It was a year of extremes.
Right off the bat, Mammoth hit 110 percent of normal snowfall.
Then, spring simply never showed up until it stopped snowing the last week of May. A cool and green May gave way to a gorgeous June and even July, as the massive snow and rain from the previous six months prolonged the arid Eastside’s green and flowing period far into August.
Summer was one of the most beautiful in collective memory.
First and foremost and before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a collective shout-out and way-to-go for the snow crews, cops, dispatchers, fire crews and PIO Stuart Brown. There are more, too. A fine job on an impossible storm. Yay to all of you! Mammoth Marketing chief Howard Pickett said he was sitting next to a guy who was connecting through SFO from San Diego and spent much of the 35-minute flight pleading for air service to Diego. ...
Better than expected.
Much better than expected.
Really, really great, in fact.
These conclusions by Mammoth Mountain about the success of air service this past year indicate that Mammoth is getting on the map in ways that will benefit not just the economy, but much more.
First, itâ€™s turning out to be a very good investment for both the Mountain and the region, no small matter, given the recession.
â€śWhat we are getting is a $23 million dollar return for a $2.2 to $2.5 million cost,â€ť said Howard Pickett, the Mountainâ€™s Chief Marketing Officer.
While those in Mammoth obsessed about snow last weekend, Mammoth’s Ski Cross star, Johnny Teller, was in Innichen, Italy competing in Sunday’s World Cup race.
Not only competing: Teller made it to the podium for a third place bronze medal, behind winner Scott Kneller of Australia (a former Mammoth Mountain Ski Team racer) and Switzerland’s Alex Fiva.
The Sierra Center Mall and Mono County Superior Court will open again Thursday for business, after emergency officials found and fixed two propane leaks and opened vents blocked by heavy wet, snow.
The mall was closed all day Wednesday, due to the problem.
Citing heavy snow, the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department locked down the Sierra Center Mall on Wednesday morning, effectively closing the Mono County Courts as well as several businesses.
The cause was a "heavy smell of propane," caused by the blockage of vents on the rooftop, said a city official.
Mammoth Mountain received a total of between nine and a half and fifteen feet of snow from the four day storm that ended early this Winter Solstice morning.
Another storm is forecast for later this evening and into Wednesday, with Thursday predicted to be the clearest day in a week.
Mammoth Mountain added another 12.5 feet between Friday and Monday, making the four-day storm something to remember.
And it's not over yet.
More snow is on the way for the Central Sierra, with another 18" to 24" expected above 7,000 feet by Wednesday evening. Another storm is expected after Thursday and into the Christmas weekend, as well, although forecasters are waiting to refine their forecast for that one.
The end result has been, and will be, a whole lot of snow.
While radical new designs are taking hold in snowboarding and recreational ski design, one thing hasnâ€™t changed much.
â€śRace skis have not changed that much at all,â€ť said Robin Falkingham, the longtime ski racer supplier at Command Performance in Mammoth.
â€śThe race ski hasnâ€™t changed dramatically because the race courses havenâ€™t changed dramatically.â€ť
He said the only difference in the past couple of decades has been that the skis have become shorter, but thatâ€™s not out of design considerations, but because of the materials with which skis are now built.
Violist Hillary Herndon joins the Felici Trio in concert this weekend for â€śMusic of the Heart.â€ť
The program features passion-filled works by Rebecca Clarke, ErnĂ¶ DohnĂˇnyi and the great Romantic composer, Johannes Brahms.
ErnĂ¶ DohnĂˇnyi - Serenade for String Trio in C Major, opus 10. DohnĂˇnyi ranks next to Franz Liszt as the most versatile Hungarian musician and is generally considered credited with shaping Hungaryâ€™s musical culture in the 20th century.
Eager snowmobilers and wary wilderness watchers are going to have to wait a bit longer for a final decision on a long-awaited snowmobile crossing of the Sonora Pass area Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) â€“ but just a little longer.
â€śIâ€™m can confidently say that we will approve the option with the two crossings, (by the end of the year)â€ť said Humboldt Toiyabe National Forestâ€™s Bridgeport District Ranger Mike Crawley Tuesday.
â€śI know that will be unpopular with some but we are trying to meet Congressâ€™ requirements for public safety (and the two crossings are deemed to be the safest),â€ť he said.
Bryce Eller is standing on the precipice.
He is 17 years old, a senior at Mammoth High School and a championship-class downhill skier on the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team.
When he looks over the edge, he is peering at greatness, even if he himself doesnâ€™t quite know that yet.
Ranked second in the United States for his age group, Eller, at 5-11 and 195 pounds, is carrying a lot of weight each time he enters the gates. The number of eyes watching each of his runs is a bit astonishing.
Police Chief Dan Watson came to the Mammoth Lakes Town Council Wednesday night with his stars on his uniform shirt, a plea for staffing and his hat in hand.
The council said sorry, but see ya.
“I came forward with some recommendations that I think shouldn’t wait until the next budget year,” Watson said after the council turned back his suggestions, at least until the regularly scheduled council meeting in the second week of January.
June Mountain locals refer to it simply as “The Chair.”
It is arguably one of the top carnival rides at either June Mountain or Mammoth, and if you’re going to ski or ride June, “The Chair” is de rigueur.
It is Chair 1, marked on the June Trail Map as J1, and though as slow as molasses in January, it has taken skiers up the hill since 1961. As in straight up.
Lynda Salcido has been appointed to the open seat on the Mammoth Hospital recently vacated by Dr. Don Sage.
The appointment was filled at the Dec. 16 2010 Southern Mono Healthcare District (SMHD) Board of Directors meeting, with a majority vote of 3:1 with five candidates applying for the seat (Salcido, Richard Vroman, Jon King, Michelle Mather and Kiara Raazi).