Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

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Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:44 am

It turned out that Tuesday July 4 was the busiest day because Mammoth offered free skiing to anyone with a January lift ticket. The chair 2 lot filled by 7:30. We arrived at 8:05 and had to park about 15 cars up the road toward Main Lodge. By late morning the road was continuously parked nearly to the last bus stop near chair 4. Lines on the mountain remained similar to Sunday/Monday. There were fewer sightseers though. Around noon on Sunday/Monday the line for scenic riders at the lower gondola base was out the door.

There was a slight breeze on Tuesday, which improved the snow and kept it more supportable late morning and midday even though temps still reached the low 70's. This was the last day for chair 23, so Adam, Ben and Patrick spent most of their time there. Liz and I skied some lower runs before the snow got sticky. The race course runs Andy's Double Gold and Fascination were best early. At the gondola here's Liz with a pair of the better holiday costumes.
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Here's another one at the top of Cornice.
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That strip at the bottom got thin and dirty late on July 4 and 5 and will need frequent replenishment to maintain ski access to Cornice.

Here's the view from chair 23.
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Wipe Out 1 was great on July 2 and 3, but the gravel had greatly expanded by the 4th.

I was content to ski Drop Out 1&3 and Wipe Out 3, which was just starting to show some gravel in its choke. Scotty's was wide open.
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I was out of synch with Patrick, who got some summer scenery pics on Drop Out.
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Patrick also saw Cowboy Ted with some friends at the top of Climax.
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We skied with Lonnie and Cowboy Ted last spring.

I took the gondola to Climax again, then skied my final runs on chair 23 on Drop Out 1 and Scotty's. After another gondola/Climax I finished with 21,100 vertical. At 1PM it was clear this was the end for chair 2.
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We met Patrick for dinner and it was no problem running into him at 9AM Wednesday with holiday crowds gone and only chairs 1, 3 and the gondola open. So what's still open past July 4 in terms of terrain? On the lower mountain there are groomed strips on upper Stump, upper Mambo and Forest Trail to St. Moritz. These will last to the upcoming weekend at best, as we're in another heat wave now. The race course runs Andy's, Fascination and Powder Bowl skied very well with minimal midweek traffic, though I think it will take some work to keep those going past the weekend of July 8-9 either. Broadway and hopefully St. Anton should make it to July 15-16 as in 1995.

Chair 23 is scheduled to run weekends and Drop Outs 1 and 3 have a good shot of lasting the entire month. On my last run I traversed to Drop Out 3, which had ideal corn in well spaced bumps with so few skiers.
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Midweek, Drop Out 1 requires hiking.

Cornice I know from my "streak" visits in 2005 and 2011 will last all summer, though it will take a lot of work to maintain a snow strip from the gondola to it. Hangman's is roped off now, but we saw a patroller airing the rocks in its choke.
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Climax will be the least effort way off the top as long as the mountain remains open. The lower part of Sign Line skier's left of Climax is confined now. Patrick there:
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Farther skier's right on Climax should retain skiable lines until closing.
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Liz is at lower left and Patrick at lower right.

I finished with 15,300 vertical when the mountain closed at noon. Rumor has it that closing day will be August 6. We are going back to raft the Tuolumne July 31-Aug. 1, so we will see what's left that last week.

Patrick skied at least one more day on July 6. He hiked over a lot of scree to check out Dave's, Gravy Chute and the Paranoids. Lots of pics here: https://www.facebook.com/patrick.corcor ... 8458174603
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Re: Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:13 am

Image
THAT's what I'm talkin' about! 8)
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Re: Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby EMSC » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:33 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:At 1PM it was clear this was the end for chair 2.


I'd have to guess that Chair 1 will be done very shortly as well leaving only upper gondi and chair 3 skiable (which still gets access to some very nice terrain). I'm super curious to see just how much longer Squaw and mammoth can run given the warmer than average summer.

jamesdeluxe wrote:THAT's what I'm talkin' about!


Which part? the girls in bikini's, or the awkward and weird stalking of them with go-pro's? :troll:
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Re: Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby tseeb » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:38 pm

EMSC wrote:I'd have to guess that Chair 1 will be done very shortly as well leaving only upper gondi and chair 3 skiable (which still gets access to some very nice terrain). I'm super curious to see just how much longer Squaw and mammoth can run given the warmer than average summer.

Not sure that I would count out Chair 1 that soon although number of runs open will go down and they will get narrower and dirtier. It does look like they are running out of snow down low to re-fill them.

Interesting article on possible Mammoth lift upgrades: https://liftblog.com/2017/07/10/mapping ... -new-lifts

According to Snowbrains, Squaw will announce today whether they are already done or be open for at least one more Saturday.
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Re: Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:57 pm

EMSC wrote: the awkward and weird stalking of them with go-pro's?

The baseball cap is a nice touch. :lol:
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Re: Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:15 pm

Nice reference by EMSC above on long term lift upgrades at Mammoth. My guess is that the first big $$$ project will be replacement of Main Lodge and Mammoth Mountain Inn now that the land swap is done.

For a resort of its size and scale, Mammoth is well below average in liftline issues by my experience. Of course I'm not there Christmas, President's weekend, etc.

