Mammoth can get a little breezy sometimes but even when it’s windy it is not all bad. I’ve also been listening to the ‘word on the street’ about how windy or bad the weather is going to get. I normally hear it first on my morning gondola ride with someone speculating about the perfect storm hitting Mammoth and it makes such an interesting story it spreads like wildfire.
So here are my tips on the wind and forecasts:
1. Dress warm! A face mask or a neck warmer you can pull up are essential. Hand warmers can be useful too.
2. Stay low and head to Canyon if it’s really windy. Chair 7, 8 and 21 are probably the most sheltered chairs to go to.
3. Don’t let a bad forecast ruin your trip. There’s been lots of times a bad forecast has turned out incorrect. You might miss that awesome powder day!
4. Wear goggles even if it’s a clear day. I don’t like goggles myself but on a windy day they stop your eyes watering and keep your face warmer.
5. Seek out slopes that are sheltered and have collected the wind blown snow; an example would be the avalanche runs off chair 22 but this depends on the wind direction. The wind blown snow at Mammoth can be amazing and some of the best snow you will ever ski. Avoid around areas that look like a moon landscape unless you like crud.
6. Get a lesson for skiing variable conditions.
7. Don’t believe everything you hear on the gondola or chairlift.
8. If all else fails put rocks in your pockets to stop from being blown away.
Skiing in the wind can be a lot of fun, don’t let a little ‘breeze’ put you off!