The wind is the best and worst part about Mammoth, and today we got to see both sides. My expectations were reset early, but it turned out to be an amazing day.
This morning was season pass holder early ups day (I guess it’s first Saturday of the month), so seeing hundreds lap the chair before I could get on at 8:30 let me know that today would not be a first chair kind of day. Plus the whole upper mountain was on wind hold. However, few besides me wanted to hike up the backside of Lincoln. The face was well worth it with great wind buff. So good the I did it two more times, coming up from chair 25. The Avy chutes held perfect snow though the middle but were scoured at the top and bottom.
We were late getting to Gondola 2, which opened about 11, and it had a long line. Hang mans “boulevard” was well worth it and still felt fresh with the wind continuously loading it. The next lap was from the backside and down paranoid flats which was also soft wind buff. Chair 14 closed on us try to lap again. This was a common story today as chair 5 also only briefly opened. Chair 22 and 23 never opened. I heard a rumor that 9 opened.
But the best part of the day was lapping the chair line of 3. It was perfect wind buff that refilled every run. I did 7 runs before it closed, all out GS turns in ego snow.
To top it off, I hiked Lincoln one last time at 4pm and dropped into Avy 3 – more untracked wind buff!
The good: wind buff on anything that was open, chair 3
The bad: wind holds and closures, crowds due to wind holds and closures.