t-minus 72 hours to mammoth opening day: my plan

Yes, there’s a general election happening tomorrow but for anyone in the 93546 zip code Thursday, November 10, 2016 is the big day: Mammoth opens for snow season.

Looking up at Broadway from Main Lodge. November 7, 2016.

The snow season has been a little “meh” so far, but to be fair it’s on November. If you peel into the data a bit you’ll note that Mammoth’s snowfall really kicks in December – March. So big dumps in November are terrific (but rare) and big dumps in October are like hitting an arrow with a bullet while drunk and blindfolded.


November gets more than 2x the snow of October, and December is 3x the snowfall of November. I’ve been checking in with MammothSnowman for a while now: it’s a terrific place to get a bit more narrative on conditions. Armed with info from the Snowman it looks like Chair 3 will be open. This is super cool because Chair 3 is totally awesome.

Short and fun, Chair 3 rocks.

Chair 3 sits just above McCoy Station, which you can take the Gondola (G1) or Broadway Express (Chair 1) to access. It’s basically a bunch of single black bowls which are this author’s favorite thing to shred. Because the base looks pretty terrible on Broadway, it looks like the fun will be had on Chair 3 and heading down to Main Lodge on Broadway will be to stretch some legs but is more about “access” than “fun”. IE: rather than take the gondola back down you can ride down, but don’t expect great conditions.

Looking up at Chair 3 from McCoy, the gondola’s upper half (G2) on the left. November 7, 2016.

A couple of strategies I employ, consider them for what they’re worth:

  • Don’t go unless you have a season pass. Sure, the tickets are $50, but it’s essentially one chair that’s open with somewhat okay-ish conditions.
  • Don’t bring your good board/skis. With the thinned out coverage you should anticipate some rocks poking up and this is why you should keep your older board/skis around.
  • Remember, you haven’t ridden/skied in months and you’re going to start on a black (again, with less-than-great conditions). Take it slow, stupid hurts, and remember that the real stuff is still ahead.

I’ll be up there for sure with my goal of riding every day that I can this year. But that might mean half a dozen runs to work the kinks out and remind myself where my toe and heel edges are.

See ya up there!