Today there was not a cloud in the sky. Dazzling sunshine met all who visited the slopes today at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. The National Weather Service said basically the same thing they said yesterday, light winds, abundant sunshine with a possibility of maybe 6-8″ of snow on Sunday for Mammoth Lakes weather.
I skied in a sweatshirt and thin fleece gloves, and was not cold. The areas near Main Lodge, the Mill and McCoy Station were best. Coverage was excellent with 8.5 – 14.5 feet of snowbase. It hasn’t snowed in weeks, but it is holding together. Groomers were the run of the day because the off-piste and moguls are firm as can be with a little glaze on top from the warm weather.
I didn’t bother with the top because it is so firm. I like the top when it is soft with fresh powder. The non-groomed runs on the top looked like glazed donuts.
Mammoth Mountain does an excellent job of manicuring their slopes, and moving the snow where they need it. Dave McCoy called it, “snow placement”. They even had the snow leading to the sun deck at Main Lodge. Hot skiers and snowboarders were in the parks and Super Duper Pipe today. They were really fun to watch at lunch from Main Lodge, and when you rode chair 6 which takes you right over the main big jumps as riders rocket off them spinning and flipping.
Mammoth is the best lift served ski area in North America according to Ski magazine. They usually do a great job of mitigating lift lines by adding singles lines, and even having Hosts combine people to fill up chairs. But today I rode chairs 2, 3, 1, and 5, and none of them had a singles line set up. Only chair 10 had one. This made the lift lines much longer than they could and should have been.
I question the management decision there. How long does it take to set up singles lines at the beginning of the day, or leave them up since there has been no new snow?
Sometime “the corporation” does things that Dave McCoy would have never done. It reduces the riders experience and I feel it is short-sighted on their part. At $92 a ticket, you should be having the best experience possible. I hope they do better for their clients over the weekend by reimplementing singles lines at ALL chairs possible.
Anyway, I had alot of fun today practicing on the firm snow. You really have to get forward and keep your shoulders level with the snow to get edge bite! Luckily, I just got my skis back from a fresh full tune-up, so they had good grip. I plan to ski, hopefully in a snow storm on Sunday, so I’ll give you my next on-slope ski report from Mammoth Mountain then. Until Then, Pray for Snow!