Mammoth, CA 5/8/2015

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Mammoth, CA 5/8/2015

Postby tseeb » Sat May 09, 2015 7:32 am

Day 41 and my 2nd deepest powder day of season as Mammoth reported 12" new, but they only opened two lifts. I left So. Lake Tahoe at 4:25 AM and arrived Mammoth almost 3 1/2 hours later (corrected from previously reported 2 1/2 hrs which would take clear roads and a very quick gas stop in Gardnerville). I had chain control the last 80 miles on 395 and there were only a couple of tracks on Mammoth Scenic Loop, which saves a few miles, but no time this day as I followed a Subaru who was going slow, as he was often bottoming in the deep snow on unplowed road. After quickly getting MCP setup, I was on chair 1 about 8:15 and skied it seven times before moving to chair 6 a little after 9 and skiing it seven times. Visibility was poor, partially because even though I took goggles out of box that said yellow lenses, they were not the goggles that belong there and have a less bright lens. I thought about going to the car and changing goggles, but only made it as far as the main lodge where I ate the yogurt and half sandwich from my pocket about 10:30 when I took a long break hoping for the visibility to improve enough for chair 3 to open. While the clouds lifted to nearly the top of chair 6, the top of chair 1 was always in it and visibility on the way down ranged from almost zero to much better for short stretches then back down to about 50 feet. I skied chair 1 another eight laps until just before 1 when I took a quick break. I went back to my car (which I moved closer, but still a long walk to lift) for an attitude adjustment from my growler among other things. I returned for four more runs (loaded last one 6 minutes AFTER scheduled 1:30 close according to digital clock on lift) which may have been the best of the day as you could finally see so I ignored the closed signs and finished with two moderate angle runs of mostly good, very lightly tracked snow on the Wall.

I don't understand Mammoth's soft close policy which was explained to me on chair by someone who said if they really don't want you on a run they will have it roped as they did later in day for the U-turn to the right at top of chair 1. They had a couple of signs at the top of lower St. Anton that I ignored three times, staying high above them the last two times. The first time I skied powder too far to the right and found a few rocks. The second time I did not hit anything and the last times I barely brushed a couple of rocks. I saw people skiing Gravy Chute and other lines under chair 1, but it looked way too rocky for me, even on skis that are almost worn out. Earlier in the day, since I don't know the lower mountain very well, I usually followed someone or when going over to see if chair 3 was loading, followed rope-line which was needed as visibility was so bad you had to get close to be able to even see chair. I got to my car about 1:45 pm, when it finally cleared enough to see to the top, with 22K vertical. I'll try to add some more pictures from my phone when I have more time. Today, I want to be there when they open. After today, I'm
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