Mammoth, CA, May 13-14, 2024

Tony Crocker

Staff member
Ski surfaces were somewhat the opposite of our prior trips this spring which had hard overnight freezes. There was minimal if any freeze, aside from runs which had been salted, mainly Stump Alley, Broadway and runs used by the racers: World Cup and Gremlin’s/St.Anton. Face of 3 and Cornice were close to corn mode by 9AM both days. Both days had sunny mornings with some clouds by 11AM and mostly overcast by 12:30. The direct chair 23 runs remained deserted all day Monday.

Though Monday was more overcast we had occasional sprinkles after 1PM on Tuesday. On Monday the rain was mostly from 5:30-6:30pm though we heard that it started earlier on the mountain.

The two days were very similar. We skied 8:20 – 1:20 Monday and 8:10 -1:10 Tuesday, when Tseeb joined us. We skied the usual Stump Alley warmup, then took chair 3 to Coyote which softens earliest.

Then came two chair 5’s for a Coyote encore and Solitude. From the top of 5 we noticed that Crowley Lake in the distance has an unusual arm stretching north this spring.

Upper Solitude was already quite soft in contrast to it being still firm in the morning on the April ski days and ideal corn May 1.

Returning to chair 2, Stump Alley had ideal corn around 9:30 Tuesday but was a bit less smooth half an hour later Monday. We skied Rusty’s/lower Broadway in good corn both days to the gondola, loading it first 10:15 Monday and 9:45 Tuesday. On Tuesday you could confuse Mammoth with the Alps due to the 3 busloads of Indian tourists.

Both days were close to perfect corn on Cornice to World Cup to Andy’s and Fascination.


The latter two runs were not used by racers or many other people due to the chair 1 construction, thus retaining exceptional snow quality.

Noticing the lack of freezing I tried Climax on Monday and learned firsthand why the upper ungroomed runs were still seeing few skiers. Last week’s foot of powder was in most places not sufficiently consolidated. I needed to move skier’s left to skier packed moguls for a supportable subsurface. From the top of Climax Monday we could see the top of a controlled burn.

By Tuesday the smoke from the ongoing burn has drifted considerably.

Next on Monday Liz and I skied upper Roadrunner to Scotty’s, which was in good form including the groomed diversion through Bristlecone to get around the racers on Lower St. Anton. This sign marks the cutoff to get to the bottom of St. Anton.

On Tuesday with Tseeb we skied Cornice/World Cup again to ride chair 23 and inspect its terrain more closely. Upper Drop Out looked more inviting but led to narrow skier packed moguls surrounded by unconsolidated snow. We saw skiers traverse out below the rocks all the way to Cornice. Wipe Out 1 is steeper but the skier packed line looked wider. We all skied bumped up Skyline to a Scotty’s run that was overall better than on Monday, again likely due to being half an hour earlier.

On both days the racer ropes dropped by the time we got up the gondola again. So from Cornice we skied Gremlin’s/St. Anton, which was not as consistent corn on Monday as in April, but improved Tuesday.

World Cup was used for racing Monday, so Liz and I hit that next, moving on to Terry’s, which gets the spring sun last of the lower runs. We used chairs 6 and 2 for a run on Face of 3. On our earlier trips it looked like the Unbound halfpipe was being dismantled to become a snow stockpile, but the lower part has been reconstructed with airbag landings.

The snow stockpile at the base of Stump Alley has been spread out also. It’s likely those stockpiles became unnecessary with last week’s foot of new snow combined with the hard Memorial Day closing. Lower towers of chair 1 have already been removed.

On Monday I finally went off the back of 3and through the chair 5 area via Sliver while Liz skied Upper Dry Creek.

She had some skier packed moguls while much of what I skied was unconsolidated. We called it a day at 1:20 with 23,000 vertical.

On Tuesday after Gremlin’s /St. Anton we used chairs 6 and 2 to get to 23. Liz took a Scotty’s encore while Tseeb and I skied Wipe Out. I was correct in my assessment. Snow had been skier packed and skied like a typical good late spring day in most seasons. The lower apron was stickier but had had enough traffic to be manageable. Tseeb and I took one last gondola and skied Cornice to chair 3 where we met Liz. I skied down the chair 3 liftline while they skied the West Bowl moguls.

We skied down Stump Alley, Liz and I finishing with 23,400 vertical and spent about half an hour tailgating with Kirk and his Mammoth spring friends. We are done with Mammoth for the season as we will be in New York and my 50th Princeton reunion during its final week open.
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I started not much after 735 after leaving So. Tahoe about 445 with a stop for $4.22 regular in Minden (it’s $6.99 in Bridgeport) and a coffee and at very smoky rest stop just before Scenic Route turnoff to Mammoth to brush my teeth.

I’d skied two Stumps and a Cornice before meeting up with Tony and Liz at top of chair 2. My SkiTracks counted 25,870 vertical. My last gondola run was Climax where I followed Tony’s advice skiing left side of bumps in main/left exit. Far left exit had narrow choke that I saw someone enter.

Some photos of @Tony Crocker in Wipe Out.