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? Mammoth 100% Open* | Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | January 31 2012 | *Almost | Unofficial Networks

Mammoth 100% Open* | Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | January 31 2012 | *Almost

Snowboarding jump in California.

Mammoth 100% Open* | Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | January 31 2012 | *Almost

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Mammoth 100% Open* | Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | January 31 2012 | *Almost

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Skiing and snowboarding in California

Drink it in... This (and the photos below) really tell the story of the current conditions at Mammoth.

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.

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Looking West from the top of the mountain. The Ansel Adams Wilderness with a nice, white winter-coat.

THE CONDITIONS

The PROS:

  • 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).
Great skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Lakes, CA.

World Cup looking about as good as ever.

The CONS:

  • 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.
Great skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Lakes, CA.

Mid-Santiago Run, looking towards East Hemlocks.

Ski and snowboard at Mammoth Lakes, CA.

Santiago Run and much of the back-side. Out of view, looker's right is Santiago Bowl, which I would not recommend at this time.

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Wipeout Chutes - Wind ripped along the top yet good snow once you've carefully worked your way in.

PARK REPORT:

  • 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.
Terrain parks for freeskiing and and snowboarding.

Main Park: lots of new jib set-ups and BIG jumps.

Snowboarding jump in California.

Lonnie Kauk takes flight in Main Park.

The STATS:

  • 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.

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