Trip Number 5  2018 Season
February 11 - 16, 2018  
Kronenstadt Ski Club
Pasadena, California  
Trip Leader - Christel
      Julie, Christel, and Graham arrive first, followed by Bernice who came up alone because she needs to be home early, and then Mary Jo, Rita and Bruce drive in at 5:15pm. We three go to dinner at Giovanni’s and then to Von’s for supplies.  All week long we bemoaned the warm weather and lack of new snow at Mammoth. Fortunately, there is a small break in the heat and this week should be cool and perhaps some new snow.

      Monday morning, we awaken to a dusting of new snow and really cold weather. We drive to Eagle Lodge with Bernice while the others take the Red Line Bus to Main Lodge a little latter. Now it is snowing pretty hard and is 17 degrees and a wind chill that makes it feel like 9 degrees. We find our way to High Five Express and make two runs on Solitude. It is icy and some rocks are still showing from our last trip. So we ski over to Chairs 2 & 3, and spend most of the day there. A run on Chair 3 takes 25 seconds.  At 10:00am we need a break in Mc Coy’s to warm up. It is really cold. Christel, Julie and Graham only stay out about 30 minutes. The top opens for awhile, but we do not go up there. Lunch, another afternoon break and we are back at Eagle and our car by 3:15pm.  We all have dinner in the condo while we watch the Olympics. Chloe Kim wins the Women’s Halfpipe.
      Eagle Lodge parking area with a dusting of new snow.
      Top of Mammoth Mountain hidden in the cloud from McCoy Station.
      Tuesday is supposed to be warmer, but it isn’t.  A low cloud hangs over the mountain and Chair 2 is as high as we can go until the top opens at 11:00 am. We get two runs down Cornice Bowl before lunch at Mc Coy Station with Bernice.  Julie and Christel ski in the morning in the Canyon Lodge area, Chair 8 is their favorite, and they eat lunch there. Graham takes the day off with a sore shoulder from a fall the day before.  We need warm up breaks in the morning and afternoon to keep from freezing. We take our last break at 3:30pm at The Mill for Taco Tuesday. We then hop on Chair 10 before the 4:00pm closing and ski to our car at Eagle Lodge, where we meet up with Bernice. We eat our own dinners in shifts as we watch the Olympics, including Shaun White’s 3rd gold medal in the Halfpipe.
      Rita and Mary Jo on the top of Mammoth Mountain. Although it looks bad, and there were 50mph winds and the temperature was 4 degrees, we still have a good run down.
      Meanwhile at The Mill the 17 degree temperature was perfect for making snow. Which they did for three days to get ready for the President's Weekend holiday crowd. They expect 22,000 skiers.
      Wednesday, just when you thought it couldn't get any colder. We park at Eagle and ride Chair 15 to 16 and decide to stay low because the top of Five was so windy and it is so cold, made worse but the wind.  We ski down to Chair 2 and meet up with Bernice who drove to The Mill to park.  We all cuddle on the chair for warmth, but it is a losing battle. Bernice heads off to Canyon Lodge, while we ski down to the gondola. We figure staying inside is the only way to stay warm.  By the time we get back up to the mid gondola station, they have opened the top of the mountain. We are greeted at the top by 7 degree temperature and 50-70 mph winds; wind chill, -20.  And yet we skied Cornice Bowl to the Lower Gondola 6 times before lunch.  A run takes 6 minutes.  Meanwhile Christel & Julie ski from Main lodge to Canyon and back and have lunch at Main.  By the time we finish lunch, most of the chairs have shut down due to high winds. Bernice heads back to her car and we ski back to the lower gondola. It is only running at half speed because of the wind, so it is a slow ride, which we do three times. We ski back to our car and all the runs along the way are very icy. We are all back in the condo by 3:10pm. Graham has spent the day resting his shoulder and watching the Olympics.
      Bruce, Mary Jo and Rita show off the Club ski pole pendants. Photo by Roy and with his son Cole.
      While our gondola was stopped due the high winds, Mary Jo saw a ski blow off the gondola by the pole on the top of Chair 3. It did not hurt anyone and it got back to it's owner, thanks to the Kronies.
      Thursday, and guess what, it is cold! Even with very little wind, we need a warm up break at 9:30 am at The Mill. We hang our gloves on clothes pins above the fireplace and start to warm up. When we go out at 10:00am we feel toasty in the sun light and blue sky. That lasts about halfway up Chair 2, when the chill sets in. The Upper Gondola is not running so that is not an option to stay warm. We get one run off Chair 23, and the Cornice snow is not great. Most of the snow is groomed ice. We head to lunch and Julie, Christel and Bernice are there to greet us. We eat together, very nice, and then head to the new mammoth for photos. We three try the Cornice from the gondola and decide it does not need another run. We spend the rest of the day skiing from the Top of Three to Chair 1 or 2. Christel and Julie head back to Chair 12 because they had so much fun there in the morning. Bernice skis all over trying unsuccessfully to meet up with Christel, but has a great day. At 2:30pm the three of us head back to The Mill to warm up and find that they have afternoon food specials. We have a pulled pork slider, which is very good and only $2. That gives Mary Jo and me the energy to ski on until 4:00pm while Rita watches the Olympics at The Mill. Everyone eats dinner in at the condo and watches the Olympics.
The Mammoth Mountain PR spin masters advise those skiers in Los Angeles to come on up, “Conditions are as good as they’ve been all season…”.  Mainly on man made snow.
      Rita, Bruce, Bernice, Christel, Julie and Mary Jo, happy to all be eating together at McCoy Station.

      Christel petting the new woolly mammoth in west dining area of McCoy Station.
     Friday is pack up and get out of the Condo day. Mary Jo and I are out first and arrive at Chair Two 20 minutes early. Bernice, Julie and Christel head out a little later. Rita decides to rest and sleep in and Graham is still nursing his shoulder. Today is hot compared to the last 4 days, and we are overdressed. There are hardly any lines and we get 23 runs before lunch at 11:30am. The warm weather has softened the icy runs and the skiing is the best of the week. We run into the Stanford University Ski Team, who is there for a colleges competition. We also say goodbye to Erin, a Mammoth chairlift 3 operator who was given the Black Diamond Award for helping multiple skiers. She even helped Mary Jo who fell on the Top of 3 getting off the chair and hit some ice piled by the ramp. Everyone else leaves and so it is just the two of us at McCoy’s. We get in 7 more runs before we leave the parking lot at 1:00 pm. We pick up Rita who has been playing in her ski boots, with the neighbor’s dog . Easy drive home and we say goodbye to Rita, until next Thursday, in Mojave at 5:15pm.

     Mammoth Mountain daily ski passes for the four day President’s weekend are $162.18 per day. Up from $113 for a typical weekend. Now that is flexible pricing.                  Keep saving water, Bruce.