Mammoth’s season is off and running and Mother Nature is blessing the California resort with a sweet, deep storm.
It started dumping at Mammoth Mountain on Wednesday and the storm shows no signs of slowing.
The resort is claiming that there is currently six feet of fresh snow at the summit, over a two and half feet at the Main Lodge, and more snow is in the forecast.
According to reports, flakes continue to fall, an another 18″ is excepted by the time the storm ceases.
All of this snow will allow Mammoth to open from top-to-bottom, once crews are able to safely open the terrain. Our friends at Mammoth say that is likely to happen by this weekend.
Storm Highlights: -2.5 feet of fresh snow at Mammoth -Up to 4 feet by the time the storm is done -More lifts and trails will open for the weekend, with top-to-bottom skiing & riding a good possibility -Check CalTrans for up-to-date road conditions before travel in the mountains
Mammoth opened last week, and all this new snow is definitely welcomed and necessary for a deep base, and to boost top to bottom conditions.
There are less than a handful of mountains on this vast planet that can claim world-renowned parks coupled with world-class backcountry, but leading the pack of resorts that can is undoubtedly Mammoth Mountain, California. A quick sprint away from So Cal and a short drive from the Reno/Tahoe area, Mammoth is bustling every single weekend and has attracted hundreds of transplants from across the country, be it pro or average Joe. Back in the early mid-2000s, Mammoth was the hotbed of freestyle inblunds riding, spearheaded by The Grenerds, a lively crew to say the least, who moved to Mammoth from the east coast and terrorized the town and the mountain with their debauchery and innate riding abilities. Since then, Mammoth has been at the cutting edge of parks and pipes and it has become one of the most infamous mountains on the globe and this past winter, they received more snowfall than nearly any resort in the world, amassing nearly 700 inches (yes, you read that right) of accumulation from opening day until just a few weeks ago when they shut down the lifts for the season. If you have a yearning to head to Mammoth for a snowboard vacation, pass along this little article and get ready to have the time of your life, because Mammoth certainly has it all for any snowboard enthusiast. –T. Bird
The closest airport is right outside of the town of Mammoth Lakes, California, about 6 miles south, and it offers plenty of direct flights from LAX. However, in the winter, wind and weather cause delays and cancellations so if you’re planning to fly into Mammoth, check the weather and be prepared to rent a car and drive from LAX, which is about five-and-a-half hours, but a breathtaking drive once you get outside of city limits.
Another option is flying into the Reno/Tahoe international airport and driving south about 3 hours and you’ll find yourself in Mammoth pretty quickly. This is also a beautiful drive as the Sierras envelop a long, winding road and you pass Yosemite right before you come to Mammoth Lakes.
While ticket prices vary throughout the season, Mammoth is on the very reasonable side, with tickets starting as low as $79 (non-holiday season), but there is also the option of purchasing the Cali4nia Pass, a deal that offers a season pass to Mammoth, June Mountain, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit for $849. That’s right. $849. If you do the math correctly, it might be worth it if you live in California or if your snowboard vacation is longer than approximately nine days.
It also allows you to explore other California resorts if you feel like checking out what The Golden State has to offer. The pass also gives you some really amazing discounts and deals, like 5 Exclusive Early Up events at Mammoth for first tracks and free breakfast, 5 Bring-A-Friend tickets (50% off 1-day lift tickets; 30% off during holiday periods)*, 10% off multi-day rentals (non-holiday) and up to 20% off lodging at Mammoth Lodging Collection properties.
Where to Stay
The beauty of Mammoth is that there are PLENTY of places to stay, but beware, they fill up quick, so be sure to start planning early enough if you wanna get the most options. If you want the feel of a typical ski area village, Mammoth has it, with lodging options right at the base of the gondola to whisk you up on the hill first thing in the morning. The Westin is one of the nicer hotels in the area and if you’re willing to spend some extra cash, the amenities and food are incredible. There’s also the Mammoth Mountain Inn, a more rustic mountain town hotel right at the base of the resort (whch is located about 6 miles from the village). If you wanna stay in Mammoth Lakes proper and check out the town, try Air BnB, as there are hundreds of options, from multi-bedroom mansions to smaller cabin-style properties. There are your standard, cheap hotels as well, like Motel 6, located right off the main drag and walking distance to shops, grocery stores, restaurants and some pretty fun après spots as well.
