Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Moderator: Tony Crocker

Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:31 am

Andrew will be a liftie at Mammoth this season. He started training this week but he had to report to HR Sunday. They wanted a second form of ID besides his driver's license. #-o

This gave me an excuse to go up there, but Dec. 1 was still a challenging day. We got up at 5AM in Florida to catch our flight home. We got to the house before noon, but there were few things to sort out and pack before I left for Mammoth about 2PM. Liz stayed home and I got to Mammoth about 7:30.

It is definitely warm for December, already 37 in town at 8AM. I drove up to chair 2 about 9:30 and the lot was full so I parked across the street from it. Base of chair 2:
IMG_8147.JPG

This would normally be a nothing line at a high speed quad, but it was about 5 minutes with most chairs going up with one or two people. I only had a couple of other lines as long as this later.

I skied to the admin building, showed them Andrew's birth certificate so he was good to go. He gets an Alterra Pass so I will get refunded his Ikon.

Temps were in the 40's with no wind, so I wore no hat and a standard paper mask as I had for spring ski days at Baldy and A-Basin. I have a cloth mask for colder weather.

There are about 9 open distinct runs, all of which I skied at least twice. Broadway and the Unbound Park are open in front of Main Lodge. You can go around the back of chair 1 to Silvertip and Rusty's, but Andy's is the only race course run with grooming and snowmaking as yet.
IMG_8165.JPG

Andy's is at right and was roped off for racers even when I was last there at 1:45. Fascination at left was the only run I skied on only natural snow. You needed to hold a line skier's left to avoid rocks and shrubs but the snow was chalky without the underlying manmade base evident elsewhere.

Mammoth's local kid's program seems alive and well here, regrouping near the base of closed chair 23.
IMG_8163a.JPG

I saw other kid's groups elsewhere.

Chair 3 was open, but only to ski off the back. Here's the view down the front to the unfrozen snowmaking reservoir near McCoy Station.
IMG_8157.JPG

You can see two blue poles with brown spots at their bases. Those are round pieces of wood about the size of manhole covers, presumably sheltering snowmaking hookups.

Riding 3 I got this view of the Cornice with a line of snowmaking towers down its shaded center.
IMG_8142a.JPG

Normally Cornice opens fairly early on; I'm not sure if priorities will change this year.

Climax viewed from the back of 3 has a long way to go.
IMG_8146.JPG

The upper gondola was open for scenic rides.

West Bowl in foreground got bumped up over Thanksgiving weekend. I was not tempted as there are probably rocks in the troughs of many of those moguls.
IMG_8156.JPG

The Paranoids and Minarets are in background.

Chairs 10 and 4 were also open with one run each. Over Thanksgiving Schoolyard and chair 17 were temporarily open to allow parking access from Canyon Lodge. From chair 10 you have to exit around to the right to lower Solitude, view up from there.
IMG_8151.JPG

Snowmaking has started on upper Solitude, and when it's done chair 5 can open. The rocky far left background is Dave's Run.

View down lower Solitude/Easy Rider to the chair 2 base:
IMG_8159.JPG


You can also cut skier's right to chair 4 and Rollercoaster.
IMG_8153.JPG

The run is very wide at the bottom because they haven't started building South Park yet.

Andrew's training group was at the base of chair 4.
IMG_8160.JPG

He is at far right.

From the top of 4 is a view of chair 5 terrain.
IMG_8154a.JPG

Only Solitude will be skiable when it opens. Triangle and Dry Creek at center right are nearly solid rock.

I finished at 2PM with 21,900 vertical. This really felt like a warmup day. Step aerobics have been my best ski training since 1990 and the gyms have been closed since the March shutdown. I also have a case of "beach foot," with my boot buckles at a low setting that never needed to be tightened. I did not wear shoes for four months this summer and sometimes since when I'm mostly at home. I noticed this one other opening day in 2016 after we had spent a month in sandals in Thailand.

The grooming was to good standard and coverage was fine as long as you did not stray to the far edges of runs. Only on a short section of Easy Rider did I see any "floater" rocks. Skier traffic was not excessive but enough to scrape down the surface a little. But midday the subsurface was not all that slick in these temperatures. And with the low sun angle the only softening was at the bases of chairs 1&2 and the south facing exit off the back of 3. Overall it was similar to a typical Big Bear mid-to late December day in terms of both open runs and surface conditions, though at Big Bear some of the runs would be shorter.

