|Trip Number 7 2018 Season
March 4 - 10, 2018
Kronenstadt Ski Club
Pasadena, California kronenstadtskiclub.com
Trip Leader - Julie
This trip will be known by the fact that at 10:15 am on Saturday morning, Mammoth Mountain had the largest avalanche in recent history. During avalanche control with the howitzer cannon, the entire width of Climax Bowl, with about 6-8 feet of new snow depth, slid through Upper Dry Creek and down the Face of Five, all the way to the bottom of the chairlift. Several employees and skiers were covered in snow, but escaped and no one was hurt. However as a safety precaution, management closed the entire mountain in order to deal with this major event. The mountain reopened on Sunday and no further avalanches occured. Six Kronies arrived Sunday night for 5 days of skiing. This is the last scheduled trip of the 2018 season, and now the snow arrives!
Every day, I had been asking the lift operators where they were when the avalanche happened. Wednesday morning, while skiing Chair 9, Brian tells me that he was one of the four employees that got hit and buried by the avalanche. He said there was no notice and very little sound as the snow from the top of Climax Bowl reached the base of Chair 5 where he was working on setting up the que ropes. The moving snow knocked him over and buried him under about 4 feet of snow. He was able to dig himself out and then he joined in helping the others that also got covered. It was very fortunate that no one was seriously hurt. Mammoth did an exceptional job dealing with the event.
Bruce, with Brian from Oxnard,CA, who was working that morning at Face Lift Express. He took this
picture of rescue workers searching for people that might be buried. You can see the snow depth was above the chair seats.
On the left, the top to bottom route of the avalanche starting at the top of Cornice Bowl, flowing through Upper Dry Creek, splitting into three flows and then joining again as it stopped just past the bottom of Chair 5, Face Lift Express. The above picture show the rocks exposed and the 8' high lip remaining in Cornice Bowl.
Monday morning is to be cool and a little windy, but with blue skies. Mary Jo, Rita and I park on the street at Eagle Lodge and walk to the lift. We then ride up Chair 9, but the slopes were not groomed so we head to Chair 5. The Solitude run is not groomed very well, maybe due to the avalanche work. The chairlift is not running while they dig out and check for damage. So, we head to Chair 2 and spend the morning on Chair 3, until lunch at McCoy’s. Gloria goes to Main Lodge but decides not to ski, something about the wrong socks. Our trip leader, Julie and Christel ski in the morning along with KSC members Harry and Mike, until about 1:00pm.
After lunch we ski over to Chair 5, which opened about 11:00am, and decide to ski on top of the avalanche snow down Upper Dry Creek. The run is very bumpy with broken trees along the path. We take another break at McCoy’s and then decide to call it a day. Back at the condo, Julie is working on the Korean dinner she is preparing for us. Mike and Harry join us for Korean beef and other delights. All very good. Thanks so much Julie.
Korean Beef, just a part of the feast. Gloria, Mary Jo, Rita, Head Chef Julie, Christel, Mike and Harry about to enjoy a great dinner.
Mary Jo and Rita skiing down Upper Dry Creek on top of the avalanche snow. The Mammoth grooming crew does a much better job than the Snow Gods. It was really bumpy.
Tuesday we are in the lot early and get a good parking space. Up 15 to 16 and then ski Chair 5. The ridge run is now well groomed. We see that Cornice has been groomed and so head to the gondola. The run is already getting slick and there are too many people. But to keep a smile on Rita’s face, we make one more Cornice run from Chair 23. The others in our group ski all over the mountain from 9 to 12pm. We have lunch in McCoy’s and then ride the gondola back to the top and Cornice Bowl. It is still too crowded, so after one run we ski to Chair 14 and make two runs. We finish the day on Chair 9 and leave the mountain by 3:00pm. Gloria, Christel and Julie join Harry and Mike for Happy Hour and dinner at Mammoth Tavern, while Rita, Mary Jo and I have left over salmon from our Sunday dinner at Giovanni’s.
