When I was growing up at a small east coast hill, the first few weeks of the season meant hunting for bumps in hopes that you could point your snowboard at it fast enough to catch a little air. These things were never meant to be jumped off, and ski patrol would usually have an issue with whatever you were up to. Thank goodness those days are in the past, because mountains this season are opening up with parks that make it look the the summer sun never hit these hillsides.
Mammoth Mountain opened on November 10, with three lifts, a well-stocked park, and a lineup of events that almost made the shredding superfluous (don’t be afraid of the four-finger tap Mac users). The hill opened with much more than the simple snowmaking wale that my generation grew up with, offering a jump in the 40-45 foot range, a couple of smaller ones, and 14 jibs (stair set, down rails, planter box, and much more).
Then on Friday night it started snowing and people coming up for the Big Winter Kick Off were treated to fresh pow turns to start their season. After that, the Village at Mammoth hosted a handful of events— from autograph signings by the pros to the launch party for the newest issue of Unbound Magazine to a concert from hipster-rockers The Black Lips and Ra Ra Riot.
Mammoth is already working on their world-famous 22-foot pipe, and more snow is in the forecast this weekend, meaning the parks will be getting better by the night. Keep an eye out for the next show in their concert series, when Art of Flight-soundtrack sweethearts The Naked and Famous comes to town.