Down in town, there’s a handful of restaurants to grab a bite, from super fancy to very affordable and ranging from Mexican and Japanese to American bar-style cuisine. Our top spot for Mexican food is Roberto’s. It hosts a relaxed, mountain town vibe, the food is exceptional, and the margaritas are massive. Down in the village, there’s also Gomez’s that offers really good Mexican and is walking distance to everything village-related. Also in the village is a new spot called 53. While a bit spendier, the food is remarkable and it’s a great spot to relax and unwind after a long day of riding and they offer some of the best mixed cocktails in town. If you’re in the mood for ramen, the best in town is definitely Ramenyas. A small A-frame cabin located off the main drag, they offer up hot ramen and cold beers to wash it down and the prices are very affordable. For breakfast, check out The Good Life Café. The portions are huge and the prices are great. They have omelettes and hashbrowns that can legitimately quell the worst hangover you’ve ever had. Hit it up on the way to the hill. This section of the article could go on for about 1,000 more words, as there are dozens of great eateries in Mammoth Lakes, but those are a few of our favorites.
There’s one main shop that has been servicing Mammoth Lakes for decades now. Wave Rave is one of the most iconic snowboard stores still in business. Founded by famed Mammoth local Steve Klassen, Wave Rave is a must-stop shop when in Mammoth, as they have everything you need to keep you warm and dry on the hill. From goggles and gloves to decks and bindings, it’s a really good spot to refresh your kit or simply kick it and get a feel for the local scene. The kids who work there are really nice and eager to answer any questions you might have.
Nothing says “après” like a good, old fashioned sun deck, and Mammoth has one of the best in the world (not to mention a TON of sun in the winter). Take a few laps and grab a beer with lunch or ride all day and then untie those tight boots and sip a Bloody Mary. That’s what Mammoth’s infamous sun deck is best for. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Down in the village, check out The Clocktower Cellar for some after hours debauchery. This place gets loose, as beers are cheap and the crowd is packed intot he basement for a true mountain town bar feel. And then there’s Laka Nuki, arguably an establishment as iconic as Mammoth Mountain itself to many a snowboarder. Laka Nuki is usually the after hours spot and the dance floor goes ballistic after midnight on a weekend. We have lost many a brain cell in Laka Nuki and given the chance, we’d do it all over again any day. If you wanna roll a few games, there’s a new bowling alley down in town called Mammoth Rock N Bowl and it’s a hell of a good time. Pick up a pitcher and start slingin’ pins after a long day on the hill. There are a grip of other drinking establishments in Mammoth as well like Rafters, but the village is without a doubt the best après spot.
Explore Your Surroundings
The Mammoth backcountry is absolutely breathtaking. Whether you’re going for a hike off the resort or splitboarding the Sierras outside of town, there’s some unbelievable terrain to test your mettle on if the snowpack is right (and safe). Again, always be sure to buddy up and carry a beacon, shovel and probe with you and check sierraavalanchecenter.org for the snowpack report. If it all lines up, you’re going to score some of the best riding of your life.
In the off-season, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and skating is Mammoth’s bread and butter. You name it, Mammoth has it. If your Mammoth vacation takes place from late March until closing day, know that your day on the hill isn’t necessarily done once you’re finished riding. The Sierras are some of the most majestic mountains on earth, and they play host to a bevvy of outdoor recreation for anyone that simply enjoys being outdoors, and while it may be a little cold and snowy up on the resort itself, a forty-five minute drive to nearby Bishop might be 70º and sunny, so pack your hiking boots and some active wear, because the surrounding Mammoth area has it all.
Be sure to check out the JLA Memorial Skatepark on your way out of town. It’s an all-concrete adult playground for skaters of all abilities and if you’re lucky, you might even see local legend Scott Blum ripping the ever living hell out of the park. Another attraction is Devil’s Postpile, an outdoor recreation area and national monument that offers amazing hiking and spectacular views. If mountain biking is your thing, do a little research online and you’ll find out that the Mammoth Lakes area has world-class biking as well. If you’re lucky enough to link up with a local, they’ll show you a trail system that rivals anything you’ve ever seen.
Closing day at Mammoth Mountain might have been on August 6, but a about a week ago we found ourselves jonesing for more laps. And with the insane winter we had, there were still patches of snow left for us to explore. We geared up “semi” early (we might have sent it a little too hard the night before at Lakanuki), and set off on the trail, not really knowing what we would find. While it was definitely a long walk with our snowboards, it was worth every second of the journey.
Exploring the mountain trails with the goal of snowboarding in mind brings a whole new meaning to summertime activities. We trekked, jumped over creeks, took in amazing summer views, and chatted with pretty much everyone we passed about our end goal. We knew the patch was around there somewhere, and after some bushwhacking and mellow rock climbing, we found the spot, quickly booting up so we could take some turns.
