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  1. #1
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    Experiences at Mammoth?

    I've been an XC rider for a few years and really enjoy it, but I can't help but watch downhill helmet cam videos and think "damn, I really want to try that!" I've been thinking about heading up there at the start of the season, but am a little nervous about my skill. Partly pride, partly fear of injury (mostly pride, I'm young and heal quick haha). Has anyone been there? Is it at least somewhat easy on first time downhill riders if you start off on slower, more relaxed courses (i've heard one called Richter is gentle for newbs)?

    Lastly, although I currently ride and race XC, I used to ride BMX when i was REALLY young. That bike got stolen (*sad face*), so I had a while where I wasnt really riding at all, then picked up a Giant Revel 1 and found myself in cross country. So, jumping big gaps aren't new, but I am definitely out of practice, so are there some easier gaps to hopefully get my airborne skills back?

    Thanks in advance!

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    First of all... Go for it.

    If you really want to get the full package out of your downhill experience, see if you can get a lesson/coach for a day. I'm sure your pride will steer you away from it, but you'll be so happy you did it. There is so much to learn about body positioning and how to attach a jump, that you'll be so glad you invested in yourself to learn the right way to ride.

    Mammoth is fun and needs to be ridden a little differently than the typical bike park. The pumice on the Mtn makes you lay off the front brake in most circumstances, so it can be tricky. You'll pretty much need to steer via your rear brake.

    Once yu spend some time riding Dzh, your CX rides will be so much more fun. You'll spend more time hitting and making jumps on all of your rides because you'll be looking for them nonstop.

  3. #3
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    Re: Experiences at Mammoth?

    Yeah break a leg man have some fun

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    Getting a trainer is actually a really good idea. My pride doesnt suffer so much from being bad and taught the basics, just when i end up using bikes to put dents in trees haha

    Thanks for the tip, I'm definitely going to look into that.

  5. #5
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    Its really the perfect place to try it since you can rent a full on DH ride and just slowly progress up the trail difficulty, since they're all well marked. If for some reason you don't like it (unlikely!) there are still plenty of XC trails to hit too. I'd be happy to show you around the trails if I'm up at the same time.

    You might want to check out some videos of the trails as well to get an idea of what they're like.
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  6. #6
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    Mammoth is great fun. I'm an experienced rider, but not when it comes to DH riding. I went to Mammoth last year for the first time riding lift-assisted, and initially was quite intimidated and nervous, but I was very pleasantly surprised that there is something there for everyone and every skill level.

    If you can, I'd definitely recommend going with someone who knows the mountain. It makes a big difference.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  7. #7
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    Mammoth is awesome.
    You need to go.
    Lots of work has been put in to the trails in the past few seasons and the mountain is fun for riders of all abilities.
    The trails at Mammoth fall in to three categories:
    1. XC-even though the trails can be lift accessed they likely present no challenges beyond what you've seen before on an adventurous trail ride. Examples are Off The Top, Downtown, Juniper, Paper Route, Beach Cruiser, Big Ring. Break Through.
    2. New School park/jump trails-Not classic DH by any means. Smooth and fast trails with features and mostly table top jumps. Speed and flow is greatly improved with paver berms and wood features. Very few gap jumps and the ones that exist are signed and primarily found on Pipeline. Examples are Recoil, Twilight Zone, Jill's Jumps, Pipeline.
    3. Old School classic DH-these are the trails that Mammoth was famous for and they still present a unique to Mammoth experience in terrain, soil, features, tech, and speed. All sorts of degree of difficulty but on these trails you'll find steeper terrain, loose corners, rocks, drops, rock gardens, and much of the steepness and speed that Mammoth can offer. Most of the difficult features on these trails are "natural" or have minimal modifications made to their signature sections. Bullet, Follow Me, Chainsmoke, Velocity, Upper Velocity for example.

    The loose and drifty kitty litter that qualifies as soil at Mammoth is found on all trails, so you'll get that part of the experience no matter what you ride.

