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?