The crystal clear weather does mean the temperatures get down at night with max relative humidity 36%. Mammoth patrol site showed a high of 51F today with 8 of the past 24 hours below freezing. Time will tell how much snowmaking progress can be made with this weather that will probably persist for two weeks.

Even though I was not in the Tesla this time, I checked out the new superchargers in Bishop.
IMG_8168.JPG

There are 12 of the new fast v3's. This will add some efficiency to future trips as we often stop in Bishop anyway for Schat's bakery, which is about half a mile north of the chargers. In future seasons Bishop's dining options are probably better than Lone Pine's.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10751
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby Sbooker » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:28 pm

So your lad is doing a season as a liftie.
Is this a career break type thing? In between college and another degree? Or has he been out in the workforce before now.
Either way I’m sure it will be a fun time for him.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:52 pm

Andrew has been in somewhat of a "failure to launch" situation. He was going to a junior college near his mother's place and does not think he can handle the remote learning scenario. He has been at my house since early April doing not much of anything, though it was good for him to be there for the 3 1/2 months that I was not over the summer.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10751
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby Sbooker » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:42 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Andrew has been in somewhat of a "failure to launch" situation. He was going to a junior college near his mother's place and does not think he can handle the remote learning scenario. He has been at my house since early April doing not much of anything, though it was good for him to be there for the 3 1/2 months that I was not over the summer.


I think I got a bit confused. I have heard you speak of your son the skier prior to now but I think that is Adam who must be older than Andrew.
Good luck to Andrew. I know I would rather be where he is rather than where I am right now. Very warm and humid here but it refuses to rain despite being our usual wet season.
Sbooker
 
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:29 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia
Location: Brisbane Australia

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:37 am

sbooker wrote:I think I got a bit confused. I have heard you speak of your son the skier prior to now but I think that is Adam who must be older than Andrew.

Yes, Adam is a mechanical engineer, lives in San Diego. He worked for a energy storage startup for 5 years, but now is at ASML, which manufacturers leading edge computer chips. He has been working from home since March.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10751
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby baldyskier » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:24 am

Tony, you continue to raise the bar in your trip reports. Thanks again for continuing to post your thorough recaps with lots of pictures. Re. Ski prep workouts, this one has helped me. Don't start too aggressively or you'll have trouble walking for a couple of days: https://www.backcountry.com/explore/tra ... ine-skiing
Re. getting hot on less than cold days, wouldn't it work to dress lighter (just a windbreaker if necessary) to make up for the heating effects of wearing a helmet? Protecting your most valuable asset seems like a "no brainer".
User avatar
baldyskier
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:51 pm

Liz and I have occasional Zoom workouts with a trainer from the gym she used to use. The lunge exercises do make you feel the burn the next day. The video demo is at a far faster pace than we do, so maybe we should pick that up. At our ages, jump squats/lunges are probably not a great idea for our knees.

I read a long time ago that something like 40% of body heat can be lost through your head. Covering/uncovering your head is the most efficient way to regulate temperature. Mammoth, with relatively mild temperatures but very high wind in exposed locations, is Exhibit A of going back and forth between warm and cold multiple times per day. So I learned 40 years ago to wear a relatively lightweight waterproof/breathable jacket with a hood that could be pulled up over head and hat when in the wind, then flipped down when skiing below the wind exposure.

I have the world's worst temperature regulation metabolism. I overheat at the drop of a hat, routinely break a sweat with very mild exercise. A ventilated helmet works fine when skiing groomers and not exerting a lot of effort. But I will start sweating when skiing strenuously (which generally means slower speed and thus less effective ventilation) and particularly when I come to a stop to get in line and ride a lift. Removing a helmet every time you get to the bottom of the hill is not the same as taking off a hat and stuffing it in your pocket for awhile.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10751
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Dec 05, 2020 2:56 pm

baldyskier wrote: wouldn't it work to dress lighter (just a windbreaker if necessary) to make up for the heating effects of wearing a helmet? Protecting your most valuable asset seems like a "no brainer".

