Mammoth, Feb. 7-8, 2018

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Mammoth, Feb. 7-8, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:44 pm

We had a quick turnaround, getting home from the Alps at noon Monday, then leaving for Mammoth at 5PM Tuesday afternoon.

The reason for the trip was the regional industry demo event, held every year the week after SIA and the national demo at Copper Mountain. Normally there is a Northern California event at Tahoe Monday/Tuesday and then Mammoth Wednesday/Thursday. There was no Tahoe event this year, so I anticipated the Mammoth event might be busier, but it was not. Registration was more efficient than in past years because a good part of it was done online in advance.

Our own skis and poles were still AWOL and recovered at LAX on Friday after we got home. We didn't need skis but I grabbed some old poles out of a garage closet. I didn't notice that one of the poles my size was splintered vertically and would give way if I planted it hard. Liz had poles too short left over from my kids when they were young. We give a shout out to Leki for letting us use their demo poles for the entire two days. I used their trigger system for 2/3 of Wednesday and Liz for 1/3 of Thursday. https://www.leki.com/uk/innovations/trigger-s/ The trigger system will release with 30lbs of force, making it safe to use in the trees. For me it released only once unexpectedly when I was skating over to Dave's Run. Leki makes a variation that does not release with vertical pressure from skating.

Mammoth had only 11 inches of snow and quite a bit of warm weather since our last visit 4 weeks before, so there has been a net loss of snowpack. Top entries to steeps like Wipe Out/Drop Out and the Paranoids have become sketchy or impassable, though snow is fine once you find a way in. Here's Climax viewed from the gondola.
IMG_3990.JPG

The mogul run under the gondola has some rocks. The fall lines traversing out looker's left were in good shape and I skied those twice each day.

Here's the view from Dave's Run (also skied twice each day) past Lincoln Mt. into town.
IMG_3993.JPG

There is no snow on the ground in town and very little natural snow below 8,500 feet. You can see the WROD strip down to Eagle beyond Lincoln. With the demo being out of the Stump parking lot and likely deterioration of snow in the chair 9/22/25 sector, I never skied east of chair 5 on this trip.

Overview of the top and groomed Cornice:
IMG_3994.JPG

As usual Mammoth grooming was excellent and there were no coverage issues on any of the groomers I skied.

Here's the western side of the upper mountain.
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Scotty's was also nicely groomed Wednesday, as can be seen by the spray from the skiers on it here.

Mammoth built big jumps and a 22-foot halfpipe for Olympic trials, viewed here while riding chair 1.
IMG_3998a.JPG


On Thursday we took one set of demos over the top to chair 14. The broad slope below upper Roadrunner has lost most of its snow in the past month.
IMG_4005.JPG

There are "floater" rocks on Roadrunner as you approach Scotty's/top of 14. If you ski that area it's best to approach from chair 23 and Skyline.

As in other dry spells most of the runs up top and on chairs 3 and 5 preserved chalky winter snow. I was surprised that so few people were skiing the ungroomed considering the shop demo event. I took each of my 12 demos through one ungroomed run off the top and often through the chair 3 or 5 terrain also.

I've read in recent ski reviews that there are few "bad skis" any more. Everything worked well for me, until I got a bit fatigued on the last two demos Thursday. As I'm not actively shopping for new skis, I generally demoed skis that were most appropriate for the conditions with no recent snow, which was also the situation the last two times we have done this event in 2015 and 2016.

I would say that more of the all mountain skis are in the low 90's mm width this year vs. upper 90's in 2015 and 2016. The Kastle F95hp probably impressed me most of those. On Thursday I was trying more skis under 90mm for more optimal firm snow performance. As in prior demos Stockli is a standout in this category, the current ski I tried being the Scale 83.

A couple of skis had more of a soft snow bias, the DPS Cassiar 94 and the Atomic Bent Chetler 100. Both of these were still very easy to initiate turns and good on the upper steeps; they just didn't grip the harder snow at speed quite as well as most of the others.

