Mammoth would be great if it stopped snowing

Mammoth Mountain was awesome Monday and Tuesday, so awesome that we barely got any skiing in.

Monday morning it was snowing hard, visibility was so bad you had to wipe off the goggles while making turns. And it was heavy, wet snow, not the kind of powder that makes it easy for older legs. Tuesday morning more of the same with dire warnings about the storm continuing. So we gave up and headed for home.

The massive April storm at Mammoth pushed the resort past its all-time snowfall record by Tuesday afternoon. As of Wednesday morning, Mammoth Mountain had recorded 632 inches, or 52 feet of snow since October. The previous record of 617 inches was set in the 1992/93 season. The enormous 20-foot-deep snow pack prompted officials to extend the ski season to the Fourth of July.

Mammoth Mountain, typically known for its sunny days, has had measurable amounts of snowfall 24 of the past 36 days. March was a near-record month with 189 inches of snow, followed by 73 inches of snow in the first few days of April.

The snow pack was so deep at the Main Lodge, skiers and snowboarders had to walk down onto the third-story sundeck. Only the tusks of the mammoth statue were visible in the parking lot.

Mammoth will be open for skiing and riding on the entire mountain through April 30. From April 30 until at least July 4, Mammoth will offer skiing and riding from top to bottom out of Main Lodge. By the Numbers:

• 73 inches of snow have fallen since April 1

• It snowed 20 out of 31 days in the month of March for a total of 189 inches

• As of April 5, the season snowfall total at Mammoth was 632 inches or 52 feet

• The previous record of 617 inches was set in the 1992/93 season

• This season has given snow enthusiasts a total of 58 powder days and counting

• The current base depth is 20-22 feet and the resort will operate until July 4

There's a week-long party at Mammoth starting April 24 with lots of good deals. We're going to give it another go then.


Northstar Resort's Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Center will sell this year's stock of Telemark boots and skis April 15-16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The sale includes Crispi CXA, Crispi CXR, Scarpa T2 and Scarpa T3 boots. Telemark skis include women's models from K2 and Karhu and men's skis from Fischer and K2. All skis are mounted with G3 Targa bindings and range from $200 to $400, including bindings and a base prep.

Those who want the chance to try before they buy are invited to demo the Telemark skis or boots on April 15-16. Cost of demo the equipment will go toward the purchase price. A valid lift ticket is required to demo equipment.

Call (530) 562-2475 for details and sizing information.


The Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Foundation invites the public to a food and wine benefit for snow sports programs for area children. The sixth Annual "Grapes & Gates" fundraiser is for May 11 at Edgewood Tahoe from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Proceeds will go to the scholarship fund for Alpine ski racing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding programs for local children.

Six restaurants - Nephele's Restaurant, Edgewood Tahoe, Café Fiore, Evans, Mirabelle Restaurant, and Kilanis - will supply the food. Some of the participating wineries are Caymus, Silver Oak, Rombauer and Far Niente with several more to sample.

There will also be special silent and live auction items to support the athletes.

South Shore athletes and coaches will be mingling with donors. Two-time Olympian and Bronze super G World Championship medal winner Jonna Mendes will attend along with recent Olympian Elena Hight who finished sixth in Snowboard halfpipe.

Tickets are $100 each and limited to 100 guests. Call Heavenly Ski & Snowboard Foundation at (530) 541-7354.


Sierra-at-Tahoe got 18.5 feet of snow in the month of March and Northstar-at-Tahoe received 12 feet; both resorts blowing away their seasonal snowfall averages.

Sierra's average annual snowfall is 420 inches, which it has surpassed by a whopping 100 inches already with 240-520 inches falling so far this season. Northstar's average annual snowfall total is 350 inches, which the resort has already exceeded by 10 inches with three weeks still remaining in the season.

Tuesday Northstar received 14-20 inches of light, dry powder, bringing the resort's base depth to eight to 14 feet of open powder, rider packed and machine groomed snow. Sierra received 14-18 inches bringing its base depth to 100-223 inches.

Currently, both resorts have projected closing dates of April 23, which means skiers and riders have just three weeks left to take advantage of some of the best spring conditions Lake Tahoe has ever seen.

Sierra and Northstar welcome spring-breakers with College Week April 10-14, when college students can purchase a $41 lift ticket when they present a current college identification card.


Alpine Meadows has received 197.5 inches of snow at its base lodge and 277.5 inches at its mid-mountain snow in March. That averages out to more than six inches every day in March. March of 2006 is the official all-time record holder for the most snow accumulation in the span of one month.


More than 75 inches of new snow in has pushed Kirkwood's snowfall total for the season over 750 inches. Due to the unusually deep snow pack, 200Ð325 inches, the terrain offers lines and opportunities never seen before.

Weekend events include the Best of Kirkwood Saturday, an evening filled with cuisine, libations from local wineries and breweries, and a huge silent auction with items such as a trip to the San Juan mountains, a private weekend getaway in wine country complete with an exclusive vintner's luncheon, and a week's stay in a private residence in England.

The Sort of Famous Banked Slalom on Sunday is a modified slalom course is set in Snowsnake Gully, a natural ravine that offers a unique course that can only be run in Kirkwood.

Coming up is the 13th Annual Spring Snow Party Bonanza, Jammin' 13, from April 14-16. Pond skimming, rail jams, big air comps and fun events for the family make this a fine spring snow party.


With all that lovely snow out there, you might want to consider dumping the wax you have on skis and boards and replacing it with spring wax. You know the drill: scrape off the old with a plastic card, dribble melted wax on the base, let it cool, scrape again and go over the base with a wire brush. Keeps those skis and boards easy to turn and faster.


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