Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Mon May 01, 2017 6:52 am
I still have 3 days left on my Mountain Collective Pass for Mammoth, and I'm considering skiing this Tuesday-Thursday, May 2-4. I see that the forecasted weather is mostly clear, with overnight lows at 35-38 and highs around 60 (summit lows 25-30 and highs 45-50). I haven't been spring skiing in many years. How would conditions be, given that forecast? My concern it that it may be too warm in the daytime/not cold enough at night, resulting in a smaller window of decent corn snow.
Mon May 01, 2017 7:58 am
The problem with that is that with only the tram operating to get people up the hill, long lines can form when the snow is good like this past weekend.
Mon May 01, 2017 9:14 am
Admin wrote:The problem with that is that with only the tram operating to get people up the hill, long lines can form when the snow is good like this past weekend.
Sounds more like a Snowbird reference. Mammoth still has reasonable number of lifts running, and weekday crowds are much lower than weekend crowds (at least when there isn't a big powder dump).
Mon May 01, 2017 1:07 pm
Admin is referring to this thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12411
He and I may disagree on the relative merits of Alta and Snowbird from a skiing perspective, but we definitely agree about Snowbird's lackluster customer service in the spring.
The high temps over 50 assure that Mammoth's upper mountain steeps will soften nicely, and gravity overcomes the resistance (which is a security blanket to some people) on steep terrain. You still want to hit the NE stuff like Climax and the Drop Outs before the N to NW stuff like Wipe Outs and Hangman's.
With no or minimal overnight freeze the groomers can get sloppy, though they will not get as churned by skier traffic midweek as on the weekends. Mammoth should be salting the groomers with those kind of temperatures but I don't know for a fact that process has started yet. The race course runs under chair 1 are the best lower runs for avoiding sticky snow noon and later.
I would not fear that weather forecast; if there's a steady breeze to sublimate the melting snow it could even be optimal. The bad scenario is the cooler/cloudier day where the ungroomed snow remains hard.
FYI chair 5 is still running today. 4 and 10 are not running like they were last week.
Wed May 03, 2017 6:09 pm
Thanks for the detailed response, Tony. I skied yesterday and today, and plan to ski tomorrow. Good spring conditions, not slushy. Not a lot of lifts running; certainly enough for the small crowds, but limited terrain. Well worth the trip for me, especially since my lift tickets were covered by the Mountain Collective.
Wed May 03, 2017 8:58 pm
baldyskier wrote:Thanks for the detailed response, Tony. I skied yesterday and today, and plan to ski tomorrow. Good spring conditions, not slushy. Not a lot of lifts running; certainly enough for the small crowds, but limited terrain. Well worth the trip for me, especially since my lift tickets were covered by the Mountain Collective.
Upper mountain terrain should not be limited at all. Are they salting the lower groomers yet?
Wed May 03, 2017 9:18 pm
Upper mountain frontside is all open. I'm not sure about the salting; how would I tell? As a point of reference, Stump Alley was in good shape when I headed down at 3 PM today.
Fri May 05, 2017 1:22 pm
On the hottest days you will see the groomers out taking a second pass in late morning. They also have signs telling people to steer clear of the salt being sprayed out the back. On one of those days if you ski a soft run at 11AM and then it's firm again at noon, you know. I doubt it's that warm now. If salting is being done it's probably just with the overnight grooming. If it doesn't freeze overnight but the groomers are firm in the morning they have probably been salted.
The comparison comes mainly vs. other ski areas. If groomers aren't salted the window if time with corn snow on a supportable base is much shorter. If you were at Big Bear this March, that would be a good example. The same is true in May at Snowbird and A-Basin when it gets warm.
Fri May 05, 2017 6:17 pm
Since the groomers were firm in the mornings despite above freezing overnight temps, I would guess that they salted at night. The only groomers I saw in action during the day were pushing/shaping snow on the far side of Lift #5 in preparation for an upcoming industry event that will feature a massive jump, half pipe, etc.
Sat May 06, 2017 3:51 pm
baldyskier wrote:far side of Lift #5 in preparation for an upcoming industry event that will feature a massive jump, half pipe, etc.
Liz and I snuck in there to take some pics last season:viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12136
I hope 5 won't be shut down completely after the event is over like last year. My guess is that they will knock down the big park features and reopen 5, at least for Memorial weekend.
This weekend has the same scheduled lifts as last weekend but 10, 14 and the top are closed for weather, as they probably will be Sunday also. Total new snow is likely to be in the 6 inch range per Scheckter.
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