It might not have been much snow, but it was more than enough for us to get a taste of what snowboarding in September is really like. We lapped the patch for a few hours finding new lines and goofing off in the sun cupped corn snow, but I was starting to feel like I wanted to do something more exhilarating.
Right when we first arrived, Jeep and I immediately began eyeing this cornice over the lake, and we talked about possibly sending it off the snow into the water. After a few hours of soul shred, I was definitely more than ready to live a little. Jeep set up under the cornice, and I strapped in on the snow, mentally preparing myself for the drop. Little did I know that it would be the coldest water I’ve ever jumped into in my life (should have known, as the lake is strictly snowmelt), but it made for one of the coolest shots I’ve ever gotten and was the best way to end a banger day.
Some may say that the eight mile round trip wouldn’t be worth it because the snow conditions aren’t ideal, but the expedition, coupled with the electric feeling of getting to snowboard at a time of year you never get a chance to, made for one of the best days I’ve ever had on snow. Pushing ourselves to get there made the turns that much sweeter, and I know we will all be riding that high until opening day at Mammoth in November.
Thanks to Jeep Eddy and Alison Brooking for coming along with me on this insane adventure, it wouldn’t have been the same without you guys!
Mammoth Mountain has had one hell of a season, but things are finally coming to a close. After 270 days, Mammoth Mountain’s 2016-17 snowboard season will end on August 6.
There’s still time for you to get a couple laps in, as Mammoth will still be open daily and running lifts until closing day. This is the second longest season on-record, spanning from November 10 through August 6th.
Throughout this season, Mammoth received 618” of snow at the Main Lodge, and over 800” at the summit. This was the second most snowfall the resort has ever received in its 65 years of operations.
Mammoth will open again for the 2017-2018 season on November 9th, just a 100 day after closing.
Did you have a chance to ride Mammoth during its mega long season? Let us know in the comments.
With an upcoming Olympic season approaching and a precursor of qualifying events to prepare for, training for snowboarding’s hucking hopefuls is in full swing. And with that training, amidst our normal summer newsfeed of glaciers and good times, a new shape has risen out of the slush.
The new shape is a sloped airbag made by Progression Bags that is helping riders learn their tricks from start to snow in a safer environment than ever before. First conceived to push the level of slopestyle riding, Marc-André Tarte of Acrobag teamed up with Aaron Coret and Stephen Slen of Katal Innovations in the Squamish area for a customized airbag that mimicks the grade of an actual landing instead of just a flat pillow.
The result of their planning is a 200 ft. long, 77 ft. wide bag that weighs around 12,000 lbs. and separates into multiple pieces for travel. Complete with a 35 ft. deck, landing and walls to prevent the athletes from sliding onto the ground, the first ever Progression Bag was set up at Mammoth Mountain this past month for visiting and hometown pros to train.
U.S. Team riders Hailey Langland and Chris Corning were two of the many riders attempting new tricks into the bag. Both coming off big seasons, Hailey taking gold in Women’s Big Air at X Games and Chris holding his own in some major competition stops, here is what they had to say:
Hailey Langland: -The slope/jump bag is a newer addition to the training camps–can you describe what it’s like hitting it? The bag is basically a gigantic bouncy house, material wise. Speaking from my personal experience, the bag is definitely a hit or miss. If you fall on it the right way, you won’t feel a thing. I have literally landed upside down—pretty much on my head—and didn’t feel it. But if the bag is kind of sticky or you fall on it wrong or land a certain way it can whip the living daylight out of you.
-Traditional airbags didn’t have the ability to mimic a landing, so this one seems like a game changer with learning new tricks. You’ve already been dabbling in doubles without the added security of the bag, so will this change how you try new variations or other tricks entirely? I’ve only tried and done one double ever in my life, and so to have this kind of resource is super exciting for me. It’s not only to try and get comfortable with going upside down twice, but even to try basic tricks that I’m terrified of. FYI switch backside is literally my kryptonite.
-Having this type of facility when it comes to slopestyle contests and heading into the upcoming contest season and an Olympic year, how do you think this will affect women’s slope and big air in general in 2017-18? I have mixed emotions about going into the Olympics this season. I think that everyone knows, on the women’s side of things, if you don’t at least have a double cork, your chances of being on the podium are pretty low. Which makes me so excited because it means we are going to see the highest level of competition and progression from the ladies. Ever. But it also makes me super nervous and antsy from a competitor’s stand point. Every day that you know someone else is on that bag, they’re learning something new, and you’re not.
