Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, CA
Pow and Park
One of the most visited resorts
A very large mountain that does everything from park to pow well
Big mountain resort collides with small town roots
This is a rare mountain that has both sick parks and pow-filled steeps. Most legit big mountain resorts have only a token park, and it’s usually the mellowest mountains that innovate with parks. Not Mammoth.
Located in the eastern Sierra of central California, Mammoth is a giant monolith. A broad ridgeline creates a vast face of bowls, chutes and cornices. The super-wide lower mountain runs are perfect for parks. Mammoth gets plenty of snow, but also a high number of bluebird days.
Storm events bring gale-force winds and the constant threat of avalanches. Don’t expect the top to open at any time during a storm. Upper Gondie, Chair 23, 22, 14, 13, 5, 3, and 9 will close until the bluebird after the clearing winds. Sometimes 3 or 22 will open during a lighter storm.
Expect patrol to bomb in the early a.m. then dig chairs and cut the upper mountain between 10 to 1p.m. Chair 5 and 22 will be the first to open. 9, 23, and Upper Gondie will open together, so choose one. Stick to your game plan because trying to hit it all results in sloppy seconds. On most days, Mammoth will track out within minutes of each chair’s open. Of course, secret stashes can be found.
Check out Hole in the Wall off the back side of Dave’s run. Ride a shuttle back to town.
The best time for freshies is during the storm. Kooks will skip the wind and cold, and that means opportunity for you. Begin on Chair 2 to access Roger’s Ridge and Coyote Cliffs or Start on Chair 1 to hit Gravy Chute.
The bummer is, you have to park at Main Lodge to get freshies on Gravy.
Park and Pipe
Session South Park for medium to large sized features. This is the best kept “secret” on the mountain. To feed the Gapers, go to Unbound, but if you are looking for short lines and open, well-groomed parks, ride Chair 4 or 20. Park at the cutout between Mammoth Village and Main Lodge to avoid the tomfoolishness at Main Lodge.
Mammoth’s premier park is Unbound. Features vary from large to very large. This is where the renowned Super Duper and halfpipe are found. Ride Thunderbound Express and Park at The Mill or Mainlodge. Come spring, every major pro will cycle through this park to film. Ride Chair 6 (Thunderbound), but start from Chair 2.
Forest Trail has medium to small-sized features. Ride Chair 6.
The best place to stage for park or pow is from The Mill. Called “The Beach” by locals, check in here to tailgate and play with the dogs. If you prefer looooong lines, flat groomers, and thousands of Kooks park at Main Lodge or Canyon Lodge.
Mammoth is one of the most visited resorts in the States, and pow gets tracked out faster than a G Six. Ride through the storm to earn more vert in pow.