Hey, when you’re on a roll… keep blowing snow. All I have to say is everybody around here best be mighty grateful for the cold weather that we’ve been having. Sure, it hasn’t snowed in nearly a month… but can you imagine the back-breaking combination of no snow and mild temps? That may as well mean lights-out for this sleepy little Eastern Sierra hamlet. Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | December 16 2011 | South Park, Chair 5 Now Open | Unofficial Networks

Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | December 16 2011 | South Park, Chair 5 Now Open

High Five Express open

Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | December 16 2011 | South Park, Chair 5 Now Open

ALL

Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | December 16 2011 | South Park, Chair 5 Now Open

By

High Five Express open

Up-side: High Five Express now open. Flip-side: Only provides access to upper Solitude.

Hey, when you’re on a roll… keep blowing snow. All I have to say is everybody around here best be mighty grateful for the cold weather that we’ve been having. Sure, it hasn’t snowed in nearly a month… but can you imagine the back-breaking combination of no snow and mild temps? That may as well mean lights-out for this sleepy little Eastern Sierra hamlet. On the flip side, thanks to the cold temps and a tireless snowmaking crew it would appear as though Christmas has been saved! (Hey, ‘tis the season for endless TV holiday specials, right?)

But seriously though, the current state of the ski area is a bit of a “miracle.” The Mountain has managed to open all of its base areas and they continue to push for more.  Today’s big additions were the South Park Terrain Park and the Grand-Opening of High Five Express. Granted, conditions all around are “man-made, machine groomed,” yet if you choose to complain about this you’re totally missing the point.

early season ski snowboard conditions in California

Christening of High Five Express - she's a very smooth ride. What's missing from this picture?

THE CONDITIONS

The PROS:

  • Temps are cold; cold enough to keep snow-guns blasting all day long, even down at the base of Little Eagle.
  • The runs off of Chair 7 appear as though they may open in time for the week-end; a big plus for novice snow-sliders, especially w/ the potential influx of week-end travelers.
  • High Five Express has made her maiden voyage.
  • Snow quality the same: early-birds are rewarded w/ great cords, skilled sliders should enjoy the loosened pockets of granular pow throughout the day.
  • Sun is shining.
Mammoth Mountain Ski run

Top of Solitude/Chair 5. For whatever reason, the snow on this stretch was the best I've skied all season.

The CONS:

  • Temps are cold: bundle up and make a few extra 100 turns to get that blood pumping. (Disclaimer: I’m from the North East; to me, this is warm)
  • It’s man-made snow – hard on the bum when you go down; it’s fast so be sure to ride within your limits.
  • Even though High Five Express is now spinning this only serves to extend Solitude a bit: nothing on the Face is open – we’ll need a helping hand from Mother-Nature for that.
chair 15 at Mammoth Mountain ski area

Contrast. Consider this your reality check. If it doesn't have snowmaking on it, it's not going to be open.

PARK REPORT:

  • The Super Pipe is running firm and fast: cold enough right now that even the sunny wall really isn’t softening. Have edges? You’re good to go.
  • Park Crew is grooming Main Park and Forest Trail Park to perfection every night.
  • South Park Terrain Park is open: an impressive number of jumps and jibs “magically” appeared overnight.
  • Enough jumps and jibs at Mammoth for endless hours of entertainment.
Freesking and snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain

South Park Terrain Park now open - well outfitted with many jumps and jibs.

ski and snowboard terrain park at Mammoth Unbound

Art and Park rolled into one.

The STATS:

  • New Snow: Nope. Thursday’s dusting amounted to no more than a frosting; gave the Mountain a much more wintery look though.
  • Base: 1′-2′
  • Weather: Looks as though temps will creep into the 40s for the week-end. Up-side: fingers and toes won’t go numb. Down-side: snow may ultimately get firmer and faster.
  • Conditions: Man-made, groomed daily.
  • Lifts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8,10, 11, 15, 17 and Panorama Gondi (bottom), Village Gondi. Note: Top-Gondi closed most of the day due to a North wind (unnoticeable in town; disturbingly noticeable for the last 5 second of a Gondi ride).
  • Runs: Sesame Street, East and West | St. Moritz | Broadway | Mambo | Silver Tip |Stump Alley | Powder Bowl | Ralphies | Saddle Bowl | Andy’s Double Gold | Cornice Bowl| Fascination | Wall | Easy Rider | Rollercoaster | Swell | Pumpkin | Bridges | Downhill/Cloverleaf | Chickadee | Holiday | School Yard | Festival | South Park | Main Park | Forest Trail Park | Lupin | Avalanche | Ski-School yards at Main & Canyon | World Cup
Skiing and snowboarding in California

There's a storm a-brewing... at the top of Chair 3. I like the snowmaking spill-over effect here.

Bottom line: Yes, it’s man-made, and yes, it’s fun… a lot of fun.

NOTE: Guns were working the Face of 3 pretty good – perhaps they’ll have that open by tomorrow (Saturday).

More Unofficial Networks