Mammoth, Jan. 9-10, 2019

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Mammoth, Jan. 9-10, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:02 pm

We are busy before our Alps trip next week, but this week’s forecast was too tempting to pass up. First Mammoth's base was secured by the 3-4 feet that fell last weekend. A break Thursday was forecast between ongoing smaller storms, and that’s exactly the way it turned out. We drove Tuesday afternoon.

As predicted there were 3-4 inches overnight and it was snowing when we started skiing Wednesday. Of course the top was closed, but mid-mountain lifts were open as winds were light though there was fog. We started with tree lines runs on the backside of chair 1. Terry’s Run:
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By 10AM chair 12 was opened so we headed that way, staying in the tree’s above St. Anton to start for better visibility.
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Liz missed the Comin’ Thru cutoff and took a couple of extra runs on 1 and 3 before using 11 to get to 12. I got 6 runs on the slow chair 12, some short drops near the top of the lift, then mellow powder through the trees below. Liz got over there for a couple of runs. The let up about 11AM, and I got a break in the fog to traverse high into Bark Bowl on the way to lunch at Main Lodge.

After lunch we skied Coyote to chair 5. The fog lowered again and it resumed snowing at 2PM, this time with more wind. Chair 5 particularly benefited from last weekend’s snow and no longer has the low tide conditions we saw 3 weeks ago. Coverage and wind deposition vary season to season. I do not recall skiing this before.
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Coverage has also greatly improved on chair 22, where I skied Avy 1 before calling it a day around 3PM with 19,700 vertical, about 8K of powder.

As predicted Thursday was bluebird and with minimal wind. There had been wind during the storm, as the runouts of the upper runs had been packed quite dense. Fat skis were very helpful to stay on top of the snow in those areas. We skied chair 3 while keeping an eye of the gondola and chair 23. Chair 23 started loading on our second ride up 3. The back of 3 was still closed, but found a gate halfway down West Bowl to cut over via Gremlin’s to 23.

The line for 23 was about 5 minutes so I took some pics of the first tracks up top.
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I first skied Wipe Out 1, good powder in the sheltered chute, then skier’s left of Cornice, wide open to make one’s own tracks. My next two laps were top to bottom via Paranoid 1 and 2. The runouts were a workout, so I rested on a top-to-bottom gondola.

I headed for Dave’s Run, where skier’s left had several turns of excellent powder. Continuing that line gets into shallow snow by lower Rockgarden, so I cut over toward the main bowl of Dave’s. But I was greedy and tried to get a last couple of powder turns and hit submerged rocks. I ejected with a core shot to one ski, bruises to left forearm and right knee and notably a messy cut on my nose, pictured here at the Mill after Liz cleaned it some a couple of hours later.
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I had to stop again at the bottom of Dave’s and twice on Gold Hill to cram snow on my nose, which finally stopped bleeding after about 15 minutes.

While I was skiing the top Liz took Gold Rush and poked around chairs 9 and the lower parts of Lincoln Mountain. We met briefly at 5, where she said the snow near chair 22 was quite soft. After one more run on 9 I went to 22 and found the snow down its liftline via Shaft excellent, including some untracked in the trees lower down. Next I skied Avalanche 2 and cut over at the bottom to meet Liz at the Mill.

We skied to the patrol HQ at Main Lodge to get some bandages. After a run on Gravy Chute we took the gondola to the top to check out the backside. Liz skiing there:
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We had both worked hard, but Liz was willing to take the short walk up from 14 to check out Scotty’s. This tuned out to be a great call. Skier’s left of Scotty’s adjacent to Monument had filled in with soft windsift. I was concerned Liz might think it was too steep, but the snow quality lured her in right away.
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Continuing down to lower Scotty’s:
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This was a great finale.

We rode one last chair 1 to get to the car, where I finished with 23,700 vertical, about 7K of powder. We got on the road just after 4PM. We were in the Cayenne this time so had dinner at the Texas BBQ in Bishop across the street from Schat’s. We went home via 395/I-15 to drop off my core shot ski at Garry’s in Alta Loma. Even though we were not at a peak time, that road is slow going compared to the 14 to L.A. It looks like some of 395 is being widened below the 58 intersection though.
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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, Jan. 9-10, 2019

Postby lono » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:42 am

Nice report and mug shot. Tougher than the average actuary!
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Re: Mammoth, Jan. 9-10, 2019

Postby ChrisC » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:58 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:But I was greedy and tried to get a last couple of powder turns and hit submerged rocks. I ejected with a core shot to one ski, bruises to left forearm and right knee and notably a messy cut on my nose, pictured here at the Mill after Liz cleaned it some a couple of hours later.
P1100108.JPG



Ouch! Tony - do you ski with a helmet?

I always do - especially after many low-tide powder days hitting rocks, stumps and tree routes - and cartwheeling into another obstacle. My worst injuries - broken hand, broken fingers, broken clavicle, etc - have come during these types of conditions. However, the helmet and goggle combo have prevented any head shots. My favorite helmet has a visor on it - so when you are skiing trees - the limbs are deflected. I am taller (6-3) so it's helpful - for trimming taller branches in the forests.
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Re: Mammoth, Jan. 9-10, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:32 pm

I would have taken a visor to prevent that nose gash. I've discussed the helmet issue a few times. I overheat very easily and have been very uncomfortable most of the times I've tried a helmet. It doesn't help that I do a lot of warm weather skiing in the spring and sometimes summer.

I consider myself very fortunate that the injuries were that minor. I have never had a severe rock encounter before. I just picked up the skis from Garry's repair of the core shots.

I'm sure it was complacency being on my home mountain in an area I've skied many times. But no question there are major rock features up there, so on a powder day you should give them a wide berth.
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: 9986
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mammoth, Jan. 9-10, 2019

Postby socal » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:39 pm

FWIW I find a helmet with good venting to be give way more flexibility than a hat. I get hot very easily too and think a helmet keeps you cooler.
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Re: Mammoth, Jan. 9-10, 2019

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:05 pm

The vents can work OK when I'm skiing but not when I'm at rest waiting in line or riding a lift (at least 70% of a ski day). I can take my hat off and stuff it my jacket pocket when it's warm, put it back on when needed. Those who have skied with me see me do this all the time.
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: 9986
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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