The Basics of Skiing and Snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain

When it comes down to it, skiing and snowboarding are simple sports. Find some snow, strap something to your feet, and go have fun.

Having fun is a little more complicated than just going where the snow is at Mammoth Mountain. Whether it’s the weather, 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, or just knowing how to get around, there’s so much you need to know to find your perfect place to ski or snowboard at Mammoth Mountain. To keep things simple, we’ve listed the basics of Mammoth Mountain below so you can simply strap in and have fun during your next visit. Check them out!

If It Involves Snow, You’ll Find it at Mammoth Mountain

Here’s some Mammoth Mountain basics: Mammoth Mountain’s Eastern Sierra location and base elevation of 7,953 feet and summit elevation of 11,053 feet combine to drop over 400 inches of snow every year. Typically, the mountain opens with manmade snow in the middle to second half of November. Although early season storms are never out of the question at Mammoth, most of the serious snow falls in January, February, and March with the season extending into May and beyond. Simply put, Mammoth Mountain has the snow.

If that’s not enough to convince you to visit Mammoth, know that there are 150 named trails that include groomers, trees, cliffs, chutes, and even a backcountry-style terrain park. Plus, there are five different terrain parks that offer features for beginners and experts alike. And that’s just what’s in the resort. The Eastern Sierras are a beautiful place for backcountry adventures.

Mammoth Mountain Basics

Don’t Forget About the Weather

We’ve already mentioned Mammoth’s ridiculous average snowfall, but there’s more to skiing and snowboarding weather than just how much snow falls out of the sky.

Mammoth is famous for its sunshine, and the mountain averages 300 days of clear skies a year. Don’t think that the weather is always tame because of the sunshine, as Mammoth often experiences higher than average winds that turn cold winter temperatures bone-chilling.

To keep up with the weather at Mammoth Mountain, we recommend the following sources:

For basic but reliable weather reports check out The National Weather Service’s Mammoth Lakes Page and the Mammoth Mountain Snow and Weather Report.

If you want local weather info then check out Howard Sheckter’s Mammoth Weather blog.

Where to Ride by Skill Level

If you’re still getting comfortable on your skis or snowboard, then you should start with the basics and the best runs for you are serviced by Eagle Express at Eagle Lodge, Schoolyard Express at Canyon Lodge, and Discovery Chair at Main Lodge.

Most of the intermediate runs start around the middle of the mountain, so lifts like Chair 12, Gold Rush Express, and Chair 14 on the backside are just a few lifts that offer access to plenty of intermediate runs.

Expert snowboarders and skiers should head over to Dragon’s Tail or The Hemlocks on the back side of the mountain for tree runs and go to Kiwi Flats and the surrounding runs for steep chutes. For a little bit of everything, take Chair 22 or Chair 25 and explore the cliffs and trees nearby!

You can read more about the different skill level runs in this post.

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