So a series of storms thrashed through Mammoth little more than a week ago, bringing roughly 4’ of snow… So what does this mean for now? How good is it, really? I spent the past week-end in Southern California, soaking in some warm sun, feeling sand between my toes… and I was repeatedly confronted with this very question. Well, it’s been a week since the big hit, and here’s your report.
I’ve noticed claims on the Mountain’s website, caught numerous 3rd (perhaps 4th) hand reports and to me it’s mostly been hear-say ‘til now… having now put p-tex and metal to snow once again. I’ll get into more detail below with the Pros and Cons but here’s the skinny: There’s a ton of terrain open now and I expect it to remain this way for the long haul. The snow is great (hey, it’s the real thing) – in light of the recent shift up in temps the snow has held up very well.
- All chairs operating (except 20, which really only operates on busy week-ends anyhow).
- Almost 100% of the Mountain is now open (contrary to claims on the Mountain’s website). It’s truly impressive how we went from roughly 420 acres to 3,300 acres in the course of 1 week-end.
- Temps cold enough that the Mountain continues to make snow at night. Not really sure why, other than to perhaps build up the parks and pipes even more.
- Weather’s near perfect – not too hot, not too cold (my one gripe: wind has been out of the North too much).
- All that pumice strewn everywhere before this last storm hit… What pumice?
- The snow is real and it is great. Some of the wind-affected snow is a bit “grippy” but all-in-all it’s soft and forgiving. The front-side and anything facing North is in the best shape.
- Contrary to fears I noticed stirring about the flat-lands, the snow is not being ruined by warmer temps. Yes, parts of Canyon and most of Juniper are experiencing a bit of a “cycle” through the day (which is actually kind of nice) but from approx. 8,700’ and up the snow is seeing minimal affect (that is unless it has a predominantly Southern aspect).
- Recent North winds have scoured the ridge-tops a bit. Carefully work through your first few turns and you will be rewarded by what you find below.
- Be smart and pay attention to where you are headed (this should go w/o saying). There are still a lot of rocks and stumps just barely covered – an ounce of caution will go a long way when trying to avoid “unwanted encounters.”
- One run on the back-side that should be avoided: Upper Red’s Lake Run (even on the snowiest years this run often doesn’t have complete coverage); Santiago Bowl is looking rough right now too.
- A week ago ripping through the trees just about everywhere was a “hoot.” Extra caution should be exercised in nearly all trees and I really only recommend trees that have protection/primarily North facing – Waterfall and the Bear are good examples of tree runs to avoid right now.
- Since the storms subsided the Park Crews have been hard at work, and it shows – all 7 parks are great right now.
- Upper Main has a nice new jib line; table jump by the deck rail is a very worthy 40-50′; there’s a double pack in Lower Main the likes we’ve almost never seen – 40’ to 50’, as a straight shot.
- Super Pipe at Main is still the only pipe – it’s still in great shape, has great feel. I think that the Unbound Crew will be making a push to get South Park’s Pipe going soon.
- South has a new series of jib features in the mid section (wedge, c-rail, down box and bonk) and lower park is packed full of freshly built jumps.
- Jibs Galore is back and so far it has been met with praise – Video Report w/ Matt Guntert coming soon.
- New Snow: Not since Jan. 23rd.
- Base: approx. 4’ (some places it’s a bit less other places it’s a LOT more).
- Weather: Temps holding to mid-40s day-time, mid-20s at night. Wind out of North mostly, yet may shift to West for a bit tomorrow (Wednesday); in fact I can hear the shift taking place outside right now; there may even be a dusting tomorrow afternoon – keep an eye on Unofficial Mammoth Facebook for any last-minute developments.
- Conditions: Powder, packed powder.
- Lifts: All now in operation except Chair 20.
- Runs: Nearly all. Exceptions include spots like Hangman’s, MJB’s.
Bottom line: Too much mountain open right now to really cover in one day. Some stuff out there is to be avoided, other runs you’ll want to hit again and again.