Mammoth: where to start? It's big, real big. It has an epic amount of every type of terrain for every taste. Most of the runs are easy, and short, which kind of bugs me. A fair amount of logistics are required to link up several runs into one nice, long ride. As for the terrain, Mammoth has an abundance of steeps and trees and miles of cruiser runs. As you can see in the photo below, this is spring which means that the steeps and the summit are as hard-packed as concrete. The spring conditions also kept me out of the trees until late in the day as the snow is all chunked up and coated in a layer of fast and hard ice. Early attempts at tree riding were a reeducation in ice-boarding.
By late morning the snow was loosening up and the day got better. The temps were strictly a spring climate: warm with breezes at the top. As the ice softened we were able to get off the runs and into the trees. Fun stuff.
I am impressed with the system of lifts that make getting around the mountain very straight foreword. By the end of 2 days we had ridden every lift that Mammoth operates, which means that Ruth and I: a.) rode hard, and b.) rode most of the mountain. Also, the scenery, which includes Mt Ritter, Banner Pk, and the Minarets (below), rivals Mt Baker WA and Copper Mountain CO.
I have to admit that not coming up here to board has been a bit stupid (there, I said it Rob). It's a drive, and expensive, but it is relatively close to home and I will also say that I liked Mammoth better than any of the Tahoe resorts, which makes this the place to be if one stays in California. Also, I could tell immediately that this is the type of place that really shines after a good powder dump. The amount of tree terrain that would need tracks really got me thinking about how it would be to ride this place in knee-deep pow. We'll be back.
By the way, as you can see in the pictures below, Ruth and I were able to find runs that were weekender free.
San Rafael: Upper Sisquoc
1 week ago