Mam­moth Moun­tain

SKI - - WEST - —Stephen Kr­c­mar

Read­ers love all 3,500 acres of this be­he­moth’s “amaz­ing range of ter­rain” (Va­ri­ety, No. 9), they laud it for hav­ing “top-notch groom­ing” (No. 8), and say that Mam­moth’s 28 ef­fi­cient chair­lifts “keep you on the runs and not in lift lines, even on the week­ends right af­ter a four­foot dump” (Lifts, No. 7). Many dis­like the winds, but a hearty mi­nor­ity praise the gusts that fill in ski tracks all day long, so the pow­der “doesn’t get skied out.” Com­ing off its sec­ond-long­est sea­son in his­tory—270 days— the re­sort that av­er­ages 400 inches of snow and 300 sunny days a year al­ways boasts “plenty of snow even in the bad years” (No. 16). Truth be told, the lodges are over­due for an over­haul and the town suf­fers from “medi­ocre din­ing and après,” so-so ser­vice, and lack­lus­ter lodg­ing. Many are op­ti­mistic, though, about the moun­tain’s ac­qui­si­tion by a Colorado part­ner­ship that in­cludes the own­ers of Aspen, hope­fully pro­vid­ing “the op­por­tu­nity for sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments.” Un­til then, skiers will have to stick with what at­tracted founder Dave McCoy to the Eastern Sierra al­most a cen­tury ago: “Snow qual­ity and ter­rain. That’s what keeps me go­ing back!”

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