I think you and I will get along juuuust fine!
I think you and I will get along juuuust fine!
These are all good points for those who are living in this area and ski until June, but many of our attendees will be coming from all over the country and have forgotten about skiing by the middle of April and we'll lose a lot of our attendance if we wait until May.
Another factor is the demo day we're setting up. Reps will not come out that late in the year. Many of them have moved on to their summer mode and are "over it"
There are a lot of things that go into the logistics of picking a date for these events. Weather is just one of them.
Understand completely and agree with your approach. I still may show up. However knowing what I know I thought I o0ught to disclose.
That is a mindset we need to change. Nonetheless it is difficult to get skiers to come to Mammoth from east of the Rockies and thus the Gathering should be when the whole mountain is open, meaning no later than 3rd week of April.
Mammoth's superiority in early spring would argue for the first half of April, but the dates chosen were the latest that the demo reps would accommodate. I participated in a shop demo day in Feb. 2011, probably out of a similar location as for the Gathering. Mammoth will be an excellent place for that event. In a short demo time frame you can easily get 3-5 runs in varied terrain and perhaps snow conditions to get a good impression of a ski.
Mammoth published its 2013-14 ticket pricing a couple of weeks ago. 3-day tickets are $263 walk-up or $237 with a 14-day advance reservation. As a Premier MVP I am entitled to refer 12 Bring-a-Friend tickets at $69/day for up to 3 days. For those who do not have a Mountain Collective (still the best deal if you're going to Alta/Bird or Squawlpine this season) I can get the 3 days for $207. I use the BAF's a few other times during the season, but I'm sure I can use at least 8 and perhaps 10 for the Gathering.
I will likely be staying in a ski house where my son is a member at a guest rate of $20 per night. It's packed on the weekends but generally quiet midweek. Lodging is dorm-style on bunk beds (you need to bring bedding or a sleeping bag) in a 3-level house with one bathroom each floor. No spa and parking is tight, so if people come there they need to be in carpools. I will need to check with the house manager if I bring extra guests, but the "partners" in the ski house are generally supportive of getting the extra revenue midweek when they are not there.
Anyone interesting in the BAF tickets or the ski house, please PM me.
Lorenzzo knows what he's talking about regarding the late season at Mammoth. Here's how good it was last May 18 after 4+ months with 1/3 of normal snowfall, long after Tahoe had melted down: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=10987#p69100
Operating hours are typically 8AM - 2-3PM in May, 7:30AM - 1-2PM in June. There is variation season to season depending on the condition of the snowpack. The coastal Sierra cement is stable, so the steepest runs remain open as long as they have snow unlike at A-Basin.
Make it huge! I probably won't be there, but want everyone to have fun!
LP getting seduced by a par of Blizzards while the rep was doing air guitar!
The Mt. Rose demo day during the last Tahoe Gathering was a day to remember. Bluebird plus freshies....and the best demo day I've ever been to, plus, it was private to the Epic group!
Do it again Phil!
????? 574 inches including a record 220 in November and 115 in January in 2009-10. Whistler average is 417 inches. The bad year was 2004-05, 250 inches with a January deluge of rain to the top for 4 days followed by 6 weeks of snowfall about 1/4 of normal. The most snow and best skiing was late March and April.
We tend to remember years like that, 2004-05 and 2011-12 most conspicuously. Mammoth and Whistler snowfall are in fact slightly positively correlated, +20% based upon 230 months of data. That's very weak and for practical purposes they should be viewed as independent. Within the western US, correlations among most ski areas tend to be much higher. As I mentioned in another thread the Pacific Northwest and western Canada are not closely correlated to the other regions (Sierra, Wasatch and all of the US Rockies), so splitting one's ski time between those and the other regions can be viewed as somewhat of a hedge against an overall bad ski season.
During the past 2 bad Sierra seasons Mammoth skiing in late March and April was excellent last year and still full operation this year, though with spring conditions. The probability of majority spring conditions in the time frame of next year's Gathering at Mammoth is about 10%. I would expect packed powder on ~75% of the terrain including nearly all of the steeps.