    Good trails that serve as entrance to classic DH at Mammoth are Shotgun, Skidmarks, Follow Me, Lower Velocity.

    Good trails that mix DH and park feature riding are Recoil-Velocity-Twilight Zone and Break Through-Flow-Pipeline-Shotgun.

    Mammoth is also "famous" for drops. The classic drop at Mammoth is the Flow Drop. There are bigger drops on Techno Rock. Even if you won't be attempting these features it's cool to go check them out to see the whole range of terrain at Mammoth.

    Mammoth is a great place to work on all sorts of DH skill due to the variety of terrain and features.

  8. #8
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    there's a ton of more XC oriented DH riding at Mammoth than the all out black diamond DH runs. you can take the gondola to the top, ride down the back side of the mountain, get to the lodge, and even take trails down into the town and I did these rides 15 years ago with my Diamondback Apex and my 3" of plush Manitou 3 front suspension!

    go. plenty of riding to enjoy regardless of your riding style and skill level. if an obstacle comes along that you can't do, just get off and walk around it.

  9. #9
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    I Love Mammoth

  10. #10
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    Also, a trainer is probably a waste of money. Just find some rider that's a lot better than you and knows the mountain, offer to buy them lunch/beer to show you around and give you riding tips.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti_Rider View Post
    there's a ton of more XC oriented DH riding at Mammoth than the all out black diamond DH runs. you can take the gondola to the top, ride down the back side of the mountain, get to the lodge, and even take trails down into the town and I did these rides 15 years ago with my Diamondback Apex and my 3" of plush Manitou 3 front suspension!

    go. plenty of riding to enjoy regardless of your riding style and skill level. if an obstacle comes along that you can't do, just get off and walk around it.
    THIS.

    I would consider myself an Experienced MTB rider, but I am not a jumper. I prefer to keep my tires closer to the ground. I have gone once every summer for a number of year (though this year I might only go to summit since it is opening up again and is closer to home). My favorite trail is Skidmarks, it is from the top and is a single black diamond run, very much a xc/downhill mix. There is a ton of stuff I ma sure you could do right now with your skill level.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    Also, a trainer is probably a waste of money. Just find some rider that's a lot better than you and knows the mountain, offer to buy them lunch/beer to show you around and give you riding tips.
    Strongly disagree with this . . . . boatloads of idiots up there who may look like they know what they are doing, but that does not mean they are doing it right or doing it well. Spending an afternoon with someone who knows how to teach is money well spent.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  13. #13
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    Just another person saying: GO.

    Even with just an XC/AM bike (and high volume tires) you can have a ton of fun at Mammoth.

    Don't be surprised if the altitude kicks your butt. Drink a lot of water!

  14. #14
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    Will be up, from SoCal, this August. We usually go once a year, sometimes skipping a year, and have been doing so since the early 90's. Yes, there are big bike (big Cojones) runs, bigger than my AM bike / b@lls, but plenty of fun to be had no matter what bike you are on. The food and drink, be sure to check out Roberto's Mexican - the up stairs bar, and of course just the views alone, off the back side (from the top) of the mountain...!

    Altitude? Well it is 11k at the top, and if you live at sea level like me, you do feel it, but its all good.

    Yes, the "kitty liltter" soil! Ha! It does take a run or two to get used to that!

    In all the years I've never used a guide or trainer (maybe that's why I'm not hitting the bigger "stunts" Mammoth has these days?), just the park map and my own good sense. We almost always go up with, or meet up with other friends, and everyone has their own level. I will say, to me at lest, Mammoth is a notch less than Tahoe, a notch less "knar", but for my group it has always been a blast.

    Looking forward to this years trip!

    Oh, don't forget Lower Rock Creek trail!
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Salt View Post
    Oh, don't forget Lower Rock Creek trail!
    If you have someone to shuttle you, LRC is amazing, and free.
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    Paul, do yourself a favor and do some searching on Youtube. There are tons of video's people have shot up in Mammoth on every trail. Just type in Mammoth Recoil or Twilight or Pipeline, Off the Top, Shock Treatment, etc... In fact, I think on the Mammoth website all the trails are listed but Norm named a bunch. We find ourselves going mostly on a few. There are some that we walk to get past some knarly sections but the right bike really helps.

