Weekend getaways are great. I’ve posted in the past about a trip via Amtrak to San Luis Obispo, and how even a few days away from USC and Los Angeles can be fun, recharging, and, relaxing.
Last weekend, I made the trip up to Mammoth Mountain. Being from Colorado, I maintain somewhat high standards for skiing, and snow-related activities in general. Fortunately, the shortcomings of Big Bear or Mountain High are more than made up for at Mammoth. More than describe the time at Mammoth, I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and info that you may not know before you go, but that are definitely helpful.
1.Get a pass, or find a buddy with one. Buying a Cali4nia pass (which is offered at a huge discount one day only during the fall semester on campus) is the way to go if you’re planning on skiing for at least 3 days during the season. Even better, it also works at June Mountain, Snow Summit, and Big Bear, for shorter day trips. The alternative here (if you think you may not ski 3 days) is to find a buddy with a pass. Mammoth resorts has a “Bring-A-Friend” deal, which allows you to purchase a one day pass for half off, provided you reserve the pass online the day before. I did this last weekend, so despite not having a pass, I saved 50% on skiing.
2. Leave early, or late, and drive with friends. The five hour drive is best experienced at dawn or dusk, and takes you through Mojave, salt basins, and finally, up into the mountains near Mammoth. If you’re with someone else, you can take in the scenery, and even try and knock out some work at the same time. Leave early in the morning to beat traffic out of LA, or late the night before after traffic subsides.
3. Be smart with food! If you’ve been skiing before, you probably know that the food can be pricey on the hill. My protip: buy a premade sandwich at Von’s in Mammoth or at any grocery store on your way up. They’re 6 dollars, and are at least twice the amount of food you’d get for double that on the hill. Also: they’re great for sharing.
4. Go to Schat’s Bakery in Bishop on the way to/from Mammoth. They have amazing food and pastries. It will probably be pretty crowded but worth it!
5. Have fun! Forget about school, your work, interviews, etc; you worked hard during the week and this is your time to enjoy! Make it count, and realize that you’ll go back to your normal routine the next week, so make the most of you weekend.