Mammoth Mountain, California

Much like Summit County, Colorado in ’94, and Salt Lake City, Utah a few years later, Mammoth Mountain, California is a mecca for progressive snowboarding. Hungry riders from all over the country have moved to Mammoth in the past year to partake in the mountain’s inexhaustible terrain, the 399-dollar early-season passes, and to annoy the locals, who’ve always known their secret couldn’t be kept for long. The town of Mammoth Lakes is fairly remote. If you’re driving on Highway 395 somewhere between L.A. and Reno and you take your eyes off the road in a fruitless attempt to find something other than country music on the radio, you could unknowingly pass it by. But people don’t go there for the bright lights or the big city¿hey, it’s hick country out there. And Mammoth’s remoteness may very well have served to keep the location from blowing up sooner.

Smart riders do make the trek to ride the 3,500 acres of terrain everything from open powder bowls and chutes to sick parks and pipes. After a good Sierra dump (it’s not uncommon for the mountain to get three feet in one storm), there’s fun, steep riding on the upper mountain, off the backside, and in the backcountry. And Mammoth has recently stepped up its shred-park campaign with an array of man-made obstacles, including a superpipe, rails, and decent-sized kickers. If you’re around in the spring, you’ll probably see locals Tara Dakides and Kevin Jones honing some lines in the park.

The nightlife is, well … did I mention Mammoth’s in the middle of nowhere? Whiskey Creek and Ocean Harvest are usually where the requisite beer swilling and meat marketing go on. And with the Grenade crew of younguns, including Matt and Danny Kass, Kyle Clancy, Greg Wilson, and Zach Leach, holding down the fort, there’s bound to be a raging house party at least one or two nights per week. But the bottom line is the park’s groomed every night, and the mountain’s generally ridable well into June, so who needs nightlife?For more information, visit: www.mammothmtn.com.

Stats
Average Annual Snowfall: 384 inches
Summit Elevation: 11,053 feet
Vertical Drop: 3,100 feet
Number Of Lifts: 30
Shreddable Acres: 3,500
Pipes: Three
Parks: Three
Equipment: Superpipe Dragon, Park Bully Snowcats
Lights: Nope
Nearby Skateparks: Shady Rust Skatepark, Bishop Community Skatepark

“I decided to move to Mammoth because of the East Coast migration. All my friends were moving, and I figured I’d get lonely on the ice with no friends. I’m glad I moved, though. The mountain is big, and the park is set up well. The park has its own lift, and the mountain is really good about dealing with the shredders. They keep it fun with jibs and rails.”¿Kyle Clancy, Former East Coaster