With over 3,500 acres of rideable terrain receiving an average of 400 inches of snow per year, California's Mammoth Mountain offers more inbounds shredding than anywhere but North America's largest resorts. When the mountain's close proximity to the Eastern Sierra's stellar backcountry is taken into account, Mammoth has a solid argument for offering one of the continent's biggest and best winter sports experiences.
With so much terrain, it should come as no surprise that Mammoth offers the full gamut of inbounds experiences. From the wide open bowls, tight chutes, and sizable cliffs accessible from the top of the Panorama Gondola and Chair 23, to the world-class tree skiing available lower on the mountain, to the numerous terrain parks scattered across the resort, it's all there. Mammoth's size and more than two dozen lifts mean that it often doesn't feel crowded, even on the deepest Holiday weekend powder day. As snowboarder Gabe Taylor says, "When you're riding the resort it sometimes has a backcountry feel."
Out Of Bounds
Unlike many other resorts, Mammoth has a liberal backcountry access policy. Instead of maintaining gates, Mammoth has an open boundary through which guests are free to access the surrounding National Forest. This allows easy access to the Eastern Sierra's nearly-boundless backcountry terrain, such as Hole in the Wall, the out-of-bounds line featured above.
The resort also offers backcountry training courses and tours led by PSIA-certified instructors and AMGA-certified guides. Participants are provided with a beacon, shovel, probe, and backpack, but must bring or rent their own alpine-touring setup .