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March 11th, 2011

Seductive Sherwins keep drawing us to the backcountry magic

March 12, 2011

Try a trip down ‘The Hose’

As if you didn’t notice, spring skiing more or less opened this past week, with warm temperatures and longer hours of daylight.

For backcountry skiers, it is the best time of the year. The gullies and canyons are filled in with about as much snow as they’re going to get, making the steeps a little less steep, with wonderful corn snow on the way shortly.

There are hundreds of great spots to ski in the spring around here.
But the Sherwins keep drawing us in.

Partly it’s because they’re so darned accessible – right out our back door.

February 25th

Mammoth Winter Biathlon: Effort of blood, sweat, joy

February 25, 2011

One look at the course map for the 2011 Mammoth Winter Biathlon and you know this is serious business.

It resembles an Olympic course.

It has a stadium built into the hill that looks out to the shooting lanes and across the lanes where competitors will pass three times during the course of the race.

Thus, spectators will be able to keep up on who’s in the lead, how often the lead changes, who is shooting when and who’s taking their penalty laps.

“Biathlon is changing and becoming much more spectator friendly,” said Race Director Mike Karch.

February 11th

Track XC skiing this winter? No

February 12, 2011

There will be no cross-country track skiing this winter on the public trail system.

An effort by the town’s recreation department to make a compromise with Mammoth Nordic’s Brian Knox fell through on Tuesday, when Knox turned down flat a compromise proposal.

“Your proposal requiring our volunteer staff to train your staff to professionally operate and maintain Mammoth Nordic’s grooming equipment is a commitment, in the middle of this winter, I regrettably cannot make,” Knox wrote in a letter to the Recreation Commission.

Knox did not slam the door all the way on next winter, however

Skiing the Owens River: improbably perfect, elegant, easy

February 12, 2011

Imagine skiing along a sparkling blue river, skies whispering softly over the white, blanketing snow.

Imagine the river, blue, silver, indigo, glimmering, a ribbon of color in the white land.

Imagine the quiet; perfect, joyous, broken only by the riffle of the river, the whoosh of the wings of a blue heron flashing far above.

The Owens River cuts a wild and wide path through upper Long Valley, flashing down to Crowley Lake from its birthplace at Big Springs, southeast of Lee Vining.

Jimmy Morning lights up Village Championships

February 11, 2011

As Village Championship races go, last Tuesday’s race seemed to be as normal as normal can be, aside from various off-the-wall costumes.

And then Jimmy Morning appeared.

One of Mammoth’s iconic skiers and coaches, Morning was injured in a Super G crash two weeks earlier, earning him a hospital stay and a couple of weeks in bed.

Morning didn’t race in Tuesday’s dual Giant Slalom on Fascination, but his appearance made the beautiful racing conditions and bright sunshine even more radiant, and warmed up the Happy Hour party at Rafters.

February 4th

One of our own to play in Super Bowl. Sort of. Plus, she's a she

February 4, 2011

Melissa Margulies is going to the Super Bowl. Not to watch, but to play.

She’s a rookie star on the Los Angeles Temptation football team.

L.A. plays the Philadelphia Passion during half time. The teams are part of the Lingerie Football League.

Margulies, who grew up in Mammoth and ran track at MHS, as well as USC, always wanted to play pro baseball. She’s not far off, as both safety and running back for the Temptation.

Mammoth's Kaya Turski wins silver in FIS Freestyle World Championships

February 4, 2011

Kaya Turski won the silver medal Thursday in slopestyle at the FIS freestyle skiing world championships in Utah.

Turski scored 41.70 points in the final as she navigated the obstacle course of rails, jumps and other features. Athletes are judged on their tricks in the terrain park.

“I’m very happy, I landed my run and I skied how I wanted to ski,” Turski, the X Games gold medallist, said in a news release.

Run of the Week - Whoosh! Find your way to Patrolmen’s, step on the gas and fly

February 4, 2011

There’s this thing about Patrolmen’s.

It a little gem of a black diamond groomer run that parallels Chair 2/Stump Alley Express, and it’s so tucked away that not many skiers find it, even on a crowded day.

The reason the cognoscenti like it so much is that they can make of it what they want. Ski it one way, and it’s more of an advanced intermediate than black.

Ski it another way and there’s freestyle and tree skiing to be had.

But the real pull on Patrolmen’s is that a skier can generate some ungodly speed as the run bends its way onto a wide approach to Chair 2.

Husky basketball twins carry team on their backs

February 4, 2011

You can’t exactly call them the Twin Towers, because they’re hardly ever on the basketball court at the same time.

But Mammoth Huskies Alejandro and Francisco (“Cisco”) Flores are most definitely identical twins, so much so that coach Jason Patterson has needed to devise a few tricks for telling them apart.

“They wear different colored shoes,” Patterson said, “so that’s how I can tell them apart most of the time.
“And they wear their hair slightly differently.”

A first time visitor to a Husky practice wouldn’t know, though.

Brown, Urdi plan big-time running camp

February 4, 2011

It’s early in the game, but it’s likely that Mammoth will host a 10-day running camp this summer.

And if it goes ahead, it won’t be like any other running camp anywhere.

“I want it to be more than just going to a fat farm, said Visit Mammoth’s John Urdi.

“They should be coming here and enjoying the hiking we have, the cycling, maybe even fishing.

“Maybe on one of the days the runners would go into Yosemite and maybe do some running in the Valley.
“There’s lots of possibilities.”

The tentative – very tentative – name for the camp is a “Fit-cation,” he said.

Mammoth athletes ‘crush it’ at weekend X-Games, half-marathon championships

February 4, 2011

Mammoth’s athletes took to the Colorado mountains and the Texas marathon courses last weekend, and the results can be summarized in two words.

“Crushed it,” said Mammoth Recreation Manager Stuart Brown.

Johnny Teller (ski cross) and Kaya Turski (ski slopestyle) took gold medals at the Winter X-Games in Aspen, while Tyler Flanagan took home a bronze in snowboard slopestyle.

Meanwhile, in Houston, the Mammoth Track Club’s Jen Rhines won the U.S. Half Marathon Championships, establishing her personal best.

On the men’s side, Patrick Smyth of the Mammoth Track Club placed third.

January 31st

Jen Rhines wins half-marathon in Houston, Patrick Smyth third

January 31, 2011

The Mammoth Track Club just keeps clicking along.

Jennifer Rhines won the the U.S. half-marathon championship Saturday in Houston, finishing with a personal-best 1 hour, 11 minutes, 14 seconds.

"You always have to be happy when you run a PR [personal record]," Rhines said. "You never know when you're going to have ups and downs. I'm just going to enjoy this today."

Meanwhile, Patrick Smyth, also representing the Mammoth Track Club, finished third in the men’s division, behind former Mammoth Track Club member Ryan Hall.

January 28th

Run of the Week: Climax

January 28, 2011

On Mammoth Mountain, where great skiing at all levels is bountiful, only a few can be classified as iconic.

The runs might include Broadway, or Dave’s Run, or St. Anton.

Perhaps the most iconic run, though, is Climax, the aptly named bowl just to skier’s left of the Upper Gondola at 11,053 feet.

It is a wide-open double-black, although by the time spring comes and the bowl is filled in, a skier could probably move that rating back to a single black diamond.

Getting there is easy.

June Mountain Ski Parol stages second annual disaster rescue clinic

January 28, 2011

“It’s been a long time since Mono County has seen a catastrophic event,” said Eric Diem, director of the June Mountain Ski Patrol.

Diem staged the second annual avalanche rescue training on Thursday, Jan. 20 for the June Lake and Lee Vining volunteer fire departments.

Following last year’s successful clinic, Diem put together a manual with guidelines for some of the larger agencies that don’t deal with snow crises on a regular basis.

January 14th

Johnny Teller, on top of the world

January 14, 2011

Mammoth’s John Teller was sitting in his hotel room in France, but he may as well have been standing on top of the world.

Teller zoomed to the top of the World Cup standings in Ski Cross last week, winning in St. Johann, Austria in a close but decisive finish. He finished third this week and slipped to third in rankings.

“I’m hoping that this opens the door to the next four years leading up to the Olympics,” Teller said in a Skype interview from L’Alpe d’Huez.

Teller opened his season with a third-place podium finish, also in Austria, which excited just about everybody on the tour

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