New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mammoth Advice

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

I'm a beginner-intermediate skier I think - I can ski Bonanza Bowl at Mt. Baldy fairly confidently and get down a couple black diamonds at Snow Valley without traversing.  I'm 6' 2" and 220 (EDIT: I'm 38 and started at 36 in 2010) on 160cm Rossignol Power 9 Pros skis (I think shaped, NOT my sale on ebay link BTW) with soft but tight boots (tips of toes touching the padding, no side wiggle and heel planted) and have noticed that when I get speed or the terrain isn't groomed well, it starts to feel dicey but not totally out of control.  I'm going to Mammoth this weekend for 5 days (3 of 4 lift ticket).  I don't use the pizza wedge technique unless I'm at the lift line either. Also, boot comfort is a premium for me as I've had gout worse than anyone I've ever met (3 joints at a time) so changing that is not an option until I can get Daleboots.

 

My questions are, in order of most importance:

 

1) Would slightly longer ski's make things more stable or easier to ride?  I was thinking of trying 168-170's one day just to see the difference.  My buddy says he thinks I'm too far in the front seat from what he's seen.  I equate the length of the ski like a motorcycle wheel, where a big tire handles bumps/crap much better than a small wheel but slightly harder to turn?

 

2) Are Mammoth blue runs wildly different than local Baldy/Snow Valley runs?

 

3) Do Sportlegs pills make a difference?  I know part of it is my technique, but at the end of the day I can feel myself getting sloppy due to laziness and leg pump.  I want to last at least 2 days.

 

4) Is it bad etiquette to make short turns on black diamond runs?

 

5) Do the fog properties of goggles really differ among models, outside of the one with an electric fan?

 

6) What is the snow like at Mammoth compared to Socal?  And not just quantity?

 

Thanks for reading this,

 

~S

post #2 of 6

1) Yes, your skis are WAYY too short! I am 5'5" 125 lbs. and am skiing on a 159 which some would argue are too short for me.

 

2) The "black diamond" runs in the local mountains (Snow Valley, Snow Summit) are blues at Mammoth. Don't let that scare you, though! Tons of excellent easy blues/harder blues at Mammoth that will make you smile. I can't speak for Baldy as I haven't skied there yet.

 

3) Don't know what Sport Legs pills are. Being fit really helps. And longer skis will definitely help you. But unless you are able to ski a minimum of a few days a week, the legs are going to fatigue at the end of the day to some extent. Mammoth will wear your legs out more because the runs are so much longer.

 

4) Make whatever turns you find necessary to safely get down the hill. I'm pretty sure your short turns will get much longer once you get on skis that are the proper length.

 

5) Lots of goggle fogging threads here. My comment is you get what you pay for. But it does go way beyond that.

 

6) Snow quality at Mammoth is WAY better. Much colder and higher there.

 

ETA: Are you REALLY skiing on 160's?! I just can't get over that!

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by soporific View Post

Hello all,

 

I'm a beginner-intermediate skier I think - I can ski Bonanza Bowl at Mt. Baldy fairly confidently and get down a couple black diamonds at Snow Valley without traversing.  I'm 6' 2" and 220 (EDIT: I'm 38 and started at 36 in 2010) on 160cm Rossignol Power 9 Pros skis (I think shaped, NOT my sale on ebay link BTW) with soft but tight boots (tips of toes touching the padding, no side wiggle and heel planted) and have noticed that when I get speed or the terrain isn't groomed well, it starts to feel dicey but not totally out of control.  I'm going to Mammoth this weekend for 5 days (3 of 4 lift ticket).  I don't use the pizza wedge technique unless I'm at the lift line either. Also, boot comfort is a premium for me as I've had gout worse than anyone I've ever met (3 joints at a time) so changing that is not an option until I can get Daleboots.

 

My questions are, in order of most importance:

 

1) Would slightly longer ski's make things more stable or easier to ride?  I was thinking of trying 168-170's one day just to see the difference.  My buddy says he thinks I'm too far in the front seat from what he's seen.  I equate the length of the ski like a motorcycle wheel, where a big tire handles bumps/crap much better than a small wheel but slightly harder to turn?

 

In the Gear Forum, there are very knowledgeable pros who can help you with this. My guess is that 160 cm is on the short side for someone your size. But a lot of it depends on the ski stiffness, radius, and how you like to ski. If you ski on groomers and like to make short turns, 160 cm is not that bad, imho.

 

2) Are Mammoth blue runs wildly different than local Baldy/Snow Valley runs?

 

Much longer and very well groomed, generally. There are also a lot of them.

 

3) Do Sportlegs pills make a difference?  I know part of it is my technique, but at the end of the day I can feel myself getting sloppy due to laziness and leg pump.  I want to last at least 2 days.

 

I have no clues.

