UPDATE, Monday, Oct. 19:
After enjoying an early opener, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has closed.
Mammoth Mountain opened last Friday with a day of free skiing and snowboarding, and remained open for the weekend. However, Mammoth issued a press release Sunday afternoon stating the mountain would be closed starting today.
Mammoth Mountain public relations manager Daniel Hansen said in the press release, “After a very careful evaluation of the current snow conditions, it has been determined that we should not continue to operate for skiing and snowboarding … record temperatures and high water content of the snow combined for quickly deteriorating conditions. All options were evaluated but right now the ground and snow are too wet … we will re-evaluate on a daily basis.”
Mammoth’s original opening date was Nov. 12.
From last Friday:
Park Service crews re-opened Tioga Pass to through traffic last Thursday. The important connection to the west side of the Sierra had been closed due to early snow, but has now set up an unusual situationin which Tioga Pass is open at the same time that Mammoth Mountain is open.
Normally winter snows arrive, shut the pass down, and open the mountain. In the same year that air service is set to tie Mammoth Mountain to San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area, visitors will be able to drive to the only open major resort in California by the most direct route. A seven hour journey once the pass closes will be about five hours.
Mammoth Mountain wasnt the first resort to open this year. That honor went to Boreal near Donner Summit, which opened for one weekend and has since shut down, but Mammoth is now the only major resort in California to offer skiing and snowboarding.
Mammoth is traditionally known as a drive up destination for Southern California skiers and snowboarders, while northern California residents traditionally head to Tahoe. With none of the big resorts in Tahoe open, perhaps a few northern California customers will drive over Tioga pass for a taste of Mammoth.