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Non-Gnarly Mammoth Mountain TR (From a Mama's POV)--This Place Is The BOMB!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I just got home from a 5 day trip to Mammoth. The entire mountain is open with more snow than they had all season last year, with 6' plus on the way this weekend! We arrived on Sunday and 12-18" fell on Monday and Tuesday--medium storm by Mammoth standards but made for some EXCELLENT skiing as it was cold (again, by Mammoth standards) and stayed cold.

I will start by saying that this is our third season skiing Mammoth and every time we go, we have an incredible customer service experience. This time was by far the best. Their child care is awesome. Their instructors are incredible and took impeccable care of our daughter who has a heart condition and needs to stay hydrated. There are guides and hosts everywhere, asking if you need help, carrying your bags, asking how your day is/was. The lifties are cheerful and always greet you. The on-mountain photographer gave us a couple of freebies as a "gift" because we went to view our pictures and had to wait nearly 30 minutes for them to download. This place does customer service RIGHT!

The mountain mascot is "Woolly" the Mammoth. Our 5YO daughter of course loves Woolly! Here is Woolly on Friday heading down the hill on his skis. We also spotted Woolly in the village one evening hanging out having his picture taken with anyone who wanted to. Fun stuff![IMG]

Here is a brief TR:
Monday moderate snow fell, the winds howled, and visibility sucked. Not great conditions for the first ski day of my season, especially since I suck in chop and crud. But we got some great runs in on some very light, fluffy snow.

Tuesday, temps were in the teens, the wind howled, and it dumped all day. Had some seriously cold feet but the rest of me was fairly toasty. (Will be investing in some boot gloves!) Skies cleared later in the day and the avalanche blasting started! Top did not open until the next day.

Wednesday--bluebird skies, temps in the 20's, and NO WIND! It was one of those days all skiers dream of. We missed the powder on the backside of the mountain because we thought they hadn't opened it yet. Hubby lapped the double black chutes from the top while I played on the smooth-and-fast groomers with a huge grin on my face. My trick is to let him wear himself out early in the day so he enjoys cruising with me later :eyebrows:

Thursday was a repeat of Wednesday but with 35MPH wind gusts which mostly hit you on the chair lifts. Mild by Mammoth standards and totally doable.

Friday was darn near perfect again, with winds but closer to 20MPH gusts. We skied all day even though we intended to leave early for the 5+ hour drive home. We didn't get home until almost 10pm but it was totally worth it!

[IMG]
Our daughter getting off the lift with TWO instructors--1:1 ratio!
We tagged along for a run and there were giggles all around. That's what it's about when you're 5 and the instructors get that!
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Me telling my daughter, "GOOD JOB!"

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On Tuesday afternoon, after the storm lifted and we spotted our first blue skies of the week!

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View from the backside, chair 14 area. You can see parts of Yosemite if you look behind you while riding the chair. The wide open snow fields back here drop into a bowl of trees. Amazing!
[IMG]
Me on the backside. Yosemite is off to the left, out of view (my right.) You can see some of the rock formations from the chair lift.
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Chairs 13 and 14 are on the windward side of the mountain. This is what blizzard-force winds and feet of snow do to the trees and rocks. It is beautiful!
[IMG]
More trees on the windward side.

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Meeting Woolly in the village!
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Aerial view of the mountain. The backside is off to the far right.This place is WELL worth the trip. If you are considering a trip to CA to ski, Mammoth is worth the trip!
 

I want to add that I have struggled with boots for years now and it has really hampered my skiing. I went to Footloose Sports in Mammoth and got fitted with Superfeet Korks. Between those and my ZipFit liners, I now actually feel connected to my skis and am creating railroad tracks instead of skids for the first time. I have hypermobility in my whole body, my feet and ankles included. My feet and ankles are also about as thick as twigs. The Korks prop my arches up and allow me to really edge my skis (2012 Blizzard Black Pearls) while the ZipFits lock my heels and ankles in. I finally understand why people ski with booster straps and have put them on my list of "must buy" before our next outing. I am fairly athletic and it always just pissed me off that I couldn't lay into my skis like I wanted to--I have the strength! Now I can and cannot wait to get some instruction to learn to ski crud better!

 

From a man's POV (my husband) chairs 23 and chair 22 were incredible. I can ski from the top but it just freaks me out so I don't. He loves it and did several of the chutes off 23, and also the chutes off of 22 and the face of 5. Snow was as good as can be. He hit 23 Wednesday morning right after they opened the top and had a big grin on his face. Lots of Mammoth's famous wind buff on EVERY run once things got tracked out. He is skiing 2011 Blizzard 8.7 Magnums. I asked him if he wanted to demo some better skis for the conditions but he didn't, because he knew he'd want to buy them! He just returned last month from a deployment to Iraq so I thought he deserved them...maybe next time I'll convince him :D

post #2 of 16

Quite an entertaining TR, with a refreshing POV. Including: Nice pictures. Equipment upgrade leading to a quantum jump in technique. Kid skiing. And patriotism.

post #3 of 16

Thanks for the TR! icon14.gif

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homey D. Clown View Post

Quite an entertaining TR, with a refreshing POV. Including: Nice pictures. Equipment upgrade leading to a quantum jump in technique. Kid skiing. And patriotism.


