Figuring out where to be and when to be there on a mountain you’re riding for the first time is a tall task, but trying to ride like a local at a mountain as big as Mammothis a whole other animal.
The team at ASO Mammothhas combined our experiences into a quick guide on mistakes peoplemake when visiting Mammoth Mountain for the first time to give you a head starton finding your perfect run or feature. Check it out below and let us know what you find!
Riding Near Eagle Lodge
Most experienced skiers and snowboarders know to avoid riding the runs at the base of the mountain thanks to the crowds of young or beginner riders and skiers, but thanks to the size of Mammoth’s base that is easier said than done.
The main area you’ll want to avoid is the runs above Eagle Lodge. Although there are other areas with more lifts and runs, thanks to the concentration of beginner and intermediate runs serviced by only one lift this area is a sure bet for crowds. Add only one run (Lupin) leading to the only lift in the area, and you get a bottleneck that you’ll want to avoid unless you like lift lines.
If you’re a beginner, search out for other chairs like Chair 21, Discovery Chair, and Chair 12 where you’ll have plenty of blue and green runs to choose from without the bottleneck at Eagle Express. You still may run into crowds in these areas, but they shouldn’t be nearly as bad as those above Eagle Lodge.
Losing Speed on the Village Ski Back Trail
Although skiers have some wiggle room thanks to their poles, once you lose your speed on the ski back trail you’re going to regret it no matter what you’re riding.
The Village Ski Back Trail is a trail that begins at the top of Gold Rush Express and takes riders and skiers all the way back to the heart of the Village at Mammoth. While the ski back trail is an excellent way to get back to the village at the end of the day, it can also turn into a hike if you lose your speed halfway through. There is plenty of incline but there are also plenty of flats, so keep your speed up on the ski back trail and avoid wearing yourself out at the end of the day.
Riding the Backside in Bad Weather
Each system is different and any part of the mountain could get hit by bad weather, but the backside of the mountain is typically where you’ll want to avoid when riding during a storm.
Mammoth Mountain is already a windy mountain, and even though the top of the mountain gets plenty of wind the backside is still the area you’ll want to avoid thanks to winds high enough to affect riding and visibility.
Riding Fast Through Slow Zones
Having lifts all over the mountain also means slow zones all over the mountain.
Slow zones are easy to recognize at the base of the mountain where the amount of people requires you to ride slowly, but as you go further up it gets harder to recognize these areas and the danger increases. For example Gremlin’s Gulch gives riders the chance to build speed thanks to wide trails that are free of trees and other terrain, but beneath it is the slow zone surrounding Chair 23’s base. For the safety of yourself and everyone around you, pay attention to posted signs and follow their instructions. Stop by ASO Mammoth for all of your Mammoth Mountain local tips, ski and snowboard rentals, and winter gear!