As for the decline in snow cover:
Hangman's and Wipe Out 1 were skiable most of the holiday weekend but not by July 5. The race course runs Andy's and Fascination were good during the holiday but the lower parts were thinning and their last day was Sunday July 9. As of now Broadway and St. Anton remain open, though I'm hesitant to predict they will remain open past July 16.

There will still be a decent amount of skiing up higher once it comes down to just chair 3 and the gondola for transport. Both Face of 3 and Saddle Bowl are very deep. The unloading area of chair 3 will require daily replenishing though. Drop Outs 1&3 have big buildups at the top where other upper runs are more vulnerable to melting. It's hard to say how long they will run chair 23 weekends for easy access there. You can get most of Drop Out 3 traversing in from Cornice as I did July 5, but Drop Out 1 requires a ~5 minute hike in mushy snow.

Climax has that big buildup at the top too. There's cliff about 3/4 down that will reemerge, but I'm guessing openings through it will remain to the August 6 scheduled closing. Cornice as noted above is fine, but the access strip to it needs constant replenishment.

To make July 4 in 2016 they had to maintain a long and skinny WROD in Saddle Bowl and the Face of 3 was long gone by then. This leads me to believe that the August 6 projected closing date for 2017 will be met. I do not think that final weekend will be as marginal as last year. I will be there the prior Sunday July 30 and one of the following midweek days in August.

Within two weeks after that we will be headed to the solar eclipse in Jackson. :mrgreen:

EMSC wrote:the warmer than average summer

Compared to 2011:
April was huge for snow in 2011 and well above average in 2017
May was above average for skiing (snow and cooler temps) in 2011 while 2017 was about average
June was average in 2011 but the second half of June was scorching in 2017 (highs in town of Mammoth Lakes hit 90) and took out a lot of snow since Memorial Day.

July 1-4 some parts of the mountain had more snow than in 2011 and some had less. It is a positive sign that the area around chair 3 that they need most is the sector where there is more snow in 2017.
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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, July 4-5, 2017

Postby tseeb » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:28 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Nice reference by EMSC above on long term lift upgrades at Mammoth.

That was my reference, not EMSC's.

Snowbrains did not post update for Squaw, but their post yesterday led me to Squaw's Facebook page then to https://squawalpine.com/explore/blog/we ... july-15-16 from an hour ago
which says "We will be running the Funitel for access to sking and riding on Gold Coast this Saturday, July 15 from 8:30am-12:30pm, subject to change based on weather and conditions." and "Conditions permitting, hiking will be allowed from the top of Gold Coast to Siberia Bowl and National Chute!" So it's 560 vertical foot, SE-facing Gold Coast and hiking.
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Re: Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:51 pm

It's desperation time at Squaw without even Shirley Lake. Patrick was able to traverse into the lower part of Arete, some of the Granite Chief terrain we skied June 2. Patrick also hiked from Gold Coast up the Palisades to National, then to North Bowl.

I have to believe July 15 will be the end at Squaw. I'm surprised Gold Coast lasted longer than Shirley Lake. I think Squaw management is surprised too, as their original summer announcements mentioned walking from the tram to ski Shirley Lake in the summer.
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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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Postby ShiftyRider » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:05 pm

...replacement of Main Lodge and Mammoth Mountain Inn now that the land swap is done.
It's not done. You're probably thinking of the legislation that was needed to allow the corporate welfare recipient to kick in some pennies (in addition to the worthless forest land elsewhere), in exchange for the valuable forest land around the Main Lodge. I believe that's done, but the swap itself is still in process...

http://www.sierrawave.net/comments-soug ... -exchange/

If you don't comment against, then you are in favor of having to pay $25 to park at Chair 2 in a couple years.
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#MoreCorporateWelfare
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Re: Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:55 pm

I think it's reasonable that an area with MMSA's scale should be allowed to redo Main Lodge and Mammoth Mountain Inn. Presumably they will be required to replace the sewage ponds with a more modern treatment system.

Does the private land swap really extend a mile down the road to chair 2? No, I don't think that's necessary for the Main/MMI redevelopment.

I hear where Shifty is coming from. The airport/town bankruptcy debacle and the TBID were certainly cause for unrest among Mammoth locals. So there is reason to be diligent in negotiating with MMSA and managing the development.

My perspective as a ski consumer has generally been favorable to MMSA because their mountain operations are among the best in North America, the current extended season being a good example.
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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Postby ShiftyRider » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:19 pm

Instead of MMSA paying what the land's worth, you get this very weird type of commerce that works out something like this...

Pennies on the Dollar
+
Political Patronage and $25000/plate Campaign Events
+
Backroom Deal$
=
Way less than the proper land valuation all added up



Good for MMSA for getting it for pennies on the dollar, but kinda bad for the incompetent USFS and us poor taxpayers who'd rather not get ripped off, even if it's by the folks who tend to do us right each and every super fun ski day. FWIW there's no development plans for the Chair 2 lot but they're gonna ask that you pay to park there.
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Re: Mammoth, July 4-5, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:31 pm

I heard the "pay for chair 2 parking" rumor earlier this season, inquired about it and got this response:
"Idea has been suggested by guest and employees alike over the years. No intentions to offer valet parking or otherwise charge in this area Tony."
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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Posts: 9480
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