Thanks, Homey. Half the fun of skiing for me has always been enjoying the entire experience. The scenery, being in the elements, etc. I also enjoy yakking with strangers on the lifts, giving newbies or people who are skiing much more slowly than me a wide berth so as to not freak them out, and helping out someone who has fallen or looks lost. It's a major privilege to ski and I try to live it that way every day.

post #5 of 16

I was at Mammoth last Tuesday-Thursday Dec. 18-20:  http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10413

Also Dec. 4-8: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10384

 

The founder of Footloose invented those custom cork orthotics in the 1970's.  I got my first set in 1981, best ski gear investment I've ever made.  There were still in good shape a year ago, but my feet flattened/widened with age so I had to get new ones.  Last Monday night I bought the 180cm Blizzard Bonafide demo from Footloose as they were sold out of new skis and informed that Blizzard will not be shipping any more of them this season.

post #6 of 16

Thanks, contesstant, for posting that report.  It helps us to remember why we do this.  While there's a lot of talk about the gear ... the gear merely enables us to have the experience.  It's what we get out of the experience that really counts.

 

My Mammoth experience lacked a sighting of Woolly.  I may need to go back.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

I was at Mammoth last Tuesday-Thursday Dec. 18-20:  http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10413

Also Dec. 4-8: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10384

 

The founder of Footloose invented those custom cork orthotics in the 1970's.  I got my first set in 1981, best ski gear investment I've ever made.  There were still in good shape a year ago, but my feet flattened/widened with age so I had to get new ones.  Last Monday night I bought the 180cm Blizzard Bonafide demo from Footloose as they were sold out of new skis and informed that Blizzard will not be shipping any more of them this season.


Tony, those reports are awesome! Last week was amazing, wasn't it?!  We headed to 14 way too late in the day but the views were worth it as was the chair ride up.

 

Didn't Corty at Footloose also help develop the ZipFits? He is the one who put me in them last year and I thought that's what he told me. Tom did the orthotics for me and he clearly knows what he is doing, because they are perfect. I look at those pics you posted of the Paranoids, etc. and think I could ski that and I think the orthotics will definitely help get me there. In the past, my boot and foot and ski all wanted to go in a different direction, especially on steep stuff. If only we could get up there more often!

 

I guess enough of us asked them last year about Blizzard that they finally started carrying them this year smile.gif 

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickieh View Post

Thanks, contesstant, for posting that report.  It helps us to remember why we do this.  While there's a lot of talk about the gear ... the gear merely enables us to have the experience.  It's what we get out of the experience that really counts.

 

My Mammoth experience lacked a sighting of Woolly.  I may need to go back.


Vickie, we've seen Woolly on many occasions. We might get lucky because we are at the kid's zone a lot! I really do want to know who is lucky enough to have that job! (Or not!) You'll definitely have to go back! Darn!

post #9 of 16

Very nice TR.  Love how you and your family enjoy the snow together. 

Thanks for sharing. beercheer.gif

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Very nice TR.  Love how you and your family enjoy the snow together. 

Thanks for sharing. beercheer.gif


Come down and ski with us. Last week of March! Can probably put you guys up for dirt cheap. Oh, wait, is that the Gathering??!

post #11 of 16

Glad to see some other skiers around here were at Mammoth last Wed. and Thur.. I had been watching their web site and noticed that they had not opened the top of the mountain since it snowed 16 inches with cold temperatures, so I left Orange County at 3:15 am and had my boots on and ready to go at chair 2 at 8:35 am. Wed. was a rare day with no wind and the search was on to find fresh tracks. Contesstant was right about the wind on Thurs., even though it was blowing, it moved the new snow around and created the best wind buff conditions. Dave's run was the best I ever skied it, smooth, frozen sugar, top to bottom. Looking forward to a long Mammoth season

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have definitely learned to love the wind buff as a nice side-effect to getting chilled on the chair lift. I have often sat at home watching the snow reports and dreamt of rolling out of here at 4am for a quick 2-day trip, but it's pretty difficult with a small child to take care of. One of these days, I might just do it with some help from our awesome neighbors. I'm afraid Mammoth is spoiling me too much to enjoy the local mountains much anymore! My daughter did ask if we could move there next (as a military brat, she knows we'll be going SOMEWHERE!) I am proud to be raising another mountain nut  rolleyes.gif  

post #13 of 16

Blue square trip report.  Double diamond lady.  Glad you had a nice vacation.

 

icon14.gifThanks to your husband for his service.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by contesstant View Post


Thanks, Homey. Half the fun of skiing for me has always been enjoying the entire experience. The scenery, being in the elements, etc. I also enjoy yakking with strangers on the lifts, giving newbies or people who are skiing much more slowly than me a wide berth so as to not freak them out, and helping out someone who has fallen or looks lost. It's a major privilege to ski and I try to live it that way every day.

icon14.gif

post #15 of 16

Yeah this is a good year for Mammoth.biggrin.gif

Nice Photos!

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks, James! We are enjoying being stationed out west where we can do some great skiing after 11 years back east! Retirement is near and we are doing our best to be near the mountains somewhere.

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