Cool temps, blue skies and a solid base of real snow equates to great skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth right now. Admittedly, much of the off-piste snow has been affected by a calm, yet persistent North wind Groomers and Park Take the Cake | Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | February 3 2012 | Unofficial Networks

Groomers and Park Take the Cake | Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | February 3 2012

Great groomed runs at Mammoth, CA.

Groomers and Park Take the Cake | Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | February 3 2012

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Groomers and Park Take the Cake | Unofficial Mammoth Conditions Report | February 3 2012

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Great groomed runs at Mammoth, CA.

Get out there early and you'll be rewarded with lots of this.

Cool temps, blue skies and a solid base of real snow equates to great skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth right now. Admittedly, much of the off-piste snow has been affected by a calm, yet persistent North wind but good turns are there for the taking. Fortunately the relatively cool temps have helped the snow to resist a daily freeze/thaw cycle, giving it a nice mid-winter feel.

Firm and fast is the overall story for the runs off the top. A little bit of a refresher may be on its way this coming week, which would lend itself greatly to a smoother ride down. Otherwise there are two areas in which Mammoth fully excels right now: Groomers and Park. Pretty much anything groomed is excellent. Whether ripping the cords early, or going for a late day cruise, the groomers have been delivering smiles left and right. And the Parks are definitely the best we’ve seen all season. That real snow feel just can’t be beat – now standard on everything from beginner rails to expert level jumps.

Gondola ride to the top of Mammoth Mountain

Yes, many were out enjoying a beautiful day at Mammoth... Just not so many were choosing to do so on Climax.

THE CONDITIONS

The PROS:

  • Groomers are awesome. Amazing what mixing in real snow can do to improve the overall conditions.
  • Even the groomers off the top, i.e. Cornice and Scotty’s are scoring big right now.
  • Temps have remained cool, helping to maintain a dry, wintery snow.
  • Lots of sun and vividly blue skies.
  • There are a few off-piste runs that have their moments. Dave’s isn’t a “swath” of wind-buff (as we would all love to see) yet patches and stretches of loose, forgiving snow are present.
  • 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.
  • Even more week-end warriors appear to be playing hooky on Friday these days. Not to worry, thanks to all chairs operating (except chair 20) and the new RFID gates, I expect crowds to be well dispersed.
Skiing and snowboarding from the top of Mammoth, CA.

Dave's Run was one of the few spots worth venturing off-piste today.

The CONS:

  • Off-piste snow (especially for the runs off the top) has been affected by the light, persistent North winds: it is undeniably “grippy.”
  • Some areas of the mountain are not inviting right now. The snow for many of the runs out by Chair 9 is as firm as can be right now (I won’t go as far as to classify it as ice because it isn’t).
  • When Mammoth claims that 100% of the mountain is open, take heed: some of the most advanced runs are in fact not open, i.e. Top of the World, Hangman’s and MJB’s. Other suspect zones include the Head Chutes and Santiago Bowl.
skiing and snowboarding in California.

Coverage has greatly improved for the runs off of Chair 5, yet the snow is a bit "grippy."

Chair 9 at Mammoth Mountain, CA.

The runs off of Chair 9 would not be my top-pick right now.

PARK REPORT:

  • Everything is great right now – real snow = great feel on take-offs and landings.
  • Jumps in Forest Trail, Main and South have all grown.
  • New jib sets have sprouted up in Forest Trail, Main and South.
  • The Art Park is great for jibbing and sight-seeing.
  • Jibs Galore has great flow. For more check out Matt Guntert in the most recent Unofficial Mammoth Park Video.
Unbound Terrain Parks.

Jumps all over continue to grow, including this 45' table in the middle of Main Park.

Mammoth's Main Unbound Terrain Park

New up-rail to wall ride is the first thing to greet you as you enter Main Park.

California ski and snowboard terrain parks.

South Park is looking healthy these days. Perhaps with one more storm South's Pipe will be good to go too.

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: Yes, there may be some weather approaching… I’m afraid to even look at forecasts at this point, fearful that my expectations may get a little ahead of me.
  • Conditions: Powder, packed powder = Killer Groomers + Off-Piste is running firm and fast.
  • Lifts: All now in operation except Chair 20.
  • Runs:  Nearly all terrain is open, with exception to some of the gnarliest lines on the upper portion of the mountain.

Bottom line: All in all conditions are very similar to what they were this time last year. Perhaps even slightly better since we didn’t see as strong of a thaw for January this time around.

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