Eye on CA
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Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 4, 2008
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,225 posts
It is all over the news that the Sierra are going to get pounded with massive snowfall,
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/01/04/california.storms/?iref=hpmostpop

Here is a story I posted a few minutes ago on the SkiVT-List (I have family & friends up there) Perhaps a few here are also interested in such snowfalls. \:\)

I've got my eye on it. I'll be in LA on business the week of Jan. 28 and will follow that with a couple days of play at Mammoth, one of the very best ski mountains anywhere. I do a lot of business trips to LA, many in the winter. \:\) However it doesn't have to be winter. I have skied there on July 4, riding lifts. I have also skied Mt. Conness in the Tioga Pass backcountry in late June. First trip to Mammoth was with my son in Mar. 95. It started to snow as we were driving there. It was the leading edge of a "Pineapple Express" string of storms, just like what they are going to get now. An hour after we arrived the roads were closed and remained closed for a week while it snowed 9 feet. It stayed cold and the snow was light & dry; I'd call it British Columbia powder rather than Utah powder. We never got up to the corniced ridge; too much wind and avy danger too high. All lifts were closed for an hour or so a couple of times due to lightning. Mammoth has a town shuttle bus with 4WD & chains which we took from town to mtn. each day. It was a record snow year and in places the groomers had dug 20 foot deep trenches so the chairs wouldn't bottom out. It was an amazing week.

When the winds are howling and avy danger is high there are many alternatives. You can XC ski up to the Mammoth Lakes (Lake Mary loop) on the Tamarack Trails touring system. It is wind sheltered, out of any slide run out zones, and very beautiful. June Mtn., 10 miles away and on the same lift ticket as Mammoth, is a little skied gem. It is much more wind sheltered than Mammoth and has some of the best moderate angle trees anywhere that are safely out of any run out zones. Few SO CA skiers venture into trees. You can have uncut powder all day and come back next day for more of the same.
skier219
January 4, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
There is an annual AIAA conference in Reno that I ocassionally go to, and it happens next week. Sadly, I am not attending this time around. It would have given me paid airfare to get out there, and been a good chance to take some leave to ski. Folks in Tahoe next week will probably hit a jackpot, assuming they can get to the slopes!
JohnL
January 4, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Denis,

How would you compare Mammoth to some of the other large Sierra areas, such as Squaw and Alpine Meadows?

It is impressive how much accumulation that region can get. I was in Tahoe in the mid 90's and it snowed 8 feet in 4 days; the storms were queued in the Pacific like airplanes landing at an airport.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 4, 2008
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,225 posts
They are all great. Mammoth really is. It takes its name from the Mammoth Gold Mine, which chose it to entice investors. The mine yielded little gold and soon folded but the name stuck to the mountain. Much as I love the Tahoe areas no one of them matches Mammoth. If you combined Squaw, Alpine Meadows, and Sugar Bowl, 3 of my favorites, you'd come close. Mammoth is in the eastern Sierra which is higher and gets lighter snow and often more of it.

Also, IMHO, it is easier and a lot safer and less stressful to fly to LAX (or Burbank, or Ontario) and drive to Mammoth than it is to fly to SF or Oakland and drive to Tahoe. Flying to Reno works fine for Tahoe but don't even dream about driving Reno to Mammoth if there is any chance of snow. I did it once and will never do it again. Driving I-80 from SF bay area to Tahoe is a game of Russian roulette. Donner Pass is a consistent grade of ~ 5 miles long. It is very heavily traveled and the truckers will tailgate 5 feet off your rear bumper at 80 mph going faster and faster as they proceed down the hill under the influence of gravity. They will not brake if you are going slower but will force you to match their speed. Often all lanes are filled and you cannot get out of the way. It does not take much imagination to see the possibilities if there is snow. To drive over Donner Pass very often in winter is to court death IMHO. I was there once when a 35 vehicle pile up collision closed I-80 in both directions for 6 hrs. CA is quick to put on chain restrictions. I think this is clever like a fox. You can't go more than ~ 35 with chains so the trucks are forced to slow down.

OTOH the drive up 395 to Mammoth from LA is easy. All the altitude gain is in the last 30 miles with consistent grade and very well maintained and with light traffic.
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
January 5, 2008
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
840 posts
According to skireport.com, Kirkwood checks in with 48-60" in the last 24 hours !!!! Alpine meadows with 30". I would guess Heavenly is similar. High winds and avy control closed 88 - hope it is now open for all those desparate bay area and Sacramento powder hounds. How much drifting can you get with 5 ft of snow ?
crunchy
January 7, 2008
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
they report over 10 FEET from the storm now.. good god! just waiting for the crazy pictures to start flowing. Colorado is gettin tons too. Sounds a little sketchy with all the inbounds avi's and such being reported...

pic of silverton in Co which is closed now i think from it..

kwillg6
January 7, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
OH MY GOD !!!!!!!!!!! wHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE TO HAVE A THIRD OF THAT IN THE WV ALPPS. \:o
Murphy
January 7, 2008
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
 Originally Posted By: skier219
There is an annual AIAA conference in Reno that I ocassionally go to, and it happens next week. Sadly, I am not attending this time around. It would have given me paid airfare to get out there, and been a good chance to take some leave to ski. Folks in Tahoe next week will probably hit a jackpot, assuming they can get to the slopes!


My office mate is going to be there for the whole week and he's not going skiing. What a waste!

This year is the last year they'll have the conference in Reno. Most people are thankful they're leaving but engineers can be a bunch of dweebs!
Roger Z
January 7, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Wolf Creek is, as usual, winning the powder war EAST of the Sangro de Cristos in CO... 50 inches and counting in this storm. Silverton looks like it's disappearing!
skier219
January 7, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Yeah, I think only a few of us will miss the Reno venue. All the other "dweebs" were always complaining about the cold weather and travel issues getting there, and will be happy with the new locations.

Reno was about the only conference I had a "personal" interest in going to. I should have written a paper for this last one, but have been too busy.
comprex
January 7, 2008
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Well. THAT was fun.
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