated coming home after a week up there. We had such an amazing time. I really need to stop torturing myself by checking Mammoth Snowman's site every day!

post #9 of 14

The Mammoth Snowman site is very candid and useful IMHO for assessing conditions for those familiar with Mammoth. 

 

This report squares with what I've heard from 4 people in the past few weeks, not to mention my own experience in past seasons.  The upper mountain simply does not deteriorate at all in surface conditions during the winter.  It's steep, north facing, dense snowpack occasionally refreshed with wind blow-in.  I've seen it ski well after a full month of zero new snow.  It can be firm chalk/windbuff if upslope winds blow away the loose stuff, but no melt/freeze until the sun gets high enough sometime in April.

 

The Lincoln/Canyon/Eagle side of the mountain gets somewhat less snowfall and aside from the Avalanche Chutes most of it faces east.  So a thin snowpack can erode over there as some have reported from similar exposure and lower elevations at Tahoe.

 

The ice caps at the top of Dave's and Climax are left over from last season.  No surprise since I earned some turns at Mammoth 8/31 and 9/1. http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9760

post #10 of 14
Heading to Mammoth in a week...looking forward. Also planning on demoing a few skis to take advantage of what I'm guessing will be deep discounts:)
post #11 of 14

Another storm is forecast for next weekend! We will be there in early April and hope the storms continue. Have a great time! Will you be demoing on-mountain or in town?

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by contesstant View Post

Will you be demoing on-mountain or in town?


I'm new to Mammoth, but generally like the idea of renting on the mountain so I can swap in and out of a few skis...then again, I always say I will limit myself to just an hour with each ski and end up falling in love with the first demo and skiing on it rest of day! Also got a coupon from The Ski Renter for 20% off demos. Might use that.

Hoping I get some decent year end deals and that most of the good stuff is not sold out.

p.s. Dressage or hunter/jumper?
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post


I'm new to Mammoth, but generally like the idea of renting on the mountain so I can swap in and out of a few skis...then again, I always say I will limit myself to just an hour with each ski and end up falling in love with the first demo and skiing on it rest of day! Also got a coupon from The Ski Renter for 20% off demos. Might use that.
Hoping I get some decent year end deals and that most of the good stuff is not sold out.
p.s. Dressage or hunter/jumper?


I would absolutely recommend demoing on the mountain there. They seemed to have a slightly bigger selection at Main Lodge vs. Canyon Lodge, but you can swap out at either place. I tried 3 skis, the 1st one was a dud for me (Salomon Lady,) the 2nd was pretty darn fun (Rossi Temptation 82,) the 3rd was the charm! Blizzard Black Pearls. Bought them at the end of the day. They had never been taken out and it was February. So you never know what might still be available. The mountain has been pretty dead this year.

 

Oh, and neither, really--thanks for asking! I own an Arabian who I show hunter pleasure. So we go round and round with a bunch of other horses in a very "stylized" manner. We were third in the country at nationals last year in our division :D I've been riding since I was 7. I am quite a bit better at riding than skiing, which I unfortunately didn't start until I was 25! I like two very expensive sports and married an Air Force guy  th_dunno-1[1].gif We make it work, though.

post #14 of 14

Got an email today with this incredible aerial view picture of the mountain attached. I swear I'm going to print it out and carry it in my pocket as it provides a different perspective than a trail map and I see runs I will ski now that I can see exactly where they end. Cool stuff!

mammoth_helicopterview_headline.jpg

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