Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1/19/09 Mammoth Slackcountry

I decided to stick with this week's theme of touring from a ski area and headed to Mammoth for some more touring and exploring. I parked the truck at Tamarack Cross Country ski center and took the free shuttle to the ski area. From there I rode up the Gondola and skied down to an area known as Hemlock Ridge.

A short hike brought me to the top of the ridge and provided these great views of the Ritter Range.

From the top of the ridge I left the ski area and descended northwest through an outstanding stand of mature trees. The snow was soft, faceted snow for the most part with a few patches of sun crust and frozen tree bombs.

I skinned back to the ski area, took a few runs, then ended up on top of Dave's run for the descent off the back of Mammoth towards Horseshoe Lake.

The views of the Mammoth Lakes basin were great and the skiing proved to be a lot better than I expected. The upper slopes were smooth and chalky. The middle section was a little thick, but ok, and the lower section was corn on the open slopes and soft, faceted sugar snow in the protected trees.

Another nice day!

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