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What to expect in mammoth? - Page 19

post #541 of 558
Two lifts have been open since about 9, but the second one is chair 6 which being lower has better visibility most of they way than chair 1. I started as 815 and have ridden both lifts seven times and have found a few rocks. Still hoping for better visibility and chair 3.
post #542 of 558

I just got back from skiing this morning.  In addition to Broadway, Andy's Double Gold is also open.  Chairs 3 and 23 are still on weather hold.  I had great fun skiing Wall and Glades (did a U-turn just as I got off chair 1 -- I asked the lift attendant if it was OK, and he said
"if you know what you're doing").  Surprisingly, I had that entire area nearly to myself for over and hour (fresh tracks every run!), until other people started to join in. There were a lot of rocks under the fresh snow, so you had to control your speed and assume you'd hit something every turn.  With that in mind, it worked out fine.  Looking forward to skiing the top first thing tomorrow.

 

Oh, and they've extended the season for another week.


Edited by chemist - 5/8/15 at 2:41pm
post #543 of 558

Or more than a week longer, particularly if they get another storm.

 

I guess last Tuesday was not my final ski day for the season.  Gotta tune those skis and head back up.

 

Only problem, of course, as has been mentioned - that 18" is going to cover a lot of rocks, but not adequately.  So be careful out there.

post #544 of 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

Recordkeeping is not always diligent, particularly when a ski area is not open. I can't swear there was zero snowmaking in 1976, but I know there was nothing substantial until the crisis of 1991.

I wonder how much snow Mammoth got in 37/38, and 51/52, which were some of the biggest years n the Central Sierras -- any way to know?:

 http://www.thestormking.com/Weather/Sierra_Snowfall/sierra_snowfall.html

 

 

post #545 of 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibum4ever View Post

Only problem, of course, as has been mentioned - that 18" is going to cover a lot of rocks, but not adequately.  So be careful out there.

And so there's the rub. Much as I'd love to get another weekend in, and as hooked on skiing as I am, I just don't see making the 5 hour up/5 hour back trek to risk a core shot, or worse, injury. I got some great skiing days in this past year and have some enduring memories of great times spent with friends. This season is over for me and, I suspect, is for a great many other California skiers. 😢
post #546 of 558
Yes, as much as I'd like to go one more time I've mentally checked out of skiing. I'm now on to my other activities but next year I might stay in the game longer if the winters continue to come early and late and no more "middle"
post #547 of 558
There is no way we can get snowfall numbers for years before Mammoth existed as a ski area, or even prior to 1968-69 for that matter. The only info possible might be the water content of the April 1 snowpack used for hydrology purposes. The 2 sites of interest are Mammoth Pass (MAM) and Minaret 2 (MN2), both around 9,000 feet similar to the current patrol site. You will not find that Info online going that far back, so it will take more effort than I want to undertake.

Mammoth Pass gets more snow than the patrol site and Minaret 2 gets less. Averaging the 2 sites and dividing by long term 12.9% water content is the best estimate for Mammoth snowfall. That's how I derived an estimate of 247 inches for the record snow month of January 1969.
Edited by Tony Crocker - 5/10/15 at 9:54am
post #548 of 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

There is no way we can get snowfall numbers for years before Mammoth existed as a ski area, or even prior to 1968-69 for that matter. The only info possible might be the water content of the April 1 snowpack used for hydrology purposes. The 2 sites of interest are Mammoth Pass (MAM) and Minaret 2 (MN2), both around 9,000 feet similar to the current patrol site. You will not find that Info online going that far back, so it will take more effort than I want to undertake.

Mammoth Pass gets more snow than the patrol site and Minaret 2 gets less. Averaging the 2 sites and dividing by long term 12.9% water content is the best estimate for Mammoth snowfall. That's how I derived an estimate of 247 inches for the record snow month of January 1969.


Thanks Tony.  If I can dig up that info. I'll post it.  Your approach seems like a great start, but should be a significant underestimate because of melting and evaporation.  If the data is monthly, then it seems it would be better to sum the increases for each month, no?  Also, is there zero snowpack at those sites at the beginning of each season?

 

With regard to 68/69, the USFS data gives a 461" season total, which led me to believe that, in spite of all the stories, it was not actually as big as 10/11.  However, your estimate for Jan 69 snowfall from the hydrology data (247") is more than twice the 118" recorded by USFS for that month, thus calling the 461" figure into question.   It will be interesting to see what the hydrology data comparing these two season says.

 

BTW, I contacted the Mammoth employee, and he acknowledged the data could have inaccuracies.  He wrote: "The early statistics were what was posted in the old Winter (USFS)  Ranger's office at Mammoth Mountain.  Who knows how accurate that  really was.  None of the older data was ever used for any important  purposes (that I know of) other than local/casual interest." 

post #549 of 558

The 118 inches was measured at the ski area, but there was so much chaos that data was obviously missing. I've seen pics where Main Lodge is nearly buried and heard anecdotal comment of 8 feet of snow in just a couple of days.  My first stab at this was to look at LA Times microfiche snow reports.  These were only done once a week but still added up to 13 feet of snowfall at Mammoth.

