A group of hockey players skate on Tenaya Lake in Yosemite Wedensday, January 11. The thinning ice cracked and moaned loudly throughout the canyon. Photo/Cheryl Hogan
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and the Sierra Nevada Lodge have begun renting ice skates, alleviating an unexpected—and slippery—situation.
With snow levels at record or near-record lows in the backcountry, ice-skating has become the hot new sport this winter.
The problem is that the sports shops do not rent skates, and the Mammoth Ice Rink is selling out of rental skates almost daily.
“We have consistently been running out of skates at the rink during peak operations,” said the Recreation Department’s John Connolly.
The Recreation Department was ready to supply rental skates for off-site rentals, he said, but ran into a couple of problems.
“Folks will be abusing skates off site, walking through sand, rocks, and maybe even pavement (we see that often),” he wrote in an email.
Then there’s the possibility of even worse things, he said.
“There are liability what-if’s, like if someone falls through or gets seriously hurt.”
In response, the ski area and the Sierra Nevada Lodge on Old Mammoth Road have put a full hockey-stop on the problem by offering rentals.
“The mountain stepped up and decided to do their own skate rental which gets us off the hook,” Connolly said.
The Mountain Center, Quiksilver (both at the Village) and Sierra Nevada Lodge Rental Shop will rent ice skates on a daily basis, he said.
Sizes range from toddler to 11, children’s, and women’s though men’s 12.
The cost is $20 a day for adults and $12 for children (deposit required).
Connolly asked that skaters contact the Mountain Center in The Village at (760) 924-7057, Quiksilver in The Village at (760) 934-0720 or the Sierra Nevada Lodge Rental Shop at (760) 934-2515 for additional information.
Also, for a more informational approach to the backcountry and ice, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Ice Skating has a rockin’ Facebook page.