Mammoth season still alive and well

If you're still up for snowsports better get off to your favorite resort -- if it's still open. The warm weather which keeps Bay area skiers and boarders away has had its way and the areas are closing fast.

Homewood followed Diamond Peak in shutting down last weekend. Sierra-at-Tahoe will close this weekend on Sunday. Northstar-at-Tahoe will close on April 21, ditto for Kirkwood. No word from Heavenly, Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl or Alpine Meadows; these usually are the last to close. And Boreal and Soda Springs haven't announced a closing yet; they still get a lot of Bay area traffic.

Snowsporting is alive and well at Mammoth Mountain, happily. Value rates take effect April 22 with adult lift tickets going down from $56 to $45 for adults, $34 for teens and $22 for children and seniors. I've skied Mammoth on the Fourth of July and it was fine, so you can be sure of good snow there. If you've got a season pass to any resort present it at the ticket window and get $10 off.

The West Coast Invitational will be held at Mammoth May 3-5 and will include exhibitions, concert and hoe down. Lots of special packages available, call (800) MAMMOTH or check e-mail at


If you're putting away your skis or boards for the season, don't forget to prepare them for the garage. Although some dispute it, I've always backed off my bindings before stowing the skis. This is simple: just flip open the top of the bindings and reverse the indication on the DIN setting to zero. This goes for both front and rear bindings (snowboarders don't have to bother with this).

It's a good idea to put a final coating of wax on the bottoms of skis and boards. The Ptex base can dry out and wax helps prevent that. You don't need to polish the wax, just rub it on well.

It's not required but you might want to go over your edges to take out burrs and nicks. Do it now and you won't have to do it next season. I don't block my skis when I put them away; modern skis seem to hold their camber without it.

This will be the last column on snowsporting for the season. For final closings, check the Skinny page in sports. I'll be back once the snow melts enough so we can start hiking. Right now I'm looking forward to Horsetail Falls on Highway 50 going west, but that probably won't be clear until June. Meanwhile, there's plenty of lower Rim Trail sections that will be clear soon. See you there.


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