    Footloose has 1/2 price rentals on Tuesdays. Last year Mammoth had all new Rocky Mountian Flatlines and Flatline Pro's there. The Pro's were $150 a day and the other were $100. We bought 2 of the demo's the year prior as they only had 3 months of riding on them. Tons of other stuff to do in Mammoth as well. Two assume golf courses, lakes filled with trout and lot's of good eateries at the Village. You really can't go wrong. Low budget you can tent it or Motel 6 is $80. Look on VRBO or CL for condo's as well.

    Here is a link to the Mammoth calendar. Looks at each month as they always have something going on. We do the 4th of July week which is awesome. August is great too as they have Mammoth Rocks and a Taste of Mammoth along with Mammoth Motocross.

    Mammoth Lakes Events | Official Events Calendar | Mammoth Lakes CVB

  17. #17
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    If you're planning a trip, there are also the Kamikaze bike games scheduled for Sept. Kamikaze Bike Games - Races
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  18. #18
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    You're going to Mammoth in August? Me, too! We should hang out.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragged edge racing View Post
    Low budget you can tent it or Motel 6 is $80.
    Tent is the way to go, Free Shuttle from the Campsites up at Twin Lakes and Lake Mary to the Village.
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  20. #20
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    Or just rent a primo 3 bedroom condo for $150/night where you can fit 8 people in there. Summer accommodations are ridiculously cheap.

  21. #21
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    From the facebook:"How do you feel about another Memorial Day Weekend opening?"
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  22. #22
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    Awesome.
    Buy the pass now and it's like $1.65 a day* to ride the park for the entire season.



    *providing you blow off all other responsibilities in life and devote yourself to the bike park.

    There are going to be at least 120+ days to ride the park this year.

  23. #23
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    Mammoth is awesome, been going there riding since the 80's, skiing there even longer. I've done about every type of riding there, from DH-road riding and never have been disappointed. The town is also great families, lots to do, fishing, hiking, the main base area has a climbing wall and a small zipline, Yosemite and Bodie are close. I highly recommend a trip up there.
    Last edited by Hurricane Jeff; 04-26-2013 at 10:30 PM.

  24. #24
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    I couldn't even find where to buy the summer season pass on their website. The link for the $199 pass just takes you to their section to buy a skiing season pass.


    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Clydesdale View Post
    Awesome.
    Buy the pass now and it's like $1.65 a day* to ride the park for the entire season.



    *providing you blow off all other responsibilities in life and devote yourself to the bike park.

    There are going to be at least 120+ days to ride the park this year.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    I couldn't even find where to buy the summer season pass on their website. The link for the $199 pass just takes you to their section to buy a skiing season pass.
    You need to call them and ask for the 'early bird special'.
    It's not advertised on their site, but if you call and ask you can get the bike park pass for $199 for the month of April.
    Offer expires at end of month and may jump up to $269 since the park opens in May.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough View Post
    You're going to Mammoth in August? Me, too! We should hang out.
    I'm not hangin' with you. I've heard about you, you are way too knar for me. Riding with you would get me killed.
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  27. #27
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    Just bought my pass. Live in south lake and I am finally giving up on N*. Can't wait to try out new trails although the drive might cut down on the number of days I log.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sltmarc View Post
    Just bought my pass. Live in south lake and I am finally giving up on N*. Can't wait to try out new trails although the drive might cut down on the number of days I log.
    Having never been to N*, how does it compare? I hear complaints about trail maintenance, but it seems to be quit a bit more popular than Mammoth as far as CA bike parks go.
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  29. #29
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    I have never been to mammoth. Seems like they are building trails though which n* has not done in a couple years.

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    Mammoth is A LOT better than Northstar. When I was at northstar last year they had significantly fewer trails open than they did 2 years ago when I was there. Trails were in TERRIBLE shape. Many of the blues had realistically become blacks due to how rough they had become. No new features had really been built. Trails were just falling apart in general. It's still fun, but really a shame they haven't put any money into it. Mammoth is the exact opposite.

