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!
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
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!
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!
Me telling my daughter, "GOOD JOB!"
On Tuesday afternoon, after the storm lifted and we spotted our first blue skies of the week!
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!
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.
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!
More trees on the windward side.
Meeting Woolly in the village!
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