My friends and I packed our cars to head to Mammoth Mountain in March 2010. It was my first time going so I had more than excitement stirring in my ski boots. I had been living in Los Angeles since 2001 and even though I just got off my skiing sabbatical in 2008, I had been craving to go to Mammoth since 2003. The time had finally arrived!
It was snowing when we made our approach into Mammoth Lakes. One of my friends used to live at Mammoth in the winter with her family so she knew where the spots were on and off the mountain. Anxiously awaiting the mountain the next morning, we decided to feast on some Mexican food at Roberto’s Mexican Café. Hello, margaritas. You are our friends.
We preferred our lunch après at Steeps Bar.
It was a windy night that brought restless sleep for us all, but we eagerly got up early the next morning and made our way to the mountain. One of my expert ski friends wanted to demo some skis and boots, and after she saw my stormtrooper boots she insisted I also demo some boots. Expert skier knows best, always. Upon arriving at Mammoth, I had a feeling it was necessary for me to rent some boots since my current ones didn’t last all day and also continued preventing me to excel on the mountain but my friend sealed the sanity deal. If you need a reminder of my current boot situation, click here.
11,053 feet with "Double Black."
We skied the entire mountain in 2 days, or at least it felt like it. No, we actually did. Even though I had just got through my first Double Black Diamond run at Bear Mountain a couple weeks before, in no way was I prepared for one at Mammoth. I made it down Cornice Bowl (a Black Diamond run) with the help of my friends urging me downward. I was also determined to ride the famous Chair 23 and was pleased to find I could ski the backside, which is Blue Intermediate. Thank you Mountain Mama! However, getting to the backside was an issue for me. The icy devil run that stood in my way was, Skyline.
Reflective point to Cornice Bowl riding on Chair 23.
Riding Chair 23
Let me break down what skiing Skyline was like for me that wondrous day. To put it simply, it was a windy cortex of icy hell. The snow was a hard ice pack. Even though I was somewhat familiar skiing in icy conditions growing up back east, the run was steep and people were flying past me. All I kept thinking was, “There’s no snow for my skis to grip. Help me intermediate skills.”
It took me longer than usual to get down the run where one of my expert skiing friends waited for me. At least my assessments on Skyline's current tough riding conditions were not coming out of left field. My friend at the bottom (who we coined Double Black, for obvious reasons) told me conditions were bad. Oh good, I got confirmation that I wasn't crazy. I must admit, I had a fall that turned into a small yard sale on the run. The reason why? I wasn’t being the bitch.
Action snap. C'est moi.
Being the bitch was a new skiing term we developed during this, my first time skiing at Mammoth. I was told in order to improve my intermediate skills, the first step was to be the bitch going down the mountain. In truth, if you don’t know me personally I am not really a bitch in anyway. I can be aggressive, but no one would describe me as being bitchy about anything or to anyone. Lesson learned, mountain. I will now be the bitch and take over the mountain in more ways than one.