Give it up; he'll never wear a helmet.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3698
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ + Denver, CO

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby berkshireskier » Sat Dec 05, 2020 3:44 pm

baldyskier wrote:Tony, you continue to raise the bar in your trip reports. Thanks again for continuing to post your thorough recaps with lots of pictures. Re. Ski prep workouts, this one has helped me. Don't start too aggressively or you'll have trouble walking for a couple of days: https://www.backcountry.com/explore/tra ... ine-skiing
Re. getting hot on less than cold days, wouldn't it work to dress lighter (just a windbreaker if necessary) to make up for the heating effects of wearing a helmet? Protecting your most valuable asset seems like a "no brainer".



Yea, I'm a big believer in wearing a helmet (and I have been doing so for at least 15 years) but there is some statistical evidence that it may not really prevent serious head injuries among the skiing population:

https://www.vpr.org/post/dartmouth-hitc ... s#stream/0

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3989528/
berkshireskier
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby baldyskier » Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:35 pm

berkshireskier wrote:
baldyskier wrote:Tony, you continue to raise the bar in your trip reports. Thanks again for continuing to post your thorough recaps with lots of pictures. Re. Ski prep workouts, this one has helped me. Don't start too aggressively or you'll have trouble walking for a couple of days: https://www.backcountry.com/explore/tra ... ine-skiing
Re. getting hot on less than cold days, wouldn't it work to dress lighter (just a windbreaker if necessary) to make up for the heating effects of wearing a helmet? Protecting your most valuable asset seems like a "no brainer".



Yea, I'm a big believer in wearing a helmet (and I have been doing so for at least 15 years) but there is some statistical evidence that it may not really prevent serious head injuries among the skiing population:

https://www.vpr.org/post/dartmouth-hitc ... s#stream/0

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3989528/

The Summary of the 2nd study was clearly pro helmets:

“Summary
The use of safety helmets clearly decreases the risk and severity of head injuries as compared to non-helmeted participants in skiing and snowboarding. The beneficial effects of helmets are not negated by unintended risks as their use does not appear to increase the risk of neck or cervical spine injury as compared to non-helmeted participants in skiing and snowboarding. The use of safety helmets also does not appear to increase the risk of compensation behavior as compared to non-helmeted participants in skiing and snowboarding. Therefore, helmets are strongly recommended during recreational skiing and snowboarding. Limitations in current studies have been highlighted and need to be appropriately addressed in future investigations on the subject”.
User avatar
baldyskier
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:13 am

I've lost count how many times my bell was rung by low-hanging branches when skiing in trees, especially in the northeast, and can't imagine what would've happened if I hadn't been wearing a helmet. The few people who refuse to wear them these days aren't moved by studies.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3698
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ + Denver, CO

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby ShiftyRider » Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:42 pm

FWIW a manufacturer (Boeing?) studied if plane crashes would be less fatal if all the seats pointed aft? It wasn't even close. It hasn't been done tho, cuz people just don't like it. Additionally I have a theory that if the ski helmet were worn as soon as yer car pulled outta the driveway, its road time effectiveness would be more significant than its slope time.

As with many things, the Anti Helmet Lobby just needs better marketing, perhaps a luminary like Sonny Bono, but who plowed into a tree and didn't feel a thing...
Last edited by ShiftyRider on Fri Dec 11, 2020 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
ShiftyRider
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: easternsierraforum.com

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby Marc_C » Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:51 pm

Post redacted.
Last edited by Marc_C on Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3272
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

Re: Mammoth, Dec. 2, 2020

Postby EMSC » Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:47 pm

ShiftyRider wrote: It hasn't been done tho, cuz people just don't like it.


It more probably hasn't been done because commercial planes so rarely crash, while something like 20% or more of every person on every plane ride would be vomiting all over the place due to motion sickness; which facing backwards increases dramatically. While I'm not one of them, I know several folks that would probably end up sick on every flight they take if they were forced to face backwards.

So saving from ~0 - 500 yearly at most (seats don't matter in say bombings or many other crashes) vs making ~20-30% of ~4.5BILLION annual passengers violently ill seems likely to be the rough math involved.
User avatar
EMSC
 
Posts: 2236
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:54 pm
Location: Front Range of Colorado


Return to Western North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 19 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use