Winter Sports, Mammoth Lakes
The face and North side of Lincoln Mountain has some great Double Diamond runs. These are great when the wind conditions close the top. You have your choice of chutes or trees and generally uncrowded. But you better be an above average skier as there is no easy way down.
Equipment: In addition to your board or skis, be sure to bring your huevos!!!
Mammoth Mountain is one of the best ski resorts in the country, it has more than 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, serviced by 28 lifts, including 3 gondolas. The area has 3,100 ft of vertical, rising to an elevation of 11,053 ft. There are several terrain parks throughout the mountain, and plenty of challenging chutes and open mogul runs. The resort operates between 8:30am and 4pm. If you choose to take a lunch break, I suggest breaking at The Mill Cafe. They have a BBQ going, lounge chairs and music playing outside. It's a fun atmosphere, but be careful, because on a beautiful sunny day, you may not want to leave.
Equipment: Skis and snowboards, of course.
Skiing and snowboarding in Mammoth is great! There are some great runs! There are 3 lodges at the bottom of 3 of the mountains and a mid-chalet, up from the main lodge. You can also ski the triple diamond backside of the mountain. It's supposedly pretty cool, although I'm too chicken to do it.
Equipment: If you need to rent some skiing or snowboarding gear, go to Footloose in the middle of town on Main. They have a wide selection of pretty good skis and boards for a very reasonable price.
The Mammoth Ski Resort is appropriately named. There are several lodges spread out at various locations at the base of the mountain. Don't plan to walk to them. A local bus can get you to the other lodges if you can't ski to them. We mostly stayed at Eagle lodge because it had the longest runs. 3 or 4 more chairs can be reached to go to the black diamond and double diamond runs from there. The Main lodge is the busiest and where everyone likes to hang out at. Our first day was such a nice day that the outdoor barbecue was open at Eagle lodge. We enjoyed a tri-tip sandwich for lunch that was pretty good along with a Heineken. Basically, not much waiting on the chair lift. The wide seats can haul up 5-6 people at a time.
Since I was just learning, I got the beginners lift ticket at Mammoth Mountain. It gave me access to three lifts, 7, Eagle Express, and teh Discovery Chair.
The Discovery Chair leads to hills named Sesame Street East and the like. I didn't visit this one.
Equipment: Rent equipment at a local shop if you don't have your own.
For my first snowboarding experience ever, I started on lift 7. I spent all day here mainly getting the feeling of snowboarding.
There were a lot of instructors on the hill, I mainly used them as a tool to learn by watching what they were doing and teaching, I didn't actually hire an instructor.
Equipment: boots, board, and warm clothes.
Buy lift tickets at the lodge: Beginners for $25--all day
This lift leads to a number of various skill leveled trails. I stayed on the beginner levels, and it was still much more difficult than the hill at Chair 7, as my butt will attest to, as it was extremely sore after all the falling I did.
In teh morning the slopes were very icy, but later in the day the snow soften up a bit and I had moe control.
Equipment: board, boots,a nd warm clothes.
Buy lift tickets at little Eagle: $25 for Beginners all day.
Equipment: You can buy your lift passes at one of the 3 lodges that are available - Eagle, Canyon, and the Main Lodge. Eagle is the smallest one and probably the least crowded. But, because it is small, you don't get all the services you would at the other two lodges. Canyon and the Main Lodge both have pretty much everything you need from rentals to lessons. All 3 locations have food courts and lots o' booze!