Mammoth, Jan. 6, 2017

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Mammoth, Jan. 6, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:17 am

We finally got a good weather day, likely the only one in at least a week. No surprise it was busy with moderate lift lines as chairs opened gradually. As we approached the Stump parking about 8:35AM cars were already parked on the road so we pulled into the smaller chair 10 parking as we both had direct to lift tickets. We loaded chair 2 at 8:55. As we neared its exit this was our view of the upper mountain.
IMG_7817a.JPG

You can see fracture lines across most of the top, the biggest ones near chair 23. Notice also the debris illuminated at lower left.

Here’s the view out to Scotty’s and the Paranoids with smaller slide activity.
IMG_7818a.JPG


We skied our first run on Rodger’s Ridge.
IMG_7819.JPG

The rock band on its rollover is completely buried. The new snow was not deep but it was soft and skied much better than after the even more violent storm at New Year’s 2006. The weather was a lot nice than that trip too. It was overcast but fairly calm in the morning. The afternoon was mostly sunny but windier. Temps were mid-teens up top and low 20’s at the base.

I presumed it would take awhile to open the top so we took Gold Rush to widen our options. Chair 5 was not running but the backside of Gold Rush runs toward chair 25 were, and when we skied there we noted both 22 and 25 were open. The snow going to 25 was soft packed powder in low angle trees similar to yesterday.

From 25 we traversed to Grizzly, where the snow was similar to Rodger’s Ridge, soft even though it had been skied for half an hour by then. With 3,5,9,14 and the top still closed, liftlines on 22 and 25 were 5-10 minutes.

Next time I took the recommendation of a local sharing the lift to hit Avy 2 and he was right; it was the softest snow of the day. Liz went the other way and wound up back at 25 after skiing Sunshine. We took two more runs separately, her on Shaft and Grizzly and me on the other two Avy Chutes. I hiked over the rocks to get to the very top of Avy 3.
IMG_7824.JPG

I was probably only the second or third person in there, but it was not as soft as Avy2.

Liz and I regrouped for the final run on 22, which were the trees skier’s left of Viva. Needing a breather after 5 runs on 22 we cruised to Canyon and rode 16 at about 11:30. The wind had started to pick up, and we noticed the top had finally opened. We took 5 and skied over toward 3 past the fumarole in some good windsift. The gondola midstation, which contains a maze of about 8 minutes inside, had a line out the door, so we rode 3 and went to 23, which had a manageable line under 10 minutes similar to 22.

23 was much less busy than the gondola because the Wipe Outs and Drop Outs remained off limits due to the avalanches. Here’s how close the avy debris (gray color snow in the pic) got to the base of 23.
IMG_7828a.JPG


They groomed a path through the debris on Gremlin’s Gulch so people could get to St. Anton.
IMG_7831.JPG


Riding 23 we got a close view of the largest fractures on Drop Out 1 and 3.
IMG_7837a.JPG

Those fractures were 5-7 feet deep. Hopefully the next 7 feet of snow expected up there by Tuesday will stick and not slide again.

We first skied far left of Cornice near the boundary ropes to keep people out of Drop Out 3 in similar soft snow as on 22. Next time up Liz skied Scotty's while I went out to Paranoid 3. This was probably second to Avy 2 in powder quality for the day. Coming out of P3 I veered left to Bark Bowl, which was smooth but firmly windpacked.

We met at the bottom gondola. The line was out the building ~15 minutes but we needed the break of a gondola ride since we never stopped for lunch and just had snacks we had brought in the gondola.

I dropped into Climax, but Liz didn’t like the entry and skied Cornice. Lower Climax and Upper Dry Creek were nicely filled in with windsift. Despite greater traffic Liz experienced similar snow on Cornice. I took another run on 5 with more great windsift, then went down to 2 to head back to the top.

Liz ended up at 3, then skied the same great Dry Creek run to 5 but I was gone already. From 5 she went the other way to 9, skiing low angle trees like in the morning. Second run she veered toward 25 but it had closed so she had to go down to 15.

Meanwhile I rode 23 and skied Monument, similar to Climax up top but not as soft lower down. As before I got in the gondola at the bottom with line at 2:45 about half of what it was earlier. I headed for Dave’s but decided for variety to drop into Rockgarden as it was well covered. The top was smooth chalk but the mid-section had been wind scoured to frozen granular. I traversed left to get into the middle of Huevos Grande. This was a bit sketchy as there had been a couple of small fractures, exposing some rocks to be avoided. Lower down it was soft windsift like lower Climax.

By the time I got down to 5, Liz had ridden 15 and 16 to meet me there. We took one last windsift run on 5 and called it a day at 3:15. I skied 24,000 vertical, maybe 5K of not so deep but still forgiving powder.

This was one of Liz’ best ski days in quite awhile, with some credit due to new footbeds from Corti Lawrence at Footloose. She skied 26,000 in 6+ hours with no lunch break and some of that was quite demanding skiing on chair 22 and the top. With no breaks needed to rest her feet all day, it’s possible that the boot soap opera that started 3 years ago this week in Aspen is finally over.
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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Tony Crocker
 
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Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mammoth, Jan. 6, 2017

Postby RainbowJenny » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:53 am

Over 12 ft crowns, fascinating how 40 lb warheads did nothing but a 2 lb hand charge caused the release of 2,000 ft wide and 1,500 ft in length in upper mountain.

http://www.esavalanche.org/content/mamm ... ol-results
RainbowJenny
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Mammoth, Jan. 6, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:55 pm

Needless to say no one was allowed to be skiing under those huge fractures so perspective was difficult and I underestimated their size by half.

The stated time of the avalanches as 11AM in the referenced report is wrong though. The first picture on my report was taken just after 9AM.
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: 9803
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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