As if Mammoth Mountain didn’t offer enough terrain and options for skiers and snowboarders, there is another unique way to ride Mammoth that appeals to the backcountry junkie in all of us.
If you have the skill and stamina to skip the lifts entirely and earn your turns, then Mammoth Mountain offers three different trails and a separate day or season passes for skiers and split boarders to hike up the hill all day long. We at ASO Mammoth love taking the lifts and resting our legs, but if enjoy a hike (and a steeply discounted lift ticket) then check out ASO Mammoth’s Uphill Skiing and Split Boarding Guide!
How Much Does it Cost?
We will give you the dessert first. An uphill day ticket only costs $29 while an uphill season pass comes in at $149. While no one can deny the appeal of uphill skiing when they compare those rates to regular day and season passes, depending on your opinion of exercising at 10,000 feet and beyond those savings may not be worth the extra exercise.
What Runs Can You Access?
If you don’t mind burning calories and spending extra time walking up the mountain, then you can begin your uphill ski or split board day at either of the lodges at the mountain’s base. If you’re starting your day at Eagle or Canyon Lodge, then most of the immediately available trails will be around Chair 25 and Chair 22 with the uphill route from both lodges ending near the ski patrol station at the top of both lifts. If you are starting at Eagle Lodge, the uphill trail begins just pass the base of Eagle Express and at Canyon it begins near the base of Canyon Express.
It is important to note that uphill ski and split board passes do not give access to any of the lifts on the mountain, so in the case of the Canyon and Eagle Lodge uphill trails the upper parts of the mountain are off limits. However, if you’re looking to walk higher towards more technical terrain then the trail that begins near Main Lodge and reaches up the backside of the mountain will deliver. Not only does the West Summit Uphill Route give access all the way up to Santiago and WhiteBark Bowl, but it will also give hikers access to The Hemlocks.
If you love the backcountry enough to hike when there are perfectly good lifts nearby and are an expert, then The Hemlocks are a must for you. Thanks to the natural features, deep powder, and steep incline, this park has everything there is to love about the backcountry.
Plus, there is not lift access to the top, so why not hike just a little further for your reward?
How Can You Stay Safe?
If you’ve been wondering how uphill skiers and split boarders stay safe while riders are speeding down, you’re not alone. The Mammoth Mountain team has plenty of rules and restrictions to keep everyone in good enough shape to come back tomorrow.
For example, anyone using the uphill pass must stay on the designated trails at all times and never cut across the middle of the trails where the other riders and skiers are. If you’re making the trek uphill you must also use a split board or skis fitted with retention devices such as skins and climbing scales and cannot snowshoe or hike. Uphill passes will not be sold without proper equipment.
Lastly, it is up the skier or split boarder to stay aware of their surroundings. One way to avoid collisions with other people or machines on the mountain is to refrain from using headphones while going up the hill.
We know that some of the techniques and gear required to hike up Mammoth are out of the ordinary, so if you have any questions about buying or renting gear stop by ASO Mammoth for the best information on the mountain!