 

4) Is it bad etiquette to make short turns on black diamond runs?

 

Not at all. Short turns are popular on these steeper slopes. Not many people can sail down Cornice or Scotty in control. The other black runs tend to be ungroomed. Just try to be aware of people above you (and below of course) so that you don't cut in front of them. The trails are not as crowded as in SoCal and the skiers/boarders there are skillful and courteous in general, but it is always good to have more space on steeper slopes.

 

5) Do the fog properties of goggles really differ among models, outside of the one with an electric fan?

 

I have used an el cheapo pair (about $30) for a couple of seasons without any problems

 

6) What is the snow like at Mammoth compared to Socal?  And not just quantity?

 

The groomers are very nice with generally very good snow, unlike the ice/slush cycle in SoCal.

Thanks for reading this,

 

~S

post #4 of 6

You are certainly skiing on very short skis for your height.  Well worth renting something longer to see how that feels.  For an advancing intermediate, skis that are at your chin or nose should be good.

 

If you want to ski steeper terrain with less fatigue, consider taking a lesson.  Better technique can mean less work because you'll learn to make better use of the equipment.  Shaped skis are designed to turn relatively easily, but that only works if you know how to use your feet, legs, hips, etc.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by soporific View Post

Hello all,

 

I'm a beginner-intermediate skier I think - I can ski Bonanza Bowl at Mt. Baldy fairly confidently and get down a couple black diamonds at Snow Valley without traversing.  I'm 6' 2" and 220 (EDIT: I'm 38 and started at 36 in 2010) on 160cm Rossignol Power 9 Pros skis (I think shaped, NOT my sale on ebay link BTW) with soft but tight boots (tips of toes touching the padding, no side wiggle and heel planted) and have noticed that when I get speed or the terrain isn't groomed well, it starts to feel dicey but not totally out of control.  I'm going to Mammoth this weekend for 5 days (3 of 4 lift ticket).  I don't use the pizza wedge technique unless I'm at the lift line either. Also, boot comfort is a premium for me as I've had gout worse than anyone I've ever met (3 joints at a time) so changing that is not an option until I can get Daleboots.

 

My questions are, in order of most importance:

 

1) Would slightly longer ski's make things more stable or easier to ride?  I was thinking of trying 168-170's one day just to see the difference.  My buddy says he thinks I'm too far in the front seat from what he's seen.  I equate the length of the ski like a motorcycle wheel, where a big tire handles bumps/crap much better than a small wheel but slightly harder to turn?

 

2) Are Mammoth blue runs wildly different than local Baldy/Snow Valley runs?

 

3) Do Sportlegs pills make a difference?  I know part of it is my technique, but at the end of the day I can feel myself getting sloppy due to laziness and leg pump.  I want to last at least 2 days.

 

4) Is it bad etiquette to make short turns on black diamond runs?

 

5) Do the fog properties of goggles really differ among models, outside of the one with an electric fan?

 

6) What is the snow like at Mammoth compared to Socal?  And not just quantity?

 

Thanks for reading this,

 

~S


1) Length isn't the only factor, stiffness and shape also matter. I'd recommend demoing some different type of skis and see what you like.

2) What was said above, though Baldy blacks, especially the un-groomed blacks are on par with Mammoth. Note, there are several double blacks at Mammoth.

3) I have used them for skiing and I don't think they added anything. I use them regularly for cycling and I think they work, at least for a placebo affect.

4) No. If you find yourself in difficulty on a harder run and you traverse back and forth, just look uphill and make sure you are not cutting people off. We've all been there at one time or another, just use common sense.

5) Yes, some goggles defog better than others. This does not mean you need to spend $150+ on goggles. There are many quality goggles that you can get good value on. Personally I use Smith I/O goggles and love them.

6) Generally the snow is better, but it all depends on the conditions. Last week locally, the snow in socal was a good as it gets. The snow in Mammoth gets slushy and icy just like local. It just depends on the weather, last snowfall, etc.  It helps if you know the mountain. The snow and weather conditions vary drastically in Mammoth. I.e., the Canyon Lodge side of the mountain can be 10 degrees warmer and more than that if you consider wind chill, than the Chair 2/ Main Lodge side. The top of the mountain can be 10-15 cooler than the base. If you find yourself in less than ideal snow conditions, find a host (yellow jackets) or ask a liftie where you should go. It's going to be warm up there this weekend so some parts of the mountain will get slushy. Other parts will be like winter snow.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

I just want to thank everyone who answered my questions above, I really appreciate the information everyone gave and hopefully it will make my trip the best it can be.  With any luck I will have a trip report and some pictures come Monday or Tuesday.  These pre-trip days are killing me right now!  Only one more to go and I drive up Thursday and get on the mountain Friday.

 

Thank you all again, and see you on the slopes!

 

~S

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Beginner Zone