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It's shaping up to be a terrific Opening Day at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, with plenty of snow, four lifts and ... the gondola to the top!
With last Sunday's blanket of snow, along with a dusting on Tuesday night, the ski area announced it would open Cornice Bowl on Thursday's opening day â€“ a bonus that practically no one anticipated.
On Wednesday, the ski area was a beehive of activity, indoors and out. The fourth-floor executive offices had people moving from one meeting to the next, while outside, groomers, snowmakers, Ski Patrol and Terrain Park personnel scrambled to get the hill in shape for Thursday.
Meanwhile, while the town was bathed in a delicious sunshine, snow blew sideways on the hill â€“ not enough to make a whole lot of difference, but it sure felt like ski season up there.
Overnight Tuesday, Mammoth Mountain collected another four inches of snow on top of a base of 13 to 31 inches.
Operating on Opening Day will be chairs 1, 3, 6 and 11, including the gondola to the top. Expected open trails are Broadway, Saddleback, Main Park, Sesame Street and Center Bowl. The lifts begin running at 8:30.
The National Weather Service projects near-perfect conditions for Thursday through the weekend.
The full forecast from the NWS is as follows:
Today: A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 34. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 17. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Veterans Day: Sunny, with a high near 40. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 21. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 45. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph.
Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 20.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 43.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 21.
Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 42.
Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 25.
Monday: Sunny, with a high near 43.
Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 25.
Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 47.