Memorial Day Memoir @ Mammoth Mountain, CA – 2018

Casey Cane | | Trip ReportTrip Report

So how is skiing Mammoth Mountain on Memorial Day weekend?


Views from Mammoth Mountain, CA (May 28th, 2018) – photo: Casey Cane

Dates: May 25th-28th, 2018



How is it? Even on the driest of years, Mammoth Mountain consistently remains open until ‘at least’ Memorial Day (late May.) On massive years, they run the upper lifts until August… yes, a non-glaciated mountain that runs lifts until August. If I recall correctly, the years of August 1995 & 2017 to name a few. On a normal year, the goal is to run lifts through the July 4th weekend.

Memorial Day weekend is a hard one to forecast…some years it’s t-shirt slush skiing, some years, powder skiing bliss. This year, however, is looking to be one of the snowiest in recent memory with a massive amount of open terrain.

Last year, after six weeks of laying low rehabbing a badly sprained ankle, and finishing my coaching duties for the little league ‘regular’ season, I finally stepped into my skis for the long weekend.

With my two boys in tow (9 and 2 years old), we ventured from San Francisco over Sonora Pass and then down Highway 395 to good old Mammoth Lakes.
With the weather calling for anything from a few inches of snow to blazing sun, we were not sure what each day would hold. The one thing we did know for sure is that we would be skiing, EVERY DAY in ANY CONDITION.

Over the four days on the hill, we encountered everything from skiing in fog, an inch or two of new snow, graupel, rain, suncups to perfect corn. The best skiing, in my opinion, was off Chair 23 in the Paranoids with best groomers being Stump Alley or the lower section of Chair 1. Luckily for our situation, Chair 11 (Discovery Chair) was still open and provided perfect laps with the two-year-old still figuring out that whole gravity thing. With a little help from the ski instruction professionals at Mammoth Mountain, I and my 9-year-old were able to ski everything on our list. From Dad’s descent of Philippe’s to my oldest eyeing up Climax and Dave’s Run.

Topping off each day included hot tubbing and ice cream with Dad… Can you really beat late Spring/early Summer skiing at Mammoth? 
So you know what to do, brush off that new IKON Pass and get up there!


Straight from school pickup in downtown San Francisco to Sonora Pass…

Sonora Pass, CA – May 24th, 2018

Time to stretch the legs and check out the snowbanks…

Sonora Pass, CA

Day one began with some checking out the conditions…

Grom looking for the weather window…

A bit of foggy conditions have NEVER stopped anyone from skiing, right?

Holden Cane ready for fog slayage – Mammoth, CA

Hey, I think I see the chair in front of us…

Foggy manipulations – Mammoth Mountain

The snow was perfect for carving turns…if you could see where to make them.

Holden in a foggy moment…

The sun poked out for a bit, so we went for some Stump Alley turns…

Stump Alley, Mammoth – May 25th, 2018

The next day provided some much-needed visibility…

2-year-old studying a racer’s turn…

Chair 23 provided the views…

Above the clouds – Mammoth Mountain, CA

Late season laps in the Paranoids are hard to beat…

Casey Cane takes a photo then skis the green run to the lodge…

The little guy brought his skis to the top of the gondola…why not?

2-year-old equipment nerd…

Chair 1, however, was more his speed…

No gloves, no problems…

If you can’t beat them, join them…

Father and son quiver…

‘Hey dad, little help here…’

Learning to ski at 24 months old…

‘When you see a tree, TURN!’

Grom sessions Chair 1 – Mammoth Mountain, CA

New snow in late May?  Well, ok…

Chair 23 – May 27th, 2018

Blue skies and a dusting of new snow? I’ll take it…

New snow and blue skies…

Chair 23 is one of the most iconic chairlifts in the USA…

Chair 23, we love you…

Time to schralp that wind drift eh?…

Casey Cane eyes a turn…

Clouds again? That didn’t last long…

Chair 23 in the clouds…

Might as well go searching for something unique…

End of May new snow…

I had eyes on descending Philippes.  Why? Why not?

Casey Cane descending – Mammoth Mountain, CA

All you have to do is ski to the crux and hike out, right?

Casey Cane on Philippe’s…

Dad, I’ve never been so ready to ski. No, really…

Grom in the Moment…

The little guy made turns each day…

A 2-year-old contemplates his line…

Skiing with your kids is the best, is it not?

Grom making strides…

You can’t come to Mammoth without documenting the size of the summit sign…

Holden Cane stoked to have some visibility…

Dave’s Run was smooth as silk for late season snow…

Holden Cane slush carving it up – Mammoth Mountain, Ca

Late in the day slush bumps are NEVER a bad idea…

Holden Cane enjoying a slushee on the way to the car…

After dinner, the kids took in some California ski history…

Kids admiring the legend Dave McCoy…

This kid is going for elevation awards on the summit of Mammoth Mountain…

Dude, where’re your gloves?

Dad and his boys go for the token Mammoth ski photo…

Mammoth sized sign…

Hard to beat those views eh?

Views behind Mammoth Mountain, CA

Devil’s Postpile and the surrounding mountains…

Mammoth sized scenery…

‘Can you teach me how to ski like my dad? ‘Nope…’

Instructor and student…

The snow corned up nicely…

Wipeout Chutes – Mammoth Mountain, CA

The Paranoids were buttery smooth…

Spring snow bliss…

Slash and burn is the name of the game…

Cleaning off the rocks – Mammoth Mountain, CA

When the racers leave, you get late in the day corduroy slush carves…

Carving your way to fun…

Thanks Mammoth, always a good ol’ time for some late season skiing…

Young skiers from California…

We drove home through Monitor Pass…

Monitor Pass, CA…

Oh hey, Kirkwood Resort still holding top to bottom snow…

Kirkwood, CA – May 28th, 2018

See you all there this year…

 

Right?


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