What Mammoth had this year (full operation but mostly spring conditions) would be the expectation at Squaw/Alpine for end of March if it has not snowed quite recently. It would take a very sustained February/March drought like this year's to close much terrain by the end of March. With a deep snowpack both Squaw and Alpine ski very well by following the sun around the various aspects on sunny spring days.
<Raising hand> Yes, that was my first trip to Whistler, in February. It's a big enough mountain that there was still enough to ski up top, but we had to download the gondola. (There was a run or two to the bottom, with snow harvested from elsewhere, but one trip on that was enough to persuade me to ride down the rest of the time.) When I went back about 4 years later, it was like a completely different place ....
(sorry, that was totally off topic, I guess)
I just started a group for the Mammoth/Squaw Gathering.
Its a good place to break down lift ticket ideas, lodging and other special events we'll be announcing for this GTG.
Please join the group so we can make it easy to communicate when we have event updates.
Please look at The Gathering Group for a slight schedule change HERE: http://www.epicski.com/t/123886/sorry-but-no-demo-mammoth
Sorry. Lets keep the discussions regarding this in that thread. Plus it gives you a chance to join that group.
This thread has been dead for over a month, presumably due to the train wreck of a ski season California is having so far.
The recent storm was only 1 to 1.5 feet, about what was expected in South Shore and Mammoth but less than expected at North Shore areas. This weekend Alpine and Mammoth are about 1/3 open and Squaw less than 20%, so there is a long way to go.
I have posted in several threads that monthly snowfall is independent of prior months. Therefore the horrible first 3 months have zero predictive value for the next 3 months.
How much more snow is needed? In 1981 there had been only 18 inches until Mammoth got 6 feet in the 3rd week of January. This opened 95+% of the mountain and kept it open through a fairly dry February. Two years ago, after zero snow for 2 full months, Mammoth got 55 inches in late January but little for the next month. I skied there the day before the Gathering started (Feb. 26) and it was 75% open and 50% winter packed powder conditions.
The historical record for February/March is more encouraging than I expected. Here are the lowest February/March totals for Mammoth in inches of the past 45 years: 7.6, 12, 20.4, 39 (last year), 48.5, 54, 64. The other 38 seasons had at least 90 inches. Even though we know there's no snow the next few days and this year's Mammoth Gathering starts March 24, not April 1, I believe the probability of good snow at the Gathering is still about 80%. I'd say 10% chance of mediocre and disappointing and 10% for a complete bust with under half the mountain open and few ungroomed runs.
There are scenarios where Mammoth would be good but Squaw/Alpine wouldn't in terms of timing of February/March storms, but interestingly I could not find such scenarios in the historical record.
Subjectively what is needed is one classic Sierra dump of 4+ feet as opposed to a series of smaller storms. The latter scenario would work OK at Mammoth, where snow preserves as well as in Colorado. At Squaw there will likely be melt/freezes between storms that will degrade a thin snowpack. This occurred during February 2 years ago, and more obviously last season when snowfall was very low after December's big storms. Mammoth preserved that snowpack well into spring while Squaw/Alpine did not.
This is the kind of forecast that keeps me hopeful.
It's the kind of forecast we are used to, isn't it?! I am very hopeful we can make it to the gathering. Want to ski with margaritamarcia again, and I heard a rumor that nopoleskier (from Ski Diva) might come out. Loved them BOTH at Diva west! But we have a major medical issue with our daughter that is going to require major surgery this spring and are not sure when that will be. We might try to put it off until AFTER the Mammoth gathering just so we can get one more trip to Mammoth in before things get crazy for us!
Seems a lot of folks are on the fence due to the lack of snow, but two big storms like this and there'll be ample snow that should hold up quite well! This latest one forecast is the good old pineapple express, with the hose pointed right at the northern and central Sierra. Good stuff.
Let's NOT hope it rains this time....
