[Sponsored By Mammoth Mountain]
With only 12 DAYS left before Mammoth Mountain’s opening day, the folks here at SnowBrains are hyped for the lifts to start running again; however, we are also feeling a little nostalgia for the absurdity that was Mammoth’s two-hundred and seventy-day season last year.
The 16/17 season at Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, CA began on November 10, 2016 and closed out on August 6, 2017, marking the second longest season in history. Although the official closing date put Mammoth at a two-hundred and seventy day season, we heard that a private shredfest occurred as late as September 28, 2017.
So, with Mammoth’s opening day countdown reaching the single digits, we wanted to do a recap of some of the highlights from Mammoth’s EPIC 16/17 season…
1. The Good Stuff (a.k.a. THE SNOW):
Mammoth pulled in 618″ of the good stuff during the 16/17 season. The month of January was hands down the biggest contributor to the season’s snowfall with a total of 241”, crushing Mammoth’s previous record of 209’’—December 2010.
Last season was one of those rare and glorious occasions where lifts get head-to-toe buried, and terrain that was once familiar becomes alien under blankets and blankets of pow. Mammoth even had to go as far as posting warnings about deep snow immersion danger…Now that’s some lethal pow.
“January 2017 can best be described as a glorious onslaught of snow. I’ve never seen anything like it. The mountain took on a completely different form with that amount of snow and every single day was a powder day. Then February followed up with snow almost every day as well. No one will forget this season – we’re proud to have lived through it and had some of the best days of riding ever”, says Lauren Burke, Public Relations and Social Media Manager for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
There’s a reason why Newschoolers and TransWorld SNOWboarding ranked Mammoth’s Unbound Terrain Parks #1 park in the country…
- From the Woodward Zone to Lost in the Woods to The Mammoth Snake Run, Superpark 21 was simply popping off! Superpark 21 took five build teams to create, and is comprised of some of the largest piles of snow the event has ever seen. The Mammoth jump and hip were the biggest attention grabbers at the event, as the build area was literally casting a shadow over the park. The jump measured in at one-hundred and twenty feet and the hip stood forty plus feet in the air. Serious emphasis on the MAMMOTH folks! A few ballsy riders finally got the chance to hit the jump and hip on the third day of Superpark 21, in what Unbound’s staff calls “the three most exciting hours of snowboarding in the history of the sport.”
- Main Park got its moment in the sun during Oakley Week in early April. The Oakley team took advantage of every creation that the Unbound crew could think up, with an eighty foot step-over style jump, a skate inspired extension on the twenty-two foot quarter pipe, and a transition inspired rail line up. Main Park’s new layout was host to the shenanigans of Jamie Anderson, Stale Sandbech, Sebastien Toutant, Eero Ettala, Sy Moran, and Craig Gouweloos in the white hot park lap “Legends of the Fall Line”-Episode 6.
3. Testing The First Ever Progression Bag To Be Used On Snow
In a revolutionary safety move, Mammoth was the first-ever to test the “Progression Bag” on the snow from Progression AirBags.
“Mammoth Mountain’s new ‘Progression Bag’ is the future of training at highest levels of slopestyle freesking and snowboarding, and the only one in the world currently used on snow”, said Mammoth in a press release.
The bag is one-hundred and ninety-two feet long and seventy-six feet wide, allowing athletes to safely throw new tricks in a situation that is as close to the real thing as possible.
Testing this bag were slopestyle dynamos, Hailey Langland, Nick Goepper, Brock Crouch, Chris Corning, Anna Gasser, Eric Beauchemin, and more. This crew spent the spring using the bag to test out their moves for the upcoming Olympic qualifier events; the final event being the “Mammoth Grand Prix” in January 2018, where athletes will have a last chance to make the U.S. Halfpipe and Slopestyle teams.
However, this bag is not just for the pros! During the 2018 spring season, the bag will be available to the public during specific camps and training sessions.
What To Look Forward To…
As of August 1, 2017, Mammoth was bought by the Aspen Skiing Co.-KSL Capital Partner (Squaw/Alpine), in the alliance’s one-point-five billion dollar acquisition of Intrawest and Mammoth Resorts. Honoring this merger, all of the resorts affiliated with these companies will most likely be put on one pass for the 2018/19 season.