With an El Niño year in our midst, it is great to see the weather showing positive signs for things to come. The cold temps and early snow in October have allowed Boreal and Mammoth to log some days early in the season. Boreal set their personal record for the earliest opening date in history by opening for a three-day run starting on October 9, 2009. Mammoth was soon to follow by opening for a similar three-day stretch on October 16, 2009.
Mother Nature delivered Mammoth almost two feet of snow at the Main Lodge and over four feet at the top of the mountain, earlier that week. This allowed Mammoth to open three lifts, Broadway, Face Lift and Chair 23, giving almost 2,000 feet of vertical terrain, as well as a small terrain park that offered a handful of jib features.
The big news that really inspired people from all over the west coast to make the drive to Mammoth was the free lift tickets given away to everyone who showed up for that first day. The excitement of free tickets created a mass migration of skiers and snowboarders to the east side of the Sierra, resulting in around 5000 people at the resort for Mammoth’s Opening Day — approximately 500 of whom where pass holders, while an impressive 4,500 people came out for the free tickets.
So if you could find a place to park, Mammoth was the place to be for any West Coast snow rider on that memorable Friday. The temps for the time being have returned back to levels consistent with the averages and the resorts have closed their doors again until the next snowstorm or favorable snow making conditions. But with the Sierras already receiving 250% of their average precipitation for the month of October the trend is looking good for the rest of the season.