Looking through the trees at the Minarets.
Looking down Andy's Gold race run toward the Main Lodge and Hotel. There were high school races most of the week. There are more race supporters than skiers in line at Chair 1. Great for us.
Wednesday it is supposed to be even warmer, so we dress light. But the sun does not come out until 2:00pm and it is windy >and cold all day. But, the snow was soft, there were very few people and the skiing was great. The three of us rode 21 chairlifts before lunch at noon. The rest of the Kronies skied until about 1:30pm and were joined by Susan C, another member. We took a break at 3:00pm for happy hour pulled pork sliders at the Mill. Then we skied until 4:10pm. All six of us had leftovers for dinner. Thanks again Julie.
Gloria, Susan and Christel at shuttle bus stop at Main Lodge.
Gloria, Christel, Julie and Mike near Chair 8.
“What sweet snow!”, said Mary Jo after numerous runs Thursday afternoon. However, at 8:45am as we were freezing in the 30mph wind on Chair 16 we questioned the wisdom of skiing and are bemoaning the fact that we did not wear more layers. After one run on Chair 5 we decided that the gondola was the only warm spot to be. We made 6 top to bottom runs using the gondola before lunch. We timed a top speed on one run at 52mph, using the Mammoth App Tracking program. We are alone again at lunch because the other Kronies drove to June Mountain to ski, where they had the mountain to themselves and skied until 1:00pm, a record for Christel. Gloria made one run on Chair 6 at Mammoth and decided it was too windy for her. After lunch it was still windy, but not as cold, so we skied chairs, 1, 2, 3, & 5 until about 3:30pm.
I was happy to be spotted (because of our blue pendants) by Corey, a skiing friend from last year. (See Trip 2, 2017) She is glad to be back on the slopes after knee surgery and is still answering the phone for Mammoth Mountain.
While getting on the gondola, we spot Erin, the Chair 3 Black Diamond Award lift operator from Trip 5 this year, who hurt her knee jumping and needs surgery. This is why we don’t do the jumps in the terrain parks. Get well soon.
Bruce and Corey, phone operator and
part time landscape architect.
Rita, Mary Jo and Bruce enjoying dinner in the Condo.
Bruce and Erin, now working the lifts in a giant knee brace.
Friday is the end of our last scheduled trip this season, so we are a little sad. Christel, Gloria and Julie decide to skip the slopes and drive home this morning. Thanks Julie for a very nice trip. Rita, Mary Jo and I are at Chair 15 when it opens, as usual. We go right to Chair 5 and ski several runs on fresh corduroy snow. It is a little chilly due to the winds and so we head to the top in the gondola. Cornice Bowl is worth a second run from Chair 23. The crowd was surprisingly light compared to the previous Friday, so we get lots of runs before lunch at 11:30am. The snow is “sweet” again and we enjoy the end of the day and season. If the late snow holds, we hope to get in another trip. We are on the road home by 2:15pm.
The new 2019 Season IKON Pass is now on sale. We reviewed the options and decided to buy the “Base Pass”. For $599 you get unlimited days of skiing at this year’s Mammoth owned mountains, and at Squaw Valley, except holidays. At many other areas you get five days or unlimited. For next year we hope to make use of the new pass at some other mountains including the FWSA trip to Steamboat. Please support your club by rounding up some new members for next year.
Thanks to all our non-skiing members for supporting the club and coming to the parties, and to our Trip Leaders that organize and feed us. And a big shout out to Karen our Treasurer and Fran our Membership VP for all the work you both do behind the scenes, even though you could not ski with us this year. And, thanks to Mary Jo for organizing the trips and Christel for organizing our parties. And,to Eric and Julie S. Thanks so much. Until next season, all the best, Bruce.
Karen & Fran
Can you spot two Kronies on the Top of Mammoth?
That is all the snow there is!