California Spring 2024


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Thread started by a admin from a Mammoth thread post by tseeb.

Without chair 9, does Canyon/Eagle add much besides a shorter drive from some lodging and a couple of runs that face SE and soften earlier than chairs 1 and 2. I realize chair 1 is now closed for replacement which will add more demand for chair 2 parking.

I was thinking about waiting until next week to return to skiing, but saw today that Kirkwood is planning to close Backside next Sunday and run Timber Creek lifts until closing in two weeks so I may try to go later this week + next week.

Another question is how likely will Mammoth stick to Memorial Day closure? I would like to get there, but it's a long drive home after skiing if Sonora Pass if closed. And it's even shorter when Tioga opens and I can take camper Westbound which I would not do on the up to 26% grades from Sonora Pass to Kennedy Meadows.
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Canyon/Eagle includes the expert chair 22 as well as chair 9. The SE facing groomers on chair 25 have a prime corn window in the morning and are not skied that much. We are thus making a point of getting to Mammoth during the upcoming week before all of those lifts close for the season. I would recommend tseeb do the same. Chair 1 is not listed as being closed this weekend, so I'd be surprised if it closes before Canyon/Eagle closes.

Mammoth snowfall is right on season average now. Even if Mammoth is open after Memorial Day this year, earlier is better because:
1) Gondola closes for maintenance for ~3 weeks after Memorial Day.
2) When will chair 2 run out of snow this year? If chair 1 is indeed closed for reconstruction in May, I think the whole mountain may close when Chair 2 is done. Depending on the lower gondola and chair 6 would be awkward. I would definitely avoid weekends in that scenario.

Expecting a window when Mammoth spring skiing is at its best and Tioga is open is not realistic. The deep snowpack seasons where lots is skiable in June are the same ones where Tioga opening is delayed.
I don't see chairs 9, 22 or 25 on Mammoth's Operation Update Facebook post today:

"Canyon and Eagle Lodge along with The Village Gondola will remain open daily through next Sunday, April 21. Canyon Lodge will then re-open for the weekend of April 26-28. With Canyon Express (16) and Schoolyard Express (17) open for skier access.

This week (Mon 4/15 – Sun 4/21) lifts in operation will be Stump Alley (2), Face Lift (3), Roller Coaster (4), High Five (5), Unbound (6), Chair 8, Gold Rush (10), Discovery (11), Eagle (15), Canyon (16), Schoolyard (17), Chair 23, The Village Gondola and the Panorama Gondola. (Wind and weather permitting)"
That is very unusual by Mammoth past practice. Maybe the early Easter is influencing this, as in most years the weeks before and after Easter are school spring breaks. The chair 9 and 25 terrain is all accessible if Canyon and Eagle are open. Chair 22 would require a hike, and it surprises me a lot that it's not open unless it for some reason has lost a lot of snow. Same for chair 14. This is even more bizarre if chair 1 is being shut down already.

Mammoth web page indicate closed lifts that tseeb's post implies, but the runs served by them are listed open. Tomorrow during lift operations should clarify.
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While Mammoth says 151/176 runs open, they closed a lot of lifts for the season yesterday including chair 1 to have replacement done before next season. Thanks for reminder that gondola is closed for maintenance for three weeks after Memorial Day. Still wondering if they will extend season into June as not sure when I'll be able to get there.
I have skied Mammoth during the third week of April during 9 seasons. Only two of them, 1985 and 1988, were in limited operation. In both cases Easter was the first weekend in April, so all California spring breaks were done by the second weekend, as is the case this year. One of those years, 2010, also had Easter first weekend of April but Mammoth was in full operation during the third week. There were two other seasons with Mammoth in full operation during the fourth week of April, but in both of those cases Easter was the third weekend of April. So only one out of 12 seasons, 2010, does not conform to the rule of the last full operation day being the later of:
1) Second weekend of April, and
2) Weekend after Easter.

Even though I'm up there lot in April, it's easy to draw the conclusion that third weekend of April is the end of full operation. In my case I had not seen an earlier date since 1988 until this year. Running Canyon and Eagle will make more terrain accessible than in 1985 or 1988. I have a lot of stats on Mammoth's lift operations, but I do not know a way to find out past operations during weeks I was not there.
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Is Mammoth going to close the same day (5/27) as Palisades Tahoe? They are already running fewer lifts (14). Palisades has 19 scheduled today on Olympic Valley side including Silverado which didn't open until mid-March this season plus 9 more on Alpine side.

Other bad news includes Alpine side of Palisades, Kirkwood, Mt Rose and Sugar Bowl closing on April 28. On April 21, Kirkwood will close Backside which eliminates lift access to Thunder Saddle and runs on either side of it. Kirkwood will continue to run until April 28 Timber Creek chairs 7 and 9 which provide lift access close to parking when lots further up fill and return from further out in their Palisades. Heavenly's lift closures:
April 1: Boulder, North Bowl, First Ride closed for the season.
April 8: Mott and Olympic closed for season.
April 15: Stagecoach, Comet (except for end of day egress), Canyon, Groove chairs close for season. Groove Terrain Park is open through April 21 with access from Patsy’s. Groove chair may operate if needed for end of day egress.
April 15 - 21: Final week operating plan - We will operate Gondola, Tamarack, Dipper, Sky, Powderbowl, Patsy’s, Gunbarrel, Tram, with the Gondola open for sightseeing and ski/ride access. Groove Terrain Park is open with access from Patsy’s chair.