 

Other California data supports the exceptional nature of January 1969.  There were 209 inches at Donner Summit and 218 at Bear Valley, in both cases the highest month in my data going back to 1967.  Furthermore the southern half of California was hit harder than the north.  Los Angeles' 14.94 inches of rain was the second highest month in data going back to 1878.  San Francisco only had 7.74 inches.  A hydrology site at 6,000 feet in Sequoia NP had 40 inches of rain/SWE in January 1969.  Given that Bear Valley is 1,300 feet lower than Mammoth, plus the anecdotal pics and comments, I think 247 inches for Mammoth in January 1969 is an entirely reasonable estimate. 

 

Furthermore the max snowpack at Mammoth of 227 inches in 1969 was exceeded only in 2011.  Mammoth has a lot of seasons in the range of that incomplete (IMHO) 461 estimate (1978, 1980, 1993, 1998, 2009), all with lesser max snowpacks.  Mammoth locals view 1969 as in class of the most extreme years like 1983, 1995 and 2011, all of which had 540+ inches.  If you count 247 for January, the season total for 1969 is 592 inches, almost identical to 1983, ahead of 1995 but behind 2011.

Quote:
 If the data is monthly, then it seems it would be better to sum the increases for each month, no?

The January 1969 estimate is based upon the difference in snowpack water content between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1.  Melt/evaporation is going to be negligible in a month like that.

 

With regard to May 1977 I found this chart in a report on the 1976-77 drought: http://www.water.ca.gov/watertransfers/docs/9_drought-1976-77.pdf


Blue Canyon is at 4,956 feet west of Donner Summit.  May is conspicuous in that chart for Blue Canyon, Fresno and Los Angeles.  Fresno, where May rainfall was higher than any winter month in 1977, is on the San Joaquin River, whose headwaters are on the backside of Mammoth.  Note also the bone-dry April, which surely would have melted out the meager winter snowpack, prior to a likely May reopening of Mammoth.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 5/11/15 at 2:20pm
post #550 of 558

Thanks again Tony!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemist
Your approach seems like a great start, but should be a significant underestimate because of melting and evaporation.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
The January 1969 estimate is based upon the difference in snowpack water content between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1.  Melt/evaporation is going to be negligible in a month like that.

 

 

When I expressed concern about melt+evap giving an underestimate, I wasn't referring to your estimate for Jan 1 to Feb 1; I was referring to your suggestion that I get an estimate for the snowfall for the entire 68/69 season by looking at the April 1 snowpack ("The only info possible might be the water content of the April 1 snowpack used for hydrology purposes"). 


Edited by chemist - 5/11/15 at 12:14pm
post #551 of 558
Quote:
When I expressed concern about melt+evap giving an underestimate, I wasn't referring to your estimate for Jan 1 to Feb 1; I was referring to your suggestion that I get an estimate for the snowfall for the entire 68/69 season by looking at the April 1 snowpack ("The only info possible might be the water content of the April 1 snowpack used for hydrology purposes"). 

The original question expressed curiosity about years like 1938 and 1952.  You'll be lucky to find much of anything about snow other than at Donner Summit.  If you do, the most likely info would be the April 1 SWE of the snowpack.

post #552 of 558
Mammoth only received about 6" of snow overnight, but conditions actually resembled winter - powder and packed powder. Hoping for some additional snow over the next several days.

IMG_20150515_141817_zpspyilhnkn.jpg


Fresh tracks were everywhere. They opened Chair 23 about 11 am, but I was never comfortable enough with the visibility to venture to the top.

IMG_20150515_141650_zpscuivipmc.jpg



SAM_0347_zpsy0llckrt.jpg
post #553 of 558
Thread Starter 
So when is the revised closing date? I'm tempted for a trip this weekend...
post #554 of 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

So when is the revised closing date? I'm tempted for a trip this weekend...
Memorial Day weekend
Seems like they have enough snow to keep the Broadway WROD open

They are not gonna run the gondola this weekend
But plan to run it next weekend
post #555 of 558
Thread Starter 

Ah..Rock skis required?

Thanks

post #556 of 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post
 

Ah..Rock skis required?

 

Well, I saw this on Instagram yesterday: https://instagram.com/p/2seT1yL08t/?taken-by=mandrewhays

post #557 of 558
The 5 inches of new felt like 0-10 inches of windbuffed whipped cream cheese on freshly toasted coral reef this morning. The surprisingly abundant sunshine is gradually converting anything facing the sun into granola and yogurt or hash browns with country gravy. Tasty turns to be had. We'll see what upcoming weather does to/with the snow.
post #558 of 558
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