Many people head to the mountains to get away with friends and family, but others head to their local ski mountain or even around the world to get away from everything they have going on back home, family and friends included. While there’s nothing wrong with riding alone, sometimes you need a riding buddy to show you around the mountain or just to stay safe when riding in hazardous territory.
The ASO Mammoth team loves our home mountain here at Mammoth Mountain, but we’ve combined all of our knowledge and experience from exploring other mountains on our solo trips into a quick list so you can do the same. Check it out below!
Although it can be difficult finding active and accurate online forums or social media for specific mountains, these resources are your best bet to do research and find a riding buddy before your trip begins.
To start, you should go to which ever social media site you’re most comfortable using and do a simple search using Mammoth Mountain as a key term. From there you’ll want to check the dates and number of posts in whatever group you find to judge how active the community is and if posting is even worth your time. For example, the Mammoth Mountain subreddit has just under 600 subscribers with one or two posts every day during the winter season. On the other hand, the California Snowboarders Facebook Group has over 1,600 members with multiple posts every day during the winter season. While the Mammoth Subreddit is more focused on Mammoth Mountain information, posts to the California Snowboarders Group are more likely to be seen and responded to, so plan accordingly based on your needs.
Then Think About Where You’re Staying
Planning out where you’re staying can have a big impact on how easily you meet people on and off the mountain. For example, while Air BnB has opened up plenty of accommodations that wouldn’t have been available otherwise, if you book an Air Bnb outside of town with no neighbors then you have no chance of bumping into other people heading to the mountain.
If you definitely need a private room then we recommend booking a place near the village or main area of Mammoth Lakes so you’ll be around other people. The easiest way to meet other riders would be to book a hostel though, and in that case you’ll find Holiday Haus as a great option when staying near Mammoth Mountain.
Check Out the Mountain’s Website and Other Guide Companies
Depending on the size of the mountain, you may be able to hire an instructor or a guide to show you around or help you improve your skills. For example, Mammoth Mountain offers clinics for the backcountry, terrain park, moguls, and all mountain riding and skiing that are a perfect way to explore the mountain and ride with a group of new people.
If you want to explore outside the resort boundaries, you can also hire a backcountry guide online to take you on either a private tour or with a group.
And Chat On the Lift
If all else fails, you can always strike up a conversation with the people you’re riding the lift with. Everyone on the mountain is there to ride, so as long as your skill level matches theirs most people won’t mind showing you around the hill or at least pointing you in the right direction. If they’re new, then you can explore the mountain together!
Riding with a buddy is a great way to explore, but it’s also a good way to stay safe. Never ride away from trails without a buddy! For other tips, Mammoth Mountain information, and ski and snowboard gear, stop by ASO Mammoth!