Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:09 am
On Tuesday morning I went to Footloose at 8:15AM. In March I had tried on the new Lange XT3 boots in the same 26.5 size as my 2011 vintage RX100’s. My larger right foot was cramped and that was without my cork footbeds. The cork footbeds often do not work with more recent boot designs, but with the next size up 27.5 the XT3’s were amazingly comfortable right out of the box. So I bought them on the spot and got on the hill at chair 2 at 9:45.
The adverse weather arrived Tuesday as forecast, along with Tseeb and Lucia. Tuesday was still clear but it was a windy morning with just the top closed but predicted to worsen by 2PM. I headed to 25 right away, estimating correctly that 10AM would be when it went into corn mode. Lucia on Quicksilver:
Tseeb lower down:
After a second run on 25, the wind closed the lift so we had to ski down to Eagle. With the wind Eagle was not as sloppy as on the calm days. Riding Eagle we saw 25 was still moving. It remained closed but 9 was still open so we got in two runs on Gold Hill. The top of Gold Hill was firm but not as much as last week.
We again skied to Eagle and got this shot of the old top-of-Mammoth sign which was purchased by this homeowner in an auction.
We skied a nice run on Bridges, then rode 15 one last time and skied to Canyon about noon. 16 had now been closed by the wind so we had to use 17 and when we got to the top of 17, 4 was also shut so the only way back to our cars was by bus shuttle.
The Seebachs took the shuttle then while I skied back to Canyon to get more info. The board at Canyon showed only chairs 15, 8, 17, 21and 11 open, a true blow down event. View from 17 of the idle chair 16 and a considerable number of people in the background at chair 8.
Andrew was working chair 8 Tuesday and he said it too closed by 1PM. So I took 17 to the bus shuttle and called it an early day with 10,000 vertical.
I had a busy afternoon for varied reasons, but I got back to Footloose for minor tweaks and to get two other pair of skis checked out for the new boots. My 2020 Bonafides and my DPS powder skis were successfully adjusted. My 12 year old K2 Recons have a Marker binding not compatible with the GripWalk soles of the XT3 boots, so I’ll need to use the old boots with those skis.
Wednesday was overcast so strictly a groomer day. The possible snow showers turned out to be an intense snowfall from 10:30 – 11:15AM. I met the Seebachs just after 9AM and I warmed up on Powder Bowl, Broadway and Face and back of 3 though they had a few runs before I got there.
We took Gold Rush to the Canyon side of the mountain, which skied better due to a less hard subsurface. The snow began as we rode chair 8. I had to switch to goggles and after skiing Bridges to Eagle I went inside in to upgrade my mid-layer. We skied 3 runs on chair 8 terrain, ending here by chair 22 just as the snow stopped and the cloud lifted some.
With the better weather I thought Quicksilver down to chair 25 was worth a try, Lucia on that.
The new snow mixed in with the partially softened subsurface skied well about ¾ of the time, but you needed to be prepared for the occasional hidden firm spot.
We skied Wall Street back to the Mill where Lucia called it a day. I decided to show Tseeb chair 12, where he had never skied. We had to use chair 11 to get there because racers were using nearly all of Lower St. Anton. The race course was originally set partway up Cornice, but with the cloud and fog the top lifts never opened. Due to the tedious access chair 12 had few people so the new snow had improved its groomers.
On the way back we skied a run on Fascination, which had been corn perfection on Monday and last Thursday afternoons. Today its steep upper pitch had a rock hard subsurface though the flatter runout skied well in the new snow.
I finished about 1:45 with 20,400 vertical.
This is the last week of 100% operation at Mammoth. After Sunday the Canyon/Eagle side of the mountain will close and probably the backside chair 14 area too. In the adverse weather Tuesday/Wednesday we spent at least half our time on the Canyon/Eagle side where the snow softened more. After this week you'll want good weather to be skiing only out of Main Lodge or the Mill.
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:43 pm
I have a few pictures to add. I could have stayed at Tahoe where 10-12" was reported on afternoon/evening of 4/13 at Mt Rose and friends skied 7-8" new at Northstar on 4/14 (Heavenly had 5" and since storm was mostly E of Tahoe Alpine, Squaw and Sugar Bowl all reported 2-3"). But with the winds we had at Mammoth, and sign I saw said high profiles vehicles and campers were Prohibited on 395 Wed afternoon, I was at Mammoth. Pictures all from 4/14 starting with new snow falling on top of the brown snow @Eagle base @1042.
My wife skiing the 1-2" new on chair 8. Tony Crocker airing it out in the powder on chair 8. And he landed it. Not sure if I took this picture for the Tips Up! Mask Up! sign or just to show we rode, but did not ski chair 22. This was at 1130.