    P.S. just bought my mammoth season pass this week. If I go up towards Tahoe to ride I'd much rather ride other Tahoe area trails then pay $45 to ride the bike park.

  31. #31
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    From the Mammoth website. Looks like an early trip is in order.

    Mammoth Mountain Bike Park

    Mammoth Mountain Bike Park offers over 80 miles of scenic cross-country single track and heart-thumping downhills. Being the biggest bike park in the West allows us to offer terrain for every ability— even if you've yet to experience the fun of mountain biking.



    The Bike Park will be open for Memorial Day Weekend 2013, so get tuned up and ready for another great season!



    This September, we're resurrecting the the original mountain bike contest with the Kamikaze Bike Games. Click here to learn more.

    Get the best deal on a season pass by adding the Bike Park activity pass to your MVP purchase!
    Just $229 for adults, $115 for children! *Limited Time Offer

  32. #32
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    Early opening usually means bus shuttles only.
    Might be no lifts running for bikes-keep that in mind before making the trip up.
    So, it's shuttle stop F and a pedal/hike to part of Pipeline and Lower Bullet.
    Bus shuttles mean LOTS of traffic on Shotgun.
    Usually lifts to mid mountain start on the traditional opening schedule.

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    It seems everyone riding lift assisted had a "big bike". Big bikes with full facey dominates the scene. My fiancee and I rode our x-country rigs from downtown to Mammoth bike park mostly. It's worth it. Fishing is great at the lakes too. Lots of activities such as horse back riding. d

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by inteligencia View Post
    It seems everyone riding lift assisted had a "big bike". Big bikes with full facey dominates the scene. My fiancee and I rode our x-country rigs from downtown to Mammoth bike park mostly. It's worth it. Fishing is great at the lakes too. Lots of activities such as horse back riding. d
    I rode there last year with my 5.5" travel BlurLT and had a blast. Hit a good number of the runs up there including Skidmarks and Twilight, which were probably the two trails that pushed the boundaries of my bike. Other than those trails, I actually think a more AM oriented bike would be perfect for up there . . . I don't think you need (or even would really benefit from) a full on DH bike for most of the park.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragged edge racing View Post
    From the Mammoth website. Looks like an early trip is in order.

    Mammoth Mountain Bike Park

    Mammoth Mountain Bike Park offers over 80 miles of scenic cross-country single track and heart-thumping downhills. Being the biggest bike park in the West allows us to offer terrain for every ability— even if you've yet to experience the fun of mountain biking.



    The Bike Park will be open for Memorial Day Weekend 2013, so get tuned up and ready for another great season!



    This September, we're resurrecting the the original mountain bike contest with the Kamikaze Bike Games. Click here to learn more.

    Get the best deal on a season pass by adding the Bike Park activity pass to your MVP purchase!
    Just $229 for adults, $115 for children! *Limited Time Offer
    Mammoth is still a great place but Since Intrawest bought Mammoth years back you have to be very cautious taking what they say at face value. They put out much more marketing hype than truth in advertising.

    Yes they are now and will be open Memorial weekend but that will likely mean very few "trails" likely little more than main lodge to town and busses.

    Which is not exactly "the bike park will be open" as the message they put out suggests.

    They do the same thing with their snow reports which not exactly false but are hardly accurate as they once were.

    Mammoth, while still a fun place is just a shadow of what it once was.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWill View Post
    Mammoth, while still a fun place is just a shadow of what it once was.
    Huh? Are you on drugs? Have you been to Mammoth in the past 3 years? They've probably doubled the amount of rideable trails they have compared to 10 years ago. More lifts are operating than before, and the quality of the trails have improved greatly. There's even talk of them opening up canyon express this year.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    Huh? Are you on drugs? Have you been to Mammoth in the past 3 years? They've probably doubled the amount of rideable trails they have compared to 10 years ago. More lifts are operating than