I had not planned to go to Mammoth until next week, but I found out Garry was in Bishop in his RV for most of this week. So I couldn’t resist getting in a couple of extra days at Mammoth.
Mammoth like most of the West had a big warmup last week. Any precipitation this week was well north of the Sierra, but there was significant wind, which I believe creates lenticular clouds after flowing over mountains.
Even though it was sunny with highs in the mid-40s, the wind kept some of last week’s softened snow frozen, similar to James’ and EMSC’s recent reports from Colorado. Fortunately there was more than enough terrain with good snow conditions to keep us entertained all day long.
On both days we got on the mountain about 9:15AM and wind while booting up in the chair 2 parking lot warned us what to expect. We assessed conditions on Main Lodge area groomers. Broadway and Stump Alley were on the firm side but likely to soften within an hour or so. The lower race course runs were open Wednesday
morning and being steeper and more sheltered were much more hardpacked. We next rode 23 to Cornice, which was groomed packed powder and we later found Scotty's similar. The Face of 3 was a bit firmer than Cornice and it was easy to see that ungroomed snow on 3 was solidly frozen.
After 10AM I judged it was time to ski the most direct sun exposed areas on chairs 9 and 25. The chair 25 groomers had peak corn conditions between 10:30 and 11AM. Gold Hill from Chair 9 was similar on its lower 3/4 but the top part was in the wind and still hardpacked. On Wednesday we skied down to Eagle, slushy at the bottom and busy with spring break families.
We moved through Canyon Lodge and chair 4 by now also in spring mode to chair 5. Coyote faces partially east and was soft but aside from groomed Solitude the rest of chair 5 remained firm. I linked the most direct north facing lines and all had some degree of refrozen snow. Chair 5 had the best snow on the mountain two weeks ago but now it needs either more snow or a warm day without wind to soften. Given the conditions on chair 5 I was not tempted to try chair 22, view here.
We then moved to chair 23, where fortunately the top retained the last winter snow on the mountain. Riding 23 it was easy to see that the smoothest and softest windbuff was under the Dropouts.
So we skied that to St. Anton and a less than 10 minute gondola line. We ate lunch on the gondola but were reprimanded for doing that while passing through McCoy Station even though no one else was in the gondola with us. We skied Dave's Run, which also had smooth windbuff, but in narrower lines with a bit less loose snow on top.
We returned to chair 23 for an encore on Drop Out 3, then skied off the backside about 2PM as the wind gusts were getting stronger. Garry had enjoyed pristine corn on 15 Tuesday, but we were sandblasted on most of upper Roadrunner. Below Roadrunner was sheltered and had the smooth corn cruising on Arriba that Garry had touted.
After two runs on 14 we hiked up to Scotty's about 2:45PM and noticed that chair 23 had closed. The Scotty's to St. Anton run was excellent but when we arrived at Main Lodge chair 1 was also closed. So there was a 10 minute line on chair 6 and after we noticed chair 3 was also closed, we called it a day with 27,700 vertical.Thursday
did not have the more extreme gusts of Wednesday afternoon, but it was consistently windy most of the day and the degree to which snow softened was very similar. Thus we skied an almost identical morning: warmup groomers on chairs 1-3 and Cornice, followed by 4 corn runs on chairs 9 and 25.
We moved to chair 23 and skied Drop Out 3 again. But today I wanted to check out the more sketchy Wipe Out side of chair 23 also.
These skiers are in Wipe Out 1 but I later skied the slightly wider Wipe Out 2. The ridge between the two Wipe Outs is unusually exposed for this early in the spring.
Here's the view across to the Paranoids.
I took the same traverse out to Paranoid 1 as in March. Monument was a solid refrozen mess and there are plenty of rocks below: definitely DFU. Fortunately Paranoid 1 was smooth chalk, though narrow and with minimal loose snow on top.
With improved weather the gondola line on Thursday was 15 minutes, perhaps twice what it was Wednesday.
We again skied Dave's Run and on the return to 23 I skied Wipe Out 2, good on the steeps and I traversed out to Scotty's when I got to the still frozen apron below. Returning to 23 the junior GS races were still in progress.
A racer is next to one of the blue flags.
On Thursday the wind eased at 2PM instead of strengthening, so the snow on Red's Lake Run was soft though somewhat irregular. We again skied the corn on Arriba twice and returned to Main Lodge via Scotty's.
We made it into a late gondola, so I tried Climax per Staley's recommendation.
Staley wrote:Climax—it skied better than it looked.
That was accurate. The upper part was soft chalk as good as Dave's. There were more rocks but the they were big and well spaced.
Staley wrote:perfect corn on climax...
Not on Thursday with the wind. When the pitch eased below the rocks it was frozen solid so I traversed out skier's left.
It was now past 3PM so the racers were finally done. While riding chair 3 we got a good view of the last skiers on Cornice and below the Dropouts.
We skied World Cup and Terry's where the racers had been and it was butter smooth ego corn cruising all the way. So we took an encore World Cup, this time skiing Fascination which had been roped off for a different race training session and was in equally ideal condition at the end of the day. So it was almost 4PM when we finished with 32,200 vertical, my first day over 30K since June 8, 2019.
I did not ski with Garry Friday as I had other plans. I was 15 minutes late picking up Adam at 10PM Thursday after he had taken the train up from San Diego. Friday was the first day fans were admitted to Dodger Stadium since 2019 and we wanted to be there for the World Series ring ceremony.
Clayton Kershaw waving to fans on the way to get his ring:
Justin Turner receiving his ring:
Scoreboard closeup display of ring designs:
Unveiling of Dodgers 7th championship sign:
Jet flyover after national anthem: