Mammoth, CA, Apr. 17-19, 2024

Tony Crocker

Staff member
We did not get an early start, about 9:45. This was no loss as the morning was overcast and the whole day was windy, 10-15mph with gusts to 30. Thus we started out Gold Rush, skiing off the back and spent the whole morning on Canyon/Eagle.

Skiing Back for More and turning left at every fork will get you past the top of chair 15 and back to Canyon. Quicksilver/lower Gold Hill goes to chair 9 and in the morning had the best corn, though you must ski down to Eagle. We skied the Juniper and Christmas Tree runs while at Eagle. I looked at the top of Gold Hill from 5 but it was ungroomed and frozen solid, which informed my view to stay on the lower Canyon and Eagle runs.

After a few runs on 4 and 16, the sun finally emerged after noon. We crossed the mountain to chair 2 by 1PM and found Silver Tip and Terry’s in corn mode and smooth as they had probably been frozen granular most of the morning. We rode the gondola to Cornice, pleasantly finding mostly groomed winter snow with just a trace of softening.




This held up well the rest of the day. Gremlin’s/Lower St. Anton had been used all morning for racing so was corn perfection. We thus took a gondola encore of Cornice/Gremlin’s/St. Anton .

I ventured off the groomed to Drop Out 3, where the steepest part had just a touch of melt freeze and was firm, while the apron below had good spring snow. This area and much of 23’s steeps will ski very nicely on a day with more sun.

I took a third Cornice run and moved to chair 3, where the Face and liftline were excellent just after 3PM. I skied off the back to 5. Sliver was not quite as smooth as 3, so I called it a day with 26,100 vertical as I have two more days and hopefully will get to ski more runs off the top.

Crowds were very light, so groomed snow did not get clumpy from excess traffic, either at Canyon/Eagle in the morning or on the mid mountain runs in the afternoon. The gondola line with chair 1 down was only once a little more than 5 minutes. Chair 3 at 3PM:

View down Chair 5 area at 3:15:
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Thursday dawned sunny, and with the clear night the overnight freeze was firmer than Wednesday, part of that being our getting on the hill at 9AM. Unloading area of chair 2 was then solid frozen granular, moderating only when Stump Alley rolled over to its steeper pitch. So it was obvious to take Gold Rush to the Canyon/Eagle side. The lower Gold Hill run was even better corn than Wednesday so we took another lap even though it’s a 3 chair circuit.


While there were only patchy clouds, the wind was more pervasive than Wednesday, so we took a couple of corn laps on Manzanita and Bridges from chair 15. After laps on 16 and 4, we left that area at 11:15, an hour and 15 minutes earlier than on Wednesday. From 2 we skied Rusty’s and lower Broadway, still somewhat firm. We then rode Chair 6 and skied Stump Alley which was probably at its best for the day.

We took 2 to gondola mid-station, noticing that the racers were done with Gremlin’s/St. Anton. Those runs were every bit the perfect corn as the day before. Cornice was still good too, but with the more consistent wind and skier traffic, the entry got a bit scraped by our 3rd lap. Looking back up Hangman’s is still glazed.

So that time we skied Andy’s and took a lunch break from 1:30-2:00PM. It was evident the upper steeps and chairs 3 and 5 would not soften any earlier than on Wednesday, so I wanted to be skiing those late in the day. Chair 1 excavation when we left lunch:

After lunch we rode the gondola, intending to ski Road Runner to Scotty’s. But the ungroomed backside was in corn mode by then so we dropped in there.


We traversed into the mid-section Road Runner, but diverted a short uphill to the top of chair 12.

From there we skied back to Main Lodge via deserted Critters.

Liz got around the construction, rode 6 and skied to the car. I took the gondola up top and tested Dave’s Run about 3:10. View NE toward McCoy Station from top of Dave’s:

Snow had softened adequately although the run was not entirely smooth. View up Dave’s after skiing it:

From there I skied on to 5 and took laps on Face of 5 and Triangle to Dry Creek. A couple of skiers in Upper Dry Creek:

After one last ride on 5, I crossed to 3 and took one lap on Face of 3, then Mambo to the car. I finished 4PM with 28,300 vertical.
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We got out about 10 minutes earlier than on Thursday. The overnight freeze was lighter than Thursday as evidenced by our first run on Stump Alley. It was sunny with only thin clouds but still windy in the morning. As on Thursday we took two laps through the corn on lower Gold Hill, but did not linger on chair 15. To no surprise Friday was much busier than the prior two days and we had occasional 5 minute lift lines. Groomer snow was not smooth for as long with more skier traffic, so our one lap on chair 16 was lesser skied Spring Canyon.

After a lap on 4 we moved back to the Main Lodge area via chair 2. The lower race course runs Rusty’s, Fascination and Andy’s were in peak corn mode 11AM even though they had still been firm at 11:30 Thursday. Liz below those runs:

The Far West Super G Finals are Friday-Sunday, so Gremlin’s/St. Anton was roped off later than on the prior 2 days.

Nonetheless Cornice to World Cup to those lower race runs were still outstanding.

The big plus vs. Wednesday/Thursday was that the wind finally let up by noon. We were shocked how calm it was at the top of the gondola at 11:45 as we had wind in our face riding chairs 10, 16 and 2 all morning. So at last most of the upper steeps softened. We finally rode chair 23, confident in at least skiing Scotty’s, which Liz did. But I saw several people in the Drop Outs and so skied Drop Out 1. While taking my suck wind break I noticed that the racers were done and hit that groomer corn on Gremlin’s/St. Anton. From my next gondola I skied Climax to chair 3, then took another lap on Gremlin’s/St. Anton.

The gondola line at the base was getting to the stairs, so I crossed to chair 6, then used 2 to get to 23. I took an excellent lap on Drop Out 3, then skied Scotty’s to my final gondola, boarding it about 2:15. Cross section view of chair 23 from top of Scotty’s:

Skiers were just venturing into the Wipe Out side of chair 23 after 1:30. It looked edgeable but they still made some noise. So I was content with the Drop Out side in peak spring conditions.

My last run was Dave’s to Sanctuary to the Mill, where Liz was on the phone with her friend Natalie who lives in Montreal and saw the April 8 eclipse from close to home.

I skied 26,500 Friday. The 80,800 for 3 days was the most since Austria in March 2022.
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