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Spring into Action Sports at Mammoth Mountain

By Kevin Osborne

For over 60 years the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has been a winter-sports paradise for Californians, but the springtime brings its own particular joys that make a trip to the Eastern Sierras a special event.

Due to the nature of its geography, Mammoth Mountain has traditionally had good snow well into the summer months, and this year is no exception with over 50 feet of snowfall and still counting. And with the best winter in over seven years, the drive to the Sierras this season is especially beautiful with an abundance of green grass on the hillsides, and colorful wildflowers in bloom.

Founded in 1953 by Dave McCoy, Mammoth has grown into a world-class resort with 28 lifts and 150 named trails, plus countless unnamed tree, and backside runs--and all of these are currently open for skiing and snowboarding fun. This year’s plans are for the lifts to keep spinning until the Fourth of July, or later.

As the snowy, cloud-covered winter days start to give way to the sunny, bluebird days of spring, the snow softens a bit and the air warms up to create very pleasant conditions for snowboarding, skiing, and other alpine sports. The soft, granular California Corn snow develops, creating fast, harder snow in the mornings, and softer, more forgiving snow in the afternoons. And the fashions change as well with people skiing in short sleeves and shorts--or less! The scene is also set for excellent Pendant- and Apres-Ski activities, such as sunning slopeside and enjoying lunch on the mountain, to bar hopping before the sun has set. Mammoth’s new Village area is perfect for the latter with over 10 bars and restaurants to explore and enjoy. Besides the warm sunny weather, other springtime perks include smaller crowds, and reduced rates at many lodging facilities.

For those so inclined, the Volcom Brothers Skatepark is a great stop on the way into Mammoth, on Meridian Boulevard just before entering the town of Mammoth Lakes. This spacious and open skatepark was designed organically, matching the pre-existing form of the land, with large rocks and boulders sculpted into the ridable terrain. The free-flowing nature of the park makes for very enjoyable riding, with no two runs ever being exactly the same. This is definitely one of the funnest skateparks ever built, and it is also a great tune-up before hitting the slopes.

Other springtime activities in the Mammoth Lakes area include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, hiking, fishing, biking, or just enjoying the beautiful surroundings and the clean, fresh mountain air.

If you are lucky enough to live by the beach, start your trip off with a surf or swim before you hit the road, but either way, now is the time to treat yourself to some excellent springtime snowboarding, skiing, and alpine sports at the amazing Mammoth Mountain Ski Area!


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