Liz had a tougher time skiing because her boots were in the AWOL ski bag. She thus used her AT boots Wednesday and was limited to demos compatible with her AT boot soles,which meant either Dynafit-type tech bindings or a Tyrolia binding compatible with both alpine and AT soles. The backcountry oriented skis tended to be too soft for the current snow conditions. For Thursday Liz rented a Dalbello boot from Kittredge, but didn't ski up to par not being in her own boots.

The surprise ski company was Sego, an independent from Victor, Idaho. They have been around for 4 years but this is their first year attempting national distribution and being at the SIA demo events. Liz loved the Sego UP Tour on Wednesday, even though it's a backcountry touring ski. So on Thursday I demoed the Sego Cleaver 88. After a warmup on Fascination, I took it to my most challenging run of the trip on Paranoid 2.
IMG_4003.JPG

That was a sketchy entry up top which took some time to find and a long run on steep and stiff chalk below.

While I've highlighted some of the shortcomings of current Mammoth snow conditions, Mammoth stands head and shoulders above anywhere else in the southwest quadrant of the US for skiing right now. Mammoth has had a few inches to refresh the surfaces yesterday, and I've read that snowmaking is resuming in the ensuing cold weather, probably to rebuild some thinner areas around Canyon/Eagle.
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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Re: Mammoth, Feb. 7-8, 2018

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:18 pm

You should've stayed in real ski country. :stir: (for that matter, I should've too)
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Re: Mammoth, Feb. 7-8, 2018

Postby RainbowJenny » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:45 pm

At least the demo event took place this year.

Liz checked in her boots?!

Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro has SwitchRelease wrist straps.

I demoed Leki system a year ago at Snow Valley backcountry event, works well but I didn’t like commitment of having to buy their gloves. Somehow the rep gave me a pair of their gloves later, perhaps he was trying to entice me to buy their poles.
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Re: Mammoth, Feb. 7-8, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:24 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:You should've stayed in real ski country. :stir: (for that matter, I should've too)

We are headed for another real ski country (Canada) on Thursday. :-P

The Leki trigger system is impractical for me because I'm hard on gloves and often switching them out for varying temperatures.
RainbowJenny wrote:Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro has SwitchRelease wrist straps.

Leki provided wrist straps to wear over our own gloves for testing the trigger system.
RainbowJenny wrote:Liz checked in her boots?!

We carried on boots on the way to Europe. We were so tired at the end that we didn't think we were going to run off to Mammoth as soon as we got home. But we felt better Tuesday and went for it.

Speaking of real ski countries, the snow came early and often for Jenny's past 3 months in Hokkaido: 74 inches in November, 160 in December and 120 in January.
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
 
Posts: 9803
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mammoth, Feb. 7-8, 2018

Postby Sbooker » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:15 pm

It's a pity to see such a fine all round ski hill looking sad mid winter. I've only been to Mammoth twice and both times conditions have been pretty good.
For a sense of perspective how does this year mid February compare to other recent poor years (2015 I think) as far as snow pack is concerned?

On a side note I have friends who will be visiting Mammoth in very late March. They'll be there on my recommendation. I told them of the perfect north orientation, the advantageous elevation compared to Tahoe and the excellent spring skiing record. :oops:
They are beginners/intermediates and I assumed the groomers would be great for them. I hope there is some snow there for them to slide around on. (They are only doing a couple of days as part of a tourist (Vegas, Disneyland, Highway 1, San Fran) road trip so they won't be devastated if the skiing doesn't pan out).
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Re: Mammoth, Feb. 7-8, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:11 pm

The groomers were still fine, at least everything around Main Lodge and the Mill. Yes it's still much better than Tahoe and I would not worry much about late March. For mid-February Mammoth is better than 2015, maybe about the same as 2014 and a bit behind 2012. The 2012 and 2014 seasons had lots of snow in March and late March probably had the best conditions of those seasons. 2015 was dry in March so that was the only season in the past 50 years other than 1977 not in full operation in late March.
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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