Mammoth, April 9-10, 2005

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Mammoth, April 9-10, 2005

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:53 pm

This was the third big powder day I've had at Mammoth on April 9. 1999 was in a class by itself ( http://www.skisocal.org/review/4/9/99/d ... -rating-10). 1994 had more snow but the top was closed for wind. That's what I expected this time, particularly with another desert rainstorm driving up Firday night. The snowbanks in town look like a normal year due to several warm spells, and driving up to the hill Saturday it looked like dust on crust.

It was a different story higher up. Despite intermittent flurries the top opened at 9AM after being closed Friday :-D . Reported new snow was 9 inches but the storm had been very windy, so some areas had blown-off hardpack while others were over a foot deep. After one deliberate run in thick powder on Climax and Dry Creek I went to the car and grabbed the Chubbs for the rest of the day.

I got 4 runs on Chair 23, with the last on Paranoid being the highlight. Due to the deep coverage I then skied a couple of runs (Varmint's Nest, Heuvos Grande from the top) that I had not done since the 1980's. From there I skied down Chair 9, back up and traversed way out Dragon's Back to get some fresh in the trees. After 3 runs on Chair 22 it was 12:45 and I needed a break after 20,600 vertical, half of it powder of varying quality.

I took it slower in the afternoon, except for a day end adventure. I decided to ski the last run OB off the back of Dave's Run down to Twin Lakes and have Richard pick me up at Tamarack Lodge. This was mostly untracked but it faces directly south and was quite heavy by 3:30PM. My objective was to ski through the natural bridge Hole-in-the-Wall, which I had done in 1994 and 1996. The area above the cliffs is forested and hard to navigate, so I followed some powder tracks that led to the lake but unfortunately below the Hole. Still one of the top days of this season: 29,900, 13K of powder.

Sunday the strategy was exact opposite of Saturday's quest for freshies. Any snow that was unconsolidated was very set up, and after the clouds and wind abated in late morning, well-baked. So it made sense to stick to the groomers or popular skier-packed lines. Just to give a plug to Mammoth's management: they didn't groom much upper mountain terrain Friday night, but they groomed a whole lot Saturday night. The only steep runs I skied were Climax, Dave's, Drop Out 2 and one of the Avalanche Chutes as my quads were really cooked from Saturday. But overall I skied another 30,700 and I will break my season record my next day out, possibly this Saturday at Baldy.

Although it wasn't that warm this weekend (10-15 degrees on top early AM, 30's midday), I would say that about 60% of Mammoth softened to spring conditions Sunday. It also snowed 15 inches April 3, but it was 65 degrees on April 6, which accounted for the unexpected hardpack in a few upper mountain locations.
tracks23.JPG
Tracks after Chair 23 has been open about an hour. With wind deposition the tracks were a helpful guide to where the deepest powder was.
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paranoid_pow.JPG
This line on Paranoid was my favorite Saturday. I'm sure these boarders would agree. I didn't do a survey today, but I think the snowboard percent up top was more than the 15% in December.
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paranoid_tracks.JPG
The fresh tracks continue below me to St. Anton.
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paranoid_wide.JPG
Here's wide angle view of the whole Paranoid/Star Chute area. There are no rocks at the top this year.
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huevos.JPG
A skier in Huevos Grande while 4 others wait above. It takes a big year to open this from the top.
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dragonback.JPG
After a long traverse out Dragon's Back from Chair 9, these trees provided the best quality powder (unfortunately overexposed in this pic) of the weekend.
dragonback.JPG (51.73 KiB) Viewed 4017 times
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, April 9-10, 2005

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:16 pm

A few more pics to record this season's maximum coverage for posterity, but first my Saturday afternoon OB run.
mammoth_lakes.JPG
View of the Mammoth Lakes from behind Dave's Run. If you want to make Hole-in-the-Wall you must traverse left into the trees well before the end of the powder tracks below me.
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hole_in_wall.JPG
Hole-in-the-Wall. The boulder field below it faces southeast, so it's advisable to drive up to the lakes and verify that it's covered before trying to ski out there.
hole_in_wall.JPG (29.03 KiB) Viewed 4011 times

main_lodge_deck.JPG
One sign that we'll still be skiing in July is that you can ski directly to the 3rd floor sundeck of the Main Lodge in April. In 1983 the coverage was this deep on May 15.
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varmints.JPG
This view from Chair 23 obscures the usual, and now very wide line through Hangman's. But there is a new narrow opening at left. The wider chute at right with a couple of small rocks in the middle is Varmint's Nest. The only other time I skied that was
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philippes.JPG
Philippe's, as viewed from Chair 12. Much wider than normal.
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lincoln_north.JPG
View from top of Chair 22 toward Climax, Cornice, Chairs 3 and 23.
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lincoln_west.JPG
View from top of 22 of Chair 9 area, Dave's Run, Rockgarden, Huevos, Climax
lincoln_west.JPG (23.71 KiB) Viewed 4009 times
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, April 9-10, 2005

Postby Patrick » Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:25 pm

Beautiful. :cry:

Hope I can go..., but my odds aren't to good right now. :cry:
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re: Mammoth, April 9-10, 2005

Postby Admin » Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:37 pm

What in the world are those structures in the last 2 pics?
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re: Mammoth, April 9-10, 2005

Postby Jonny D » Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:58 am

man I am kicking myself now....
If i had tried to arrange my trip in feb it might have happened, but since i left it too late there just wasn't enough cash... booh for that!

Holy crap that's a lot of snow....
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re: Mammoth, April 9-10, 2005

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:49 am

They are lowered during storms to catch the snow, so the top of Lincoln won't be wind-stripped.
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: 10673
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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