Northstar and many other Tahoe/CA areas closed 4/21.
From OpenSnow Tahoe:
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The disastrous November/December plus the early Easter no doubt influenced Mammoth's seasonal layoff starting Monday. The bad early season also likely prevented Mammoth from booking race camps past Memorial Day. Whether that part changed after the dramatic improvement in February, I have no idea. Tahoe closures look consistent with recent average seasons, of which there are few in the Sierra.

In SoCal, Snow Valley and Bear Mt. closed Sunday with Snow Summit and Mt. High open at least another week. Both are 80+% open, unusual for this late but February/March snow was abundant. Baldy is open to April 28, closed Tue/Wed.
Not having chair 1 seriously degrades the logistics of race camps. I'll be surprised if Mammoth is open after Memorial Day. Racers may be there, but if only chair 3 is usable for them Mammoth will not be open for public skiing according to ski patrol.
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The other big issue after Memorial Day is that is when the gondola is down for about 3 weeks of annual maintenance. With both chair 1 and the gondola down, it will be difficult for Mammoth to operate for public skiing. It would be essential for chair 2 to be open and Stump Alley to be skiable.
Maybe a better title would be CA Spring 2024. Seems like Palisades is trying hard this Spring to have more than Mammoth. Lifts scheduled for today at Mammoth 8 + gondola vs. 15 at Palisades + Funitel & Tram and 6 at Alpine (counting Subway and Meadow, but not counting carpet or Base to Base Gondola that does provide skiing on KT). They did lose Silverado at Palisades and Scott at Alpine last weekend.
Posted yesterday on Facebook with link to Operations Update. I don't remember them ever opening earlier in day.
Sunday, April 28th is Alpine’s Closing Day.
At Palisades, Resort Chair and Red Dog will close on the 28th as well.
Starting Monday, April 29th, Palisades will be open daily from 8am-2pm.
KT-22 will stay open ’til it can’t anymore. With the current state of the snowpack, we’re hoping it will make it through the week of the 29th.
The word now is that Mammoth will close when chair 2 closes. For the first time I see a stockpile of snow being prepared to keep the base of chair 2 open.

Is this necessary to keep chair 2 running to Memorial Day? Based upon my past visits, no. Memorial Day is generally the final day for chair 2 in average seasons, which this one is. But the stockpile makes sense with the chair 1 closure as chair 2 will get more traffic than normal this May.

The best guess around here is that Memorial Day will still be the end due to gondola maintenance plus no chair 1.

Seems like Palisades is trying hard this Spring to have more than Mammoth.
Palisades consistently overpromises and underdelivers late season operations. With KT-22, Headwall, Siberia and Granite Chief open, I would say Palisades has more terrain open than Mammoth right now. That will not be true once KT-22 closes. I would be surprised if Headwall and Granite Chief make it to Memorial Day. Everything Mammoth has open now should remain open for the next 4 weeks with the possible exception of chair 4.
After closing Alpine side and Red Dog and Resort chairs plus Base to Base gondola (provides access to KT) and a minor lift or two, Palisades is down to 11 lifts including Funitel and Tram while Manmoth has 8 chairs plus Lower and Upper gondola. Does that count as 9 or 10? Not sure that snowmelt will force closure after this weekend, but wind and lack of visibility from storm on Sat. will likely close some upper lifts.
Palisades reports 6” new at base and up to 26” at top. “Expect delayed openings due to snow safety.” KT was the only lift running on Saturday and Alexzn said it was awful.

I80 had chain control and Eastbound closed for a while due to spinouts. We are running heat this morning for first time in weeks.

Mammoth reported 10-12” new and 6 degrees at Summit this morning.
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1-2' coming to Snowbird/Solitude/Brighton between May 5-8. I'm taking today off because it's going to start very heavy/wet, but sounds like it could get colder and better 6th-8th..
Mammoth reported 10-12” new and 6 degrees at Summit this morning.
I'm not sure how much powder I'd expect considering Saturday's winds were so high that only chair 21 was open.

I'd say jimk has a good shot at powder in Utah. Unfortunately Snowbird has not been running the Peruvian chair midweek.
Peruvian Express and Peruvian Tunnel will be closed Monday, May 6, through Thursday, May 9.
They should make an exception for the big powder days but past history says they will not and the tram line will be a junkshow. At least you have Little Cloud and Mineral Basin once you get up the mountain.

Only Crest lift is open at Brighton. More is open at Solitude but no Summit or Honeycomb.
Palisades filled their parking and had some big lines. First two photos are from SkiTalk. Part of Funitel line.

KT22 line taken after it started loading.

Photo from friend who lives a couple of miles N of Truckee. On Fri he told me he was only expecting 2” @6K. I told him OpenSnow said 4-8” for Central @6K. He got 12.
Official announcement today from Mammoth:
We're wrapping up the season a bit earlier this year on Monday, May 27. Why? To ensure that our summer construction projects are completed smoothly for an even better experience on the slopes next season. There are 20 days left to get your last turns for the 23/24 winter season.
Not a surprise, as it's hard to envision late spring operation without chair 1 AND the gondola.