Mammoth Mountain opened yesterday (November 5th) with fantastic riding conditions all day long and today was more of the same. Today the mountain ran 5 lifts: Panorama Gondola Lower and Upper, Chair 1, Chair 3 and Chair 11 and had 10 runs open including two runs off the top! With no crowds, fast groomers, some really nice chalky off-trail areas and bluebird skies it was truly another awesome day up on the slopes.
Mammoth has gotten 12-30″ of natural snow since Nov. 1st and snowmaking has been cranking most nights since the start of the month.
The riding off the top was good once you got down into Cornice Bowl with a lot of fresh but shallow snow to ski all morning, but the entrance was sketchy. They had to blow some man made snow to help the situation towards the top of Cornice after a small wind event scoured the whole ridge from the top of the Gondola all the way across to the Paranoids.
They did a good job moving that new snow into position to allow access to Cornice, however, they did not groom so there were frozen chunks of man made snow in the entrance that were anywhere from softball size to bowling ball size.
With that said they had Road Runner (a meandering groomed run down the back side of the mountain) open which gives a more mellow route down from the top so you can enjoy the amazing views and still ski back down to Main Lodge on a nicely groomed run that was soft and ice free today.
Even with the top of the mountain being open some of the best skiing to be had on the mountain was in West Bowl. Located just to the lookers right as you’re heading up Chair 3 this area has filled in just about as well as you could ask for this early in the season.
There is the occasional rock hiding out in a couple spots, but for the most part there are tons of great lines to take through this area. While it has been heavily trafficked and there aren’t really any fresh lines (quick tip of the day: if its not skied yet assume its for a reason) I found myself making lap after lap here all day long.
For the park oriented skiers and boarders amongst us they only had 2 small rails in a tiny section at the bottom of Main Park but they were blowing snow into that area all day and towards the end of the day were starting to push around the piles of new snow. I would expect that they will have more features in Main Park for opening weekend.
All-in-all conditions at Mammoth are fantastic. From the groomers to some carefully selected off-piste runs the whole mountain provides great turns, top to bottom, all day long.