What I've read shows Tahoe getting more than Mammoth from this one, but the precise storm track is still somewhat uncertain.
but two big storms like this and there'll be ample snow that should hold up quite well!
Yes, that's exactly what's needed, and would be fairly typical over a 2-month winter stretch in the Sierra.
WHile it is raining in Truckee at the moment, the snow line is about 1,000 ft above us. Sugar Bowl is reporting 40" at the top with more coming. Mammoth is getting it too, and looking at the forecast, I think we will be AOK for the coming Gathering. With it being 6 weeks out…and the Utah Gathering concluded…Lets start talking Mammoth/Squalpine!
Sometime today the upper mountain at Squaw is going to top 5 feet of snow since Thursday. Definitely a game-changing storm. Plus there's more in the forecast.
Same deal for Mammoth of course.
Oh, this week is going to be an AMAZING week! Bluebird skies after a huge storm?! Jealous!
Mammoth Forum people say the mountain is far from 100% skiable now. Nonetheless we now need only half as much snow as we did a couple of weeks ago, so with 5 weeks to go I'm not too worried.
Bottom of Squaw got mostly rain (10 inches snow vs. 63 up top) so farther to go up there. From stats I see Kirkwood is the only Sierra area with a decent snowpack top to bottom now.
Phil and I skied Mammoth 2 days and were amazed at how good the snow was from top to bottom. While I will admit you can tell that its been a dry year, this past storm came in nicely and made the chutes ski very well.
We didn't ski the entire mountain because we didn't have time, but everything we skied had good coverage with an occasional marker for something that was a possible hazard, like a pole where a rock is sticking up.
Both days it seemed like the wind was blowing snow around which refreshed things nicely.
From what I've read on Mammoth Forum, south facing chair 25 is not yet skiable and chair 9 is very sketchy. 3 feet of reported snow would not be enough for many of the steeper runs up top, but the 3 feet is reported near Main Lodge and there could have been much more up high if the wind was blowing in a cooperative direction during the storm. The bad conditions on chair 9 plus a few pics I've seen lend credence to the above theory that the top is skiing better than one might expect. I usually hate overstated marketing press releases (claiming 5 feet in 72 hours when your official snow measuring site only got 3 feet), but it's not unreasonable that the top may have gotten the 5 feet.
From what I read here on Epic about Tahoe, we should seriously think about moving the back end of the Gathering to Kirkwood.
1) Kirkwood got mostly snow, and more than anyone else up there from the recent storm.
2) With not so much rain, there's actually a base on the lower mountain.
3) The thinner lower mountain base at Alpine and especially Squaw will melt out between storms as we go later in the season. Kirkwood's snowpack will preserve much better, though not quite as well as at Mammoth.
4) For those who are coming to ski the gnar at Squaw, most of that gnar doesn't have enough snow yet. Remember the base of KT got only 10 inches snow and mostly rain during the storm. Kirkwood has some gnar too, and more of it is likely to be skiable come late March.
5) People who have bought plane tickets in advance into Reno to go to both Mammoth and Tahoe don't have to change those tickets.
6) There is cheap lodging available in Minden/Gardnerville, which is 1+ hour south of Reno and no more than 45 minutes commute up Highway 88 to Kirkwood.
In the 1980's I would do a 4-day trip to Tahoe regularly. In the lower snowfall years Kirkwood always had the best skiing, often by a considerable margin. This year is still as bad or worse than 1986-87, the worst of that decade. The difference in quality of skiing between Kirkwood and Squaw/Alpine is likely to be huge. Staying at Mammoth the whole 5 days is another possible option.
It's still more than six weeks away - that's a lot of time. Plus, there's a lot of people using the mountain collective that works at Squawlpine... and does them no good at Kirkwood. So really that's just going to split up the groups more so. In a very similar season 2 years ago, the last week of March was amazing in Tahoe... March 30th 2012 was one of my best days ever (5 feet of snow in 48 hours). And right now much more terrain is open than there was that year in mid February.
I think it's a bit premature to relocate.