-The slope/jump bag is a newer addition to the training camps–can you describe what it’s like hitting it? I would describe hitting the airbag as a big Slip ‘n Slide if you hit it right, or getting your board caught in a really sticky situation that sends you into a really bad rag doll.
-Traditional airbags didn’t have the ability to mimic a landing, so this one seems like a game changer with learning new tricks. To go from learning doubles/triples/etc on traditional airbags/regular jumps/etc to this method, are you guys learning things so much faster? Is it game changer with being able to try new things? Having the airbag is a real game changer. You have to go into learning new tricks with the right attitude, though. You can go into it thinking you can chuck your body and forget about the mechanics of how to throw the trick. If you learn your trick without your mechanics and your brain kinda lagging because [the airbag] is soft and you can fall, when you go into the jump and actually try the trick it’s going to be a lot different—you need your mechanics and your brain in full effect because you do have to land it! If you do it the right way, I think you can progress really fast!
-For the quad 1800 that you just stomped, you said you didn’t use the bag to learn it–can you describe the process of learning that trick and perhaps touch on why the bag was not a necessary component of that? For my quad 1800 I did not use the bag. For me, I like learning things straight to snow because of the reasons in the last question. Trying the trick on that small of a jump was kind of a worry for me because no one has done it that small yet. They have all had massive jumps built just for trying the trick. But I sent some triples without popping and just going safety seat because I knew that where I needed the next flip. I then went big on triple and tried to throw it slow, and then the next time I tried the quad. It took me five tries and two days, but I got it.
-For quads and/or any other trick you want to learn or just dial in, how do you see the bag fitting into the process in a general sense? Well, I definitely see myself using it when there is no snow, just to keep my air awareness in high intensity over the summer. Keeping my tricked dialed over the summer will be key on the airbag, I think. I see myself using it in the future, for sure though!
The progression bags are just one of the many things Marc-André Tarte has given to snowboarding. With an impressive riding resume himself, Tarte was the first ever to land a 1260 back in 2002 and has worked with Max Henault over in Quebec who trains names like Seb Toots, Max Parrot, and Mark McMorris.
Hate or love the airbags, Tarte doesn’t care, and they seem to be here to stay. With the Mammoth Progression Bag already making waves, Marc is currently installing a second one for the U.S. Snowboarding Team in Utah Olympic Park and has orders for more.
There’s nothing quite like waking up in the wild, wiping sleep from your eyes and shaking off the sickly, sweet smell of last night’s campfire. You pull on your boots, stumble out of camp, and head straight to the hill to shred that sweet, sweet summer slush. Normally this scene only happens when you poach a summer camp— but not this season. Thanks to the winning hand dealt by Mother Nature, there’s still plenty of snow at several resorts, and they’re spinning their lifts for as long as possible. Now all you need to do is gather your gear, load your car with a cooler and camp stuff, and point it to one of these zones that are still open for summer boarding.
Here’s our round-up of places you can ride right now, along with info on where you can camp nearby.
Timberline Lodge Ski Area–Mt. Hood, OR ($68/day) Open til- TBD Maybe you’ve been to summer camp at Hood, so you know the drill of what it’s like to stay in the dorms and cabins in Govy. But have you ever actually camped at Hood? If you haven’t, you’re seriously missing out. There’s so many incredible zones that offer insane views, laid back vibes and easy access to the lifts. A favorite place to post up is the Trillium Lake Campground. It’s approximately two miles east from Hood and there’s dozens of sites available. Alpine Campground is also a good go-to if you’re looking for a tent-only zone. It has 16 campsites that are first-come, first-serve, and is located only a mile from Timberline Lodge. Bonus:No uptight Sprinter-van elitists allowed.
Mount Bachelor Ski Resort—Bend, OR ($29/day) Reopening for July 2-4th For a special Fourth of July weekend, Mount Bachelor will reopen for summer shredding from July 2-July 4th. With over 600” of snow received this year, they still have a solid base, so the summer boarding is sure to be all-time. Camp-wise, there’s loads of areas located on your way from Bend to Bachelor, but we recommend car-camping up at the lot. Bachelor offers nightly RV permits for $20 bucks a night, which allows you access to a spot in the West Village parking lot. This is perfect for your crew if you have access to an RV or an adventuremobile; but a truck with a blow-up mattress in the back works fine. Bonus: Low-key camp vibes will have you up and at ’em; ready for first chair.
Beartooth Basin – Highway 212, WY ($45/day) Open til 7/2 For the first time in over two years, this summer-only zone finally has enough snow and is back open. As one of the oldest summer shred operations in the country (it opened in 1960), Beartooth Basin is located near the Wyoming/Montana border and offers big mountain riding accessed by two Poma lifts. The riding is as wild as the camping, so get ready for a true rustic, Montana/Wyoming adventure. Spots are easily found right off Beartooth Highway, the 68-mile National Scenic Byway that spans from Red Lodge, Montana to Yellowstone National Park’s Northeast entrance. Though camping is permitted up the pass, we recommend pitching your tent down a little closer to town of Red Lodge. Spots are scattered, so they’re perfect for you to get buck in Montana’s wild. Bonus: Most campsites are free and fire-friendly.
Copper Mountain Resort –Summit County, CO ($28/day) Open til 10/1 If you’re itching to get your jib on and dial-in new tricks, then head up to Copper for their public hike sessions in the Big Island Park. Hosted every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from now until October 1, Copper has this zone open for the public. While you can’t camp right at Copper, there are plenty of places to pitch your tent and set up a sweet zone less than ten miles away. For a full service campground, check out the Peak One Campsite located on the Dillion Reservoir right outside of the quaint town of Frisco, CO. There’s over 75 sites you can book and they all offer views of the surrounding Ten Mile Range. This campsite has running water, flushing toilets, and trash collection. It’s rustic, but still has basic amenities– no need to dig a hole for your doo. Bonus: Minutes away from the Frisco Bike Park. Bring your bike for multi-sport shred days.
Mammoth Mountain—Mammoth Lakes, CA ($89/day) Open til- TBD Summer riding at Mammoth is in full effect and the resort is planning to stay open through August or longer, as snow permits. Currently, conditions are prime and you can still ride off the off the summit, then pop into the Main Park. Though it’s the middle of June, the season has no signs of slowing and plenty of riders have been posted up at Mammoth sessioning this summer. To makes things even sweeter, there’s numerous camping spots in any direction you go from the resort. We could go on and on about the bounty of spots of where you can pitch a tent, but an easy go-to is the Twin Lakes Campsite. This zone has spacious sites, rad views and a cozy vibe. There’s also $5 dollar showers if you’re into rinsing after riding; but we recommend heading to one of the numerous hot springs around the area for a sunset soak. Bonus:So many camp zones, possibilities are endless.
Squaw Valley Ski Resort—Lake Tahoe, CA ($69/day) Open Saturday and Sunday – Closing TBD As if the Lake Tahoe area needed any more activities, now you might be able to ride Squaw all summer long. The resort, located minutes away from Tahoe City and Truckee, is planning to spin its lifts for as long possible, maybe even until next season’s flakes fly. Squaw still has plenty of snow, including a snake run and full-fledged park that’s open for shredding on the weekends. The camping options around Lake Tahoe are abundant, but sites do fill up fast with families and weekenders. For a low-key option that’s close to the lake with easy access to the hill, check out the William Kent Campground. It’s across the street from the beach, has all the necessary amenities and there’s plenty of sites to plop down on. Bonus:Shred all morning, and hang by the lake at night.
*There’s obviously plenty of other camp options at all these areas, so seek out your own favorite spot. Let us know where you end up in the comments and maybe we’ll roll through with a cooler of cold ones.
Winter 2017 just doesn’t want to quit. It’s already been one of the best seasons in recent memory with places like Tahoe, Mammoth, the PNW, Colorado, Utah and beyond all receiving ridiculous amounts of snow this season. And now, despite only a few resorts still being open, a late season stormed rolled through and dropped snow in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and California.
As far as resorts that are still open, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado was the big winner of this storm. They received 21” in the last three days. Given this amount of late season snow, they were able to open the Pallavicini chair. This chair had previously been closed for the spring, but once it opened, it was deep, and prime for the pillaging.
Snowbird also received a nice fresh dusting, and spring condition have been all-time at the only open resort in Utah.
Snowfall at Mammoth in May
Mammoth and Squaw are both still spinning their lifts in California, and though they only received 1-4” this past storm, the coverage is still insane and spring conditions are as good they get.
There’s also still plenty of snow in the backcountry. Have you been getting it? Where are you riding this late spring? Let us know in the comments.
There’s no denying the 2016-2017 winter season has been monumental. Historical snowfall fell at many resorts and created record-breaking snow totals. The bulk of the storms took place in January and February, but some resorts still had major dumps in March and April. Resorts operations are winding down, but several resorts are planning to stay