February 4th, 2011
While much of the rest of the country got walloped by a massive winter storm this week, the Sierra remained stuck in a stubborn dry pattern that shows no signs of breaking anytime soon.
Even the groundhog in Punxsutawney didnât see his shadow meaning, if groundhogs can be believed, that winter will end soon.
But the huge snows that hit the Sierra back in December were enough to, so far at least, protect the state of California, which gets 30 percent of its water from the Sierra Nevada mountains.
How do we know?
Members of the Recreation Commission began to wrap their heads around implementing the townâs recreation vision on Wednesday afternoon.
The commission met with Carl Ribaldo and Austin McInerney of the Strategic Marketing Group, along with facilitator, former Tourism and Recreation director Danna Stroud.
The consulting group walked the commission through the steps and guidelines that would make the so-called âRecStratsâ document a viable recreation road map by August.
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.
âIâm very happy, I landed my run and I skied how I wanted to ski,â Turski, the X Games gold medallist, said in a news release.
Thereâs this thing about Patrolmenâs.
It a little gem of a black diamond groomer run that parallels Chair 2/Stump Alley Express, and itâs 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 itâs more of an advanced intermediate than black.
Ski it another way and thereâs freestyle and tree skiing to be had.
But the real pull on Patrolmenâs is that a skier can generate some ungodly speed as the run bends its way onto a wide approach to Chair 2.
You canât exactly call them the Twin Towers, because theyâre hardly ever on the basketball court at the same time.
But Mammoth Huskies Alejandro and Francisco (âCiscoâ) Flores are most definitely identical twins, so much so that coach Jason Patterson has needed to devise a few tricks for telling them apart.
âThey wear different colored shoes,â Patterson said, âso thatâs how I can tell them apart most of the time.
âAnd they wear their hair slightly differently.â
A first time visitor to a Husky practice wouldnât know, though.
Itâs early in the game, but itâs likely that Mammoth will host a 10-day running camp this summer.
And if it goes ahead, it wonât be like any other running camp anywhere.
âI want it to be more than just going to a fat farm, said Visit Mammothâs John Urdi.
âThey should be coming here and enjoying the hiking we have, the cycling, maybe even fishing.
âMaybe on one of the days the runners would go into Yosemite and maybe do some running in the Valley.
âThereâs lots of possibilities.â
The tentative â very tentative â name for the camp is a âFit-cation,â he said.
Mammothâs athletes took to the Colorado mountains and the Texas marathon courses last weekend, and the results can be summarized in two words.
âCrushed it,â 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 Clubâs Jen Rhines won the U.S. Half Marathon Championships, establishing her personal best.
On the menâs side, Patrick Smyth of the Mammoth Track Club placed third.
A Crowley Lake local, Jeff Wheeler, died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound last Thursday, according to the The Mono County Sheriffâs Department.
On Thursday, Jan. 27, at approximately 8:20 am, a Mono County Sheriffâs Deputy was dispatched to 325 Sierra Springs Drive for a welfare check. Jeff Wheeler, 40, was found deceased in his bed from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound to the head.
Further death details are under investigation.
Source: Mono County Sheriff's Department
Local climber and June Lake resident Doug Nidever is in a Reno hospital after suffering a stroke and possible heart attack last week, according to a climbing partner, Bruce Bartlett.
Bartlett said Nidever, also known as "Flanders" by his climbing community, was awake and responsive, but is in serious condition. Nidever can speak, but still is battling blood clots and other complications.
Bartlett was headed to Reno to visit Nidever, with another climbing partner.
Mammoth's highly used Shady Rest area has a long history of sometimes conflicting uses, especially in the winter when snowmobilers and skiers, dog walkers and snowshoers vie for the trail system. Although the conflicts have died down somewhat over the years, due mostly to hard work by both user groups in educating their members, the need for a final solution for winter use in the area, still remains.
That opportunity might be available finally.
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 menâs division, behind former Mammoth Track Club member Ryan Hall.
Mammoth skier John Teller only needed an inch or two to win a gold medal in Ski Cross at the X-Games Sunday in Aspen, but he had the speed and he had the inch.
Teller, who has two World Cup podium finishes, including a gold medal in St. Johann, Austria on January 7, narrowly edged out Chris Del Bosco, who led the majority of the race.
TransworldWorld SNOWboarding loves John Jackson.
One of the leading voices in the sport gave the Crowley Lake resident its Rider of the Year award, along with the Menâs Video Part of the Year.
It was the second straight year the magazine gave him the two awards, making him a downright celebrity, if he wasnât already.
The awards were announced last Friday at the 2011 TransWorld SNOWboarding Poll Award show in Denver.
In another era, Jackson might have wanted to call home to tell the news to his mom, Shirley, and track down brother Eric, too.
Town Manager Rob Clark rode into town on the wings of prosperity, when Mammoth was on the rise and could do no wrong.
Six years later, he rides into Ojai, under the shadow of the recession, when Mammoth is on the fade and canât seem to shake out of it.
From Clarkâs point of view, there were significant victories in his years here, and also defeats.
âI think getting our air service going in the middle of the recession was rewarding, and Iâm proud of the staff. They have kept thing going in spite of these different things.