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Old 03-26-2012, 04:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mammoth 3/24-3/25 Review

My wife and I just got back from Mammoth this weekend and even though the conditions varied from bad to good, Mammoth Mountain definitely lives up to its reputation. It's huge and it has something for everyone. Dense trees, sparse trees, steep trees, if you like trees, you'll find something here to love. There were only a few lifts that had long lines, and since Mammoth is so huge and does a great job keeping stuff open even when it's windy, you can just move to another lift and be fine. Luckily for us, the top was open on Saturday so we got to ride chair 23 up there, soak in the great views, then drop in on Cornice Bowl into surprisingly good snow. Also had some runs on Scotty's and lower Paranoid Flats and the snow was good.

On a low snow season, Mammoth was still a great place to go. Since it's in California, there are more boarders and we didn't experience any of the ski snobbery we sometimes do in Salt Lake. Everyone was super pleasant and there really is something for everyone.

If you're going soon, the snow to looker's left (near Eagle and especially Cloud 9) was terrible both days. I would avoid parking over there at the Eagle lodge. The snow over by 12/13/14 is supposed to be good, but those lifts were closed due to races. The snow in the center of the resort was mostly good. Up top, the ridge is super wind blown and hard, but you could get lucky on a windy day and all the good snow could get blown into the bowl. They just got close to a foot yesterday and last night, so today is probably great.

One complaint my wife had that I'd agree with is if Mammoth is lacking anything, it might be steep intermediate stuff. Its blue runs aren't especially tame, but they aren't especially difficult, either (Solitude in SLC comes to mind). My wife is at the point where she'd like a steeper challenge than what most blues at Mammoth provide, but isn't quite comfortable with the stuff off the top ridge yet. Some of the single blacks down low (Face, Spook) are a joke, especially when you consider they are rated the same as Cornice and Scotty's. This complaint kind of depends on snow, so a powder day would change all this, but with current conditions, I'd agree with it.

Great days and we will definitely be back.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hey, I am glad you liked Mammoth, I just got back last night. I love it there!!! If you go back send me a message and I can maybe help you out.

I agree with you about the rating of the runs. The black diamonds off the top are much more difficult then the ones on the lower mountain. I guess the assumption is that only advanced/expert riders will ride off the top and they change the ratings accordingly? I dunno know if it was on purpose or not but once you know you can make adjustments. The jump from the blacks on the lower mtn to the blacks off the top is a big jump(I thought) When I first started I went from feeling very confident on EVERYTHING on the lower mtn but found it a huge step up in courage to toss myself off the top.


Also, when cornice is not groomed it is much more difficult then when it is. It doesn't normally have that big drop to get into it. Its usually groomed flat and much more inline with blacks elsewhere, just longer



Too bad the backside was closed, some of that stuff might have been what you were looking for. Eagle aslo has some nice terrain but you are correct about the conditions sucking It's a lower elevation and gets more affected by the sun. You gotta know when to hit it.

You said Face, which chair were you on. 3 or 5? They both have similar named runs. Spook is tame, I'll give you that!!! The single diamond stuff off chair 5 is more challenging. There a bit steeper but also much narrower with obstacles. I usually stick to the trees on powder days.

Last edited by mixie; 03-27-2012 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Did I say Face? I meant Wall. My mistake.

To be honest, I LOVED Cornice. Everything about it. Loved the view from the top, loved the wind ripping at you as you negotiate your way down the ridge, loved that view you get right before you drop in, and loved actually dropping in since it's steepest at the top. I didn't know they groom Cornice, but unless it's boilerplate ice up there, I'd prefer it ungroomed. Like I said, we were lucky and all the snow was getting blown off the ridge and the surrounding cliffs and being deposited nicely into the bowl. The snow was lovely in there. In fact, they had groomed Scotty's and that was a mess since the wind had scoured it smooth. Under the Paranoids, though, was ungroomed and the snow was good. I can only imagine how good it is up there on a powder day...

I have no problem with the ratings of the tougher stuff like Cornice/Scotty's/etc. Those are challenging single blacks and the rating seems accurate. We did a run off 5 and I just went under the chairlift and that seemed like a fairly rated singly black. I also agree that it's a definite step up in difficulty from something like Cornice to Wipeout Chutes or Avalanche Chutes, so I agree with the double black ratings, as well. It's just some of the other single blacks (Wall and Spook come to mind) that could've been blue, or a "blue/black" since Mammoth has that rating as well.

No big deal, though, because Mammoth really is a great mountain. I can't wait to get back to explore even more. The snow was too hard for me to work up the courage to drop into Avalanche Chutes or Hangman's Hollow, but maybe next time.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philadendron View Post
Did I say Face? I meant Wall. My mistake.

To be honest, I LOVED Cornice. Everything about it..

I don't even know where the wall is? But yeah, cornice is awesome!
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wall is off the side of Broadway (lift 1). It's really similar to Spook, if I remember correctly.
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