Mid Winter Skiing in May
Trip Start Apr 30, 2010
52Trip End Sep 05, 2010
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We made it to Mammoth for a great - albeit windy, sleety, snowy - day of skiing. We had a ton of fun, the snow was unbelievable.
We got to Mammoth around 5:30 and after checking out the mountain base to see where we needed to go in the morning, we headed back into the little town a couple of miles down from the base. We figured we would find a spot to park the van, and then maybe stroll the town to find a bite, a pint and some wireless. Finding a spot to park proved more difficult than we thought in this ski town that apparently tries to keep its ski bums out of their vans and in Mammoth's hotels. In every lot, big red letters warned NO OVERNIGHT PARKING, often with
Fortunately the Motel 6 had laundry facilities, so we did a couple of much-needed loads – not that having all our clothes clean really helped with the problem at hand: we had no real ski gear. At one point in the trip planning, Matt and I had even discussed bringing our skis, or maybe at least our boots to make for an easier and more comfortable day on the hill. But as we looked at the timing of the driving, we realized we would really only have one day to spare for skiing, and real estate in the van was tight, so we figured we’d just rent gear for simplicity’s
For some reason though, we both envisioned that spring skiing in California would entail bluebird skies, bright Cali sun and temperatures to match. Not even close – at least not for our chosen ski day. Mammoth’s literature boasts 300+ days of sunshine a year, but clearly our day was not one of them. The forecast was for about -5C and blowing snow. Not a good match for the shorts, t-shirts and sunscreen we had pictured ourselves wearing a few weeks ago.
So, we improvised a bit. Matt had his spring ski shell which he combined with lightweight foul weather pants. I had my foul weather jacket and a pair of decrepit old yellow foulies – they haven’t been water or wind proof in years, but I lost my functional pair last season and hadn’t replaced them yet. (I had a few cold days but Foul weather on Lac St Louis isn’t exactly ocean crossing weather – or California in May, as I learned). I did have an assortment of tuques (of
The snow at Mammoth was great – the snow on the hill, at least. The half-snow, half-sleet (depending on elevation) that pelted our faces while we skied wasn’t so great. But the snow/freezing rain lessened as the day went on and we got a bit used to it as well, so in the end the weather wasn’t such a bother. The ongoing precipitation and elevation made for some
We took a couple of breaks since the 8000 feet of altitude got our heads a bit, so we didn’t