A Mammoth Storm

Well! It was a VERY stormy Christmas 2021 for us at Mammoth Mountain this past week. When we got there Tuesday NOAA was calling for 70+ inches of snow.

The weather, as you might expect, was abominable—a.k.a. perfect.

Nothing was open out of Main Lodge because of the storm, so we spent most of our time working chair 21. The winds were fierce. The runs were empty. The skiing was good, but I was thinking a bit wistfully about all that untapped frontside powder.

Soon enough it was time for us to drive home. From the empty Mill Creek lot we caught an empty shuttle back up the hill.

The bus pulled into the parking lot just as they started turning Unbound. It was Christmas Eve. Everything on that side of the mountain had been closed for days and other than a handful of very stoked Mammoth liftees, Main Lodge was a ghost town.

We put the drive home on hold.

I don't think I'll ever have an experience like that again—untracked Broadway with absolutely no one else on it. Untracked Stump Alley. Everything was untracked. They hadn't even dug out the lift line. It was untracked in the maze!

u n r e a l

If the skiing in the video here seems a little less than elite level, please note the POV shots are entirely my son Owen. We'll work on those hands. Until then, yes indeed the Soul 7 rides again — and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

— December 25, 2021

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Brad Brown December 26, 2021 at 6:34 pm

Yummy. I love that little hit Owen was repeating, done the same myself many times. Still have my 7’s in the quiver but the M6’s are the tool I’ve been looking for on most days…The only pow day last year started as boiler plate ice and frigid temps…but patience, and hand warmers, kept us out there until closing as the MM snow machine kicked in leaving 6”+ by days end. With enough speed and mitigated turn pressure you could float above the boiler plate. Most flailed but Bob and I sailed along with a couple of die hard locals. I can still feel it, best day of the year in a pretty good year attendance year, albeit pretty dry . Timing, and perspective, are everything in the mountains, as those 3 days featured exquisite spring conditions, deteriorating mush turned crust, to boiler plate, to pow as MM wound back the hands of time once again from spring to winter. Man I love this sport.

Andy December 26, 2021 at 7:44 pm

Mammoth is definitely a place of miracles

Dan Conger December 28, 2021 at 8:09 pm

Even attending high school in Bishop, days like that were rare. That wind footage at Main was insane. Miss hitting the powder like that …

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