June Mt., Jan. 4, 2017

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June Mt., Jan. 4, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:41 am

Last weekend I looked at weather and it seemed the last part of this week would be a good shot at Mammoth. After we booked the current storm was upgraded substantially, which in Mammoth's case is a mixed bag.

We dug our car out of a foot of snow, then found our usual parking area at Stump Alley deserted because both lifts there were closed. At 9:30 only chairs 8,11 and 17 were running so I thought it was an easy decision to drive over to June Mt., particularly since Liz had never been there. Later chairs 4,10 and 16 opened, but with Main Lodge plus 3,5 and 22 closed all day June was still likely the right call.

We arrived 10:10 but were not skiing until after 11 due to the 3 chair rides (the first two very slow). Even at June chairs 4 and 6 were closed for wind, but chair 7 is what's most important there.

We skied two runs each on Deer Bowl and Sunset, upper intermediate runs that were only moderately tracked. Liz took a break while I tried some of the short steeper shots off the top. There was a foot of new snow but it was very thick and quite a bit of work. Pro Bowl was the best of these upper shots, and there were some untracked low angle trees below it as well.

In this season of storms with high rain/snow line and some that didn't get much past the Sierra Crest, June has far less snow than Mammoth. The expert Face between 7,600 and 8,700 is still unskiable so everyone has to download the ancient J1 lift at the end of the day.

Even up at the top 10,200 feet the base depth is only about 3 feet and I had to be careful about the tree skiing. The only time I tried a steeper tree line off the top I snagged a submerged branch and dropped a ski that took some time to retrieve. So the only trees with decent snow cover were on the middle third of the J7 terrain.

Liz returned to J7 about 1:45PM only to see that lift shut for wind also. We took a warm-up break in the lodge and left at 2:20 when J7 did not reopen.

I finished with 12,100 vertical,about 8K of powder. As noted before the powder was not the greatest, but I did have the advantage of much less competition for it at June than on the ~1/4 of Mammoth that was open.

No pictures in the consistently foul weather.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: June Mt., Jan. 4, 2017

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:59 am

I've always been curious about June -- did a quick search on the forums and it seems like people only go there if Mammoth is overcrowded or has significant lift holds. Hasn't it stayed closed a couple seasons too? I assume that this summary (from almost exactly ten years ago) still holds?
schubwa wrote:I'm thinking they should turn June into a dedicated terrain park-only area. It's not really good for anything else (no sugarcoating here). Occasionally, we would go over there and ski the lower terrain when Mammoth was in a whiteout, on a big year. It does have really good backcountry access into the Negatives and the rest of the San Joaquin ridge area. But other than that, it is really funky and like an upside down cake. It is steep at the bottom (hardly ever good coverage), way flat in the middle, a berm in the middle that prevents top-to-bottom runs, and then high intermediate at the top.
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Re: June Mt., Jan. 4, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:57 pm

June's viability was discussed at length when Mammoth announced in summer 2012 that June would not open in 2012-13. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10244

At the NASJA meeting in April 2013 Rusty said they planned to invest $6 million in a gondola and $5 million in snowmaking to revitalize June. He also said the emphasis would be upon attracting beginners and families, which is what I recommended during the summer 2012 controversy.

Rusty said in 2013 the improvements would be financed by cash flow from operations. Unfortunately the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons were even worse than 2011-12 for snow and Mammoth skier visits, so it's no surprise there have been no changes at June yet. Fortunately Rusty restructured Mammoth's debt in 2013 so the banks did not get to force June's closure again after the ensuing 2 bad seasons.

Schubwa's description of the topography and the unreliability of the Face are accurate. He did not seem to notice how good June is for beginners.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Postby ShiftyRider » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:47 pm

Tony, I don't think the banks really made them close it, he just made that up. They did probably go over how stupid the air subsidies were, so he got rid of that and foisted it upon the taxpayers.

James, schubwa lived in Mammoth when lapping June's Face required the crappy lift that's the only one there now. Between, June had the QMC tram. When it was there the Face was great lap after lap after lap, if the season had lotsa snow.
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Re: June Mt., Jan. 4, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:54 am

The Face of June is highly unreliable. Yes it was good in big years like 1983 and 2005 (the only times I've skied it) but most of the time you can't count on it.

I'm quite sure bank covenants were violated in 2012, which allows the banks to make some decisions like closing June. I also believe that getting rid of the direct air subsidies contributed (along with the 2013 refinancing) to Mammoth not violating those bank covenants in 2014 and 2015.

The air subsidies were indeed dangerous financially because they are highest in the same bad seasons when revenue is reduced. From Mammoth's perspective they are paying the TBID instead on ticket revenue, which of course will be highest in the good years and lowest in the bad ones.

I have no quarrel with Shifty's view about the TBID also being foisted on local businesses without a vote of the people.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9790
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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