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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.