Where to go late season.
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11 users
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tromano
August 19, 2006
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
As you may or may not know, I am graduating from GWU next spring. I have thought about it and they best way I can think to celbrate is a little early summer ski trip Comencement is May 20th. I have noticed a number of ski areas that have remained open until July+ in recent years. What places should I consider based on probability of snow in late may. Just looking for some ideas. :P
Roy
August 19, 2006
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I'd say your #1 option should be Mammoth. They consistently stay open later than anyone else and are still melting off 10+ feet of base. I've never been but have friends in California who go until July.
Scott - DCSki Editor
August 19, 2006
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,148 posts
I agree, Mammoth would be a good choice. I skied at Mammoth way back in 1998, and wrote this Firsthand Report for DCSki:

http://dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=242

As you can see from some of the pics, there was quite a bit of snow.

I can't say it was perfect skiing (many of the facilities and trails were closed due to lack of people (not lack of base), and the surface conditions quickly went from ice to slush). On the other hand, it was skiing in June. Enough said.
fb
August 19, 2006
Member since 03/16/2006 🔗
68 posts
A-basin in colorado, sometimes open til july.
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Roger Z
August 19, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Tuckerman's.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 19, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,739 posts
Another late open place is Timberline on Mt Hood, OR, but I think Mammoth would have more terrain open. Maybe Mt. Bachelor or Snowbird, UT? Or how about Whistler?
If you went to Mammoth you could combine with non-ski things like Yosemite or Las Vegas?
tromano
August 19, 2006
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Quote:

Another late open place is Timberline on Mt Hood, OR, but I think Mammoth would have more terrain open. Maybe Mt. Bachelor or Snowbird, UT? Or how about Whistler?
If you went to Mammoth you could combine with non-ski things like Yosemite or Las Vegas?




I like the sound of this! The majority seem to think that Mammoth is the palce. I guess he idea is to fly to vegas and drive from there?

Thanks for all the recomendations. And keep em coming. I am jsut looking into different places so I have a list of different otption which I can then draw from based on conditions.
BushwackerinPA
August 20, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Mammoth, has more open terrain that time of year than anyone. Snowbird is ok but its is not like Mammoth.

FYI I would drive out to mammoth from SLC that time of year.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
August 20, 2006
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,944 posts
If it were me, I might hold out for a summer trip to Portillo, Chile, or Las Lenas in Argentina--two places I've always dreamed of visiting. On the other hand, it's certainly a lot cheaper to fly to vegas or LA and drive to Mammoth. With South America, now (mid-August) seems the time to go:

http://www.skiportillo.com/conditions/conditions-eng.html
jimmy
August 22, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Tromano, Cheers!

Quote:

As you may or may not know, I am graduating from GWU next spring. I have thought about it and they best way I can think to celbrate is a little early summer ski trip Comencement is May 20th. :P




Just from what i've read, picture and all, i think mammoth should be on everyones list of things to do.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
September 4, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,234 posts
I've skied Mammoth (July 4th 2005), Timberline (Mt. Hood) and Mt. Bachelor, all in May or later. Mammoth has the best and most varied terrain that is still open. However Las Vegas is still a long way from Mammoth. It is best to fly into LAX or Ontario, CA (slightly better). It is 330 miles from LAX and ~ 300 from Ontario. The route takes you through the desert and has a scenic majesty that cannot be explained. The high Sierras are less than 10 miles away to the west and rise 10,000 feet higher than the road. Once out of the LA congestion you can go 80 mph most of the way and be in Mammoth Lakes in ~ 5 hrs. total +/- a little bit. There are flights into Bishop but I've never taken them. In May and later you can bargain for lodging during the week. A good starting point is, "I got $xx at YY, can you beat that?" Depending on time available you may want to take a sidetrip to Yosemite. Go another 40 miles north (beyond Mammoth Lakes) on 395 and take the Tioga Pass Highway into Yosemite. I skied in Tioga Pass in June '04 right after the road opened. It is under as much as 50 feet of snow in winter. That is backcountry and I climbed to 13,000 feet to ski.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
September 4, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,234 posts
Looking at Mapquest, I see that it is 300 miles from Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes, about the same as the distance from LA. I don't know how good the roads are, I've never done it. Business takes me to LA frequently and I always try to tack on a weekend for skiing if there is snow at Mammoth.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
September 4, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,739 posts
Denis, how would you go from Mammoth to San Francisco in winter? If that route straight through Yosemite is not open it looks like you have a much longer trip?
Murphy
September 4, 2006
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
I believe Reno is closer than LAX. Beautiful drive too.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
September 4, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,234 posts
Quote:

Denis, how would you go from Mammoth to San Francisco in winter? If that route straight through Yosemite is not open it looks like you have a much longer trip?




In May, Reno is probably the better bet if you can get a convenient flight. From San Francisco you will have to first go to Reno and then take 395 south from Reno because there is no open road through the Sierras south of Rt. 50 at South Lake Tahoe. They are not open until June. The Sierras are the most formidable range in the lower 48 with no open passes in winter (6-7 months) for a distance of more than 300 miles. You don't want to take 395 from Reno to Mammoth in winter. I did it once and will never do it again. There are 3 passes (which oddly are called 'summits' in CA) over 8000 feet. Each time it began to snow hard as we approached the pass, there was a mandatory chain up, and visibility went to zero. We could not see the edges of the road. Meanwhile big trucks going the other way could see because the cabs were more than 10 feet up, above the snow blowing along the ground. Several times we were startled by the sight of big trucks coming straight at us in our lane. They would materialize no more than 100 feet in front of us. We would go right, hoping that there was pavement there. There was, or I wouldn't be telling this story, but it was scary as hell.

In contrast the road from the south is easy. You drive through flat desert, the Owens Valley, until Bishop, which is at 4000 feet. Then you climb steadily to 7000 feet in about 20 miles. It is never steep, is not subject to whiteout, and the distance from Bishop to Mammoth is about 40 miles. It is not free of hazards because weather can be wild there. Once I left Mammoth in a blizzard and breathed a great sigh of relief when I got down to Bishop and out of the snow. It was premature. I saw 3 or 4 big SUVs and one bus blown over in the ditches at the side of the road on my way back to LA.

Here's a website for you.
http://395.com/
tromano
September 4, 2006
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Dennis, Thanks for the advice on route.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
September 5, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,234 posts
Here is a terrific website on Mammoth's runs.
http://patrol.mammothmountain.com/Atlas/Atlas.html
Move your mouse to the area of interest, click, then click on "Path Info". This will give you statistics on one or more runs in that area. Clicking on "Shot Placement" shows where the ski patrol places avalanche shells. I have had hours of fun with this, and learned about a few runs I haven't skied. Warning - do not open at work, you will waste too much time. As you can see Mammoth is just that, huge. It was actually named 150 yrs. ago for the Mammoth Gold Mine, which was named to encourage investment. The mine didn't do so well but the ski area has.

I've forgotten where I got this, possibly from DCSki. If so I apologize for not remembering enough to give proper credit.
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