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And its on!! (Mammoth season opener/conditions)

And just like that it snowed in the Sierras. A lot! The 2018-19 Ski season is on.

Mammoth looked like it was getting pounded from the first round of storms last week, and they had more open -so we decided to give it a go. Drove down Saturday morning amidst the storm, fighting our way through a very snowy 395. There were a couple crashes, and our friends almost got a speeding ticket. But we made it!

Saturday was full on storm skiing, nuking snow all day. We took many laps in zones none of us knew, hit a few jumps and a few rocks, got face shots, exchanged high-fives. Fun to explore Mammoth for the (real) first time.

A big highlight was Chair 22/Lincoln Peak, which wasn't yet open for the year -but patrol was allowing us to hike. Ample winds ensured that the Avalanche Chutes stayed fresh all day...all the way to last run. That part of the mountain is awesome by the way! Do yourself a favor and ski over there next time you go to Mammoth.

Chair 22 as the clouds Parted

Watching friends ski Avy Chute 2

Typical Views somewhere in Avy 2

So pitted...

Saturday night we hung out in town at the brewery for a little too long, then drove out for some (extremely cold) camping at a one of the Green Church hot springs. We got there around 9:30PM and were surprised to find a full parking lot, lots of campers, and nobody in the springs! Luckily the soak was very hot, and we were able to warm up before bed. The storm had departed, and we were treated to a beautiful and calm starry night.

In the morning we woke up to a snowy scene. Looks like most of the Eastern Sierra is filling in nicely, and we ogled lines on Mt Morrison and Laurel Mtn. from our camp.

Time to go play in the backcountry!

Then we headed back up to the resort for an awesome bluebird day!

A highlight was our journey to the main lodge, first thing. Theresa needed to pick up her ski pass, otherwise we would have parked elsewhere. Traffic was quite backed up, but we pushed on. At a shuttle stop (for parking) some guys had their thumbs out, so I pulled my truck over to the side: "hop in boys!". I immediately started to regret my decision as there was a bull-rush to get into the bed of my truck, and 8-10 guys piled in haphazardly. Regardless, we cruised up to the lodge with no problems. I pulled into a row of cars in the "preferred parking lot" ($30 a day) so that everyone could unload and Theresa could throw her boots on before I dropped her off. One of the guys we had given a ride to walked up to the window.

"Do you want money for preferred parking?", he said.

I said "sure!", and the next thing I knew everyone was throwing cash in my open window. In the end I had way more than enough to afford preferred parking, and even profited nicely from the deal. Karma? I don't know, but the beer I was able to buy later certainly made up for the 5 minutes of bottomed out suspension in my truck.

Hanging out on the Paranoids with some snowboarders

Freshies in Phillipes

Ahh so thats why its so fresh. A little more snow in Phillipes would have been better...

Austin Metz about to drop a cliff in some random zone that was GOOD!

Climax. Fun spot

All in all it was a great season opener for myself and the rest of the crew. Mammoth is filling in nicely, and I'll be back soon for some more resort skiing, and definitely some East Side backcountry. While its still a little sharky out there, seems like most stuff is ready to go!


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