A Mammoth Season

snow action team 25.09.2015

The worst drought in California’s history sure didn’t help, but as Thomas Waddell reports Mammoth still managed to keep the parks and pipes firing and run some of the top class events the area is famous for, along with steeps and the signature t-shirt & bikini weather spring skiing.

if you like parks you’ll love Mammoth © Mammoth

if you like parks you’ll love Mammoth © Mammoth

Mammoth Mountain California, one the most well known and famous resorts in America, is probably best known for its steep terrain and t-shirt wearing spring conditions.
The 2014/15 season struggled due to the record breaking drought and warm conditions that lasted pretty well all season throughout California. However the resort made an amazing effort utilising all of the snow guns they could spare and taking advantage of every cold condition and snowfall.
This year they hosted some high level events and managed to pull through with building courses that are satisfactory for FIS level events.
With what little snow they had most people were worried about if they would have a halfpipe ready and in good enough condition, but most riders seemed pretty happy with it by the time the competitions came around and were stoked on the work the park crew did with such little snow to use.
Even though they struggled there were still some days of great skiing all over the mountain. We had a few dumps that brought some much wanted powder and getting the gondola to the top and skiing knee deep pockets of powder was a much needed relief.
© Mammoth

© Mammoth

The great thing with Mammoth is that if there’s not heaps of snow or you’re having a down day there is still plenty to do. The hot springs are quite popular almost everyday, they are about a 15 minute drive just outside of the town, located pretty close to the airport.
There’s also Tamarack Lodge, the nordic ski area which has a few different cross country and walking trails, and a pretty impressive little restaurant too.
Nightlife is a big thing in the Mammoth Village and there are busses running from 7am until 2am most of the winter so you can have a night out on the town and still be able to get home easily and free.
As far as night outs there’s plenty of food to start off the night ranging from Mexican cuisine (great Mexican, lots of Latinos here) to Thai and then your straight up sports bar styled burgers, ribs or fries. If you’re planning on grabbing a few drinks and want to experience the town by night the village pretty much always has something on each weekend during the peak season, with a lot of live acts in the main village area that’s surrounded by bars, restaurants and gift shops so you can sit outside by the fire and enjoy a cold drink after a long day on the hill.
Accommodation in Mammoth can vary bigtime. If you are staying a while I think the best option is to try get a condo with some friends and book it for a few weeks, most of them are located in town so a bus stop is never really too far away, so getting up and down the mountain and even just through town is a piece of cake.
If you’re heading there just by yourself or with a small group of friends and don’t mind sharing a place with other interesting like-minded people from around the world Mammoth Seasonaires is the place to stay. You’ll save money by splitting it evenly between others in the house and the guys there really look after their international guests.
iIf you feel like being in the complete centre of the town the Village Lodge could be the place to stay, situated in the middle of the village you can walk outside and get straight on the gondola from town to get up to Canyon Lodge base, or get the bus just across the street to the Main Lodge base.
Basically Mammoth Mountain has pretty much everything you can want for a ski holiday, as well as only being 6 hours drive away from Los Angeles and 3 hours from the Lake Tahoe area. Definitely an ideal location to consider for your first or next trip to the USA.

Mammoth The Ticket
Getting to Mammoth: There are plenty of flights to Mammoth Lakes, from LA, San Francisco & Denver, only 15 minutes to accommodation on mountain, or fly into Reno (3 hours) or LA (6 hours) – both drives are scenic.
There’s a great range of accommodation, plenty of shopping including outlets, restaurants and nightlife that really kicks in on weekends.
For packages & great deals ex-Australia/New Zealand get onto www.snowcapped.com.au
Resort www.mammothmountain.com
Area info www.visitmammoth.com
Mammoth is a member of The Mountain Collective so all you Thredbo 365 pass holders get 2 days free then 50% off your lift passes

The author in the park © Tom Christie

The author in the park
© Tom Christie