Mammoth Mountain’s conditions are off the hook from top to bottom. There is something for skiers of every level on this mammoth mountain. But we took advantage of the clear skies and low winds and spent our last day lapping the steeper runs off the top at 11,053ft – that’s where you’ll find the deepest snow pack in the nation at 192″. There’s one blue run from the top along the summit ridge with more down the backside. But if you plan to ski/ride down the face coming off the top of the gondola or chair 23, you’ll find mostly double black diamonds. The runs down the face aren’t very long relatively speaking (after all, Mammoth has a big 3,100 vertical rise from its base elevation of 7,953ft) but they have some nice steep pitches. There are signs at the top warning of hard and fast conditions but that’s mostly along the ridge and groomed lanes on Cornice Bowl and Scotty’s; off piste conditions were soft. Check out the video for a tour and closer look at the best steep runs off the summit. We also wanted to note that the park now has a landing pad along with a half pipe and enough features to keep you there all day. You’d be in good company: several X Games, Olympic and World cup athletes (Luke Mitrani, Jack Mitrani, Greg Bretz, Mason Aguirre, Chris Logan and Maude Raymond) call Mammoth their home mountain including 2013 X Games medalists Kelly Clark -gold women’s superpipe, Johnny Teller -gold in men’s Skier X, Tyler Flanagan -bronze in men’s slopestyle, and Kaya Turski -silver in women’s slopestyle. Congrats to all the X Games medalists! With the park located right in front of the base lodge and under the gondola, there’s a good chance you’ll see some world class action.
If you’ve never been to Mammoth, be sure to check it out next time you’re in Southern California. Mammoth is now selling a $199 Adult three day lift ticket until Feb.10 – that’s $66/day. Tickets can be used anytime Jan. 27-April 21, excluding Feb. 16-24, 2013. Must purchase online or at Call Center, up to noon first day of use. Go to mammothmountain.com to purchase. Mammoth is usually open past July 4th and it’s an easy enough drive (approx. 310 mile, 5hr) (after you get out of L.A.’s traffic). The drive follows the scenic Sierra Nevada mountain range through the desert and rarely is there snow on the roads before the turn off and last few miles to Mammoth. Along the way, don’t forget to stop at the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center for the best views of Mt. Whitney. At 14,497 ft, it’s the tallest mountain in the lower 48. The visitor center is located at the junction of US Highway 395 and State Route 136, one mile south of Lone Pine.