Parks, tracks, you-name it
A distant observer might have thought poor ol’ Mammoth was just going to dry up and call it quits, what with all the national, state and local press about the town’s tightrope-walk along the brink of financial ruin.
But with a combination of Measure R and Measure U funds, coupled with careful planning, political willpower and the force of volunteerism, Mammoth just kept chugging ahead.
The ski area’s CEO pledges new cooperation
Long held as lord of its own separate fiefdom, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO Rusty Gregory began a new era of involvement with the town when he said he’s had a change of heart.
In a move that left many Mammothites utterly baffled, Gregory startled the Town Council on Nov. 7 with a jaw-dropping speech.
“I am an impediment to the growth and prosperity of our resort community,” he began.
Musicals, complex drama highlighted the season
In 2012, theater audiences were entertained by several diverse productions, from Sierra Classic Theatre’s emotionally complex “Proof” to Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre’s musical sensation “The Marvelous Wonderettes.”
Earlier this year when the lack of snow and holiday-withdrawals started to kick in, MLRT’s “Lend Me A Tenor” written by Ken Ludwig kept spirits high with risqué double-entendre and cartoonish physical comedy.
The biggest news (that no one quite knows what to think about yet) was the groundbreaking of the massive, 500-mile-plus long high-speed digital fiber optics project called Digital 395.
The project, which includes laying the high-speed fiber alongside much of U.S. 395, will link the Eastern Sierra to both Southern California and the Reno/Carson area.
It was funded through a $101 million federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act project that promises to transform the Eastern Sierra in ways no one can accurately foresee.
A victim of a dismal snow year
In June Lake, the repercussions from the crummy snow season continued well into spring.
Partly due to the poor winter, Rusty Gregory, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area CEO, announced in late June that June Mountain Ski Area would not open for the 2012-13 season, pending reorganization and remodeling.
That was nasty businessat Alpine Meadowslast week when longtime ski patroller Bill Foster, 53, a veteran member of the Alpine ski patrol teamwas killed in an avalanche. He died on Christmas Day at Renown Regional Medical Centerin Reno after being caught in an intentionally triggered slidethe day before. Our advice: Don’t ever, ever, ever take the patrollers for granted. Bill had logged 28 years at Alpine. …
Leeward side, ridgelines especially hazardous
The latest rounds of new storms were welcome for many people in the Eastern Sierra, but the Mono County Search and Rescue teams are on high alert for avalanches, a spokesman for the county’s Sheriff’s Department said.
“During the last series of storms to arrive in Mono County, a substantial amount of snow has fallen in the backcountry of Mono County,” the spokesperson said in a news release.
Crews will wait for spring to solve case
Yosemite National Park officials on Thursday suspended the multi-agency search for a lost airplane that went missing over the park on Dec. 17, said park spokesperson Kari Cobb.
Cobb said the single-engine plane was last detected via radar over the North Dome area in the park.
“I’m breaking trail!”
Fido was exuberant. Elated. Jubilant.
“Look at ME! I am almost beyond words!”
“That’ll be the day, Fido. There hasn’t been a moment when you were without words. Even in your sleep, you’re one big, red chatterbox.”
“Let’s go over here,” he said, plowing through the snow. “No, let’s go over here!”
No big snowstorms in forecasts
After producing six feet of snow in six days, Ullr, the Norse god of snow, is about to take a rest.
But Höðr, the Norse god of cold, strode into Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra Wednesday night and it looks like he’s setting up camp for a while.
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra, in effect from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Forecasters called for up to two feet of fresh snow west of U.S. 395 and six to 10 inches east of the highway.
Snow is to begin Tuesday afternoon, becoming moderate to heavy at times Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon.
As for wind, the weather service predicted wind gusts to 50 mph along Highway 395 and gusts to 90 mph
over the Sierra ridges.
The morning sky has not yet begun to lighten as the truck bounces over the white, moonlit ground, tires sinking nearly to the rim in deep, snowy ruts.
To the west, Laurel Mountain and Mt. Morrison are limned in light, stars brilliant, waiting.
Tomorrow, when the sun rises, the days will begin to lengthen, one minute more every morning, one minute more every evening, every day until the Summer Solstice in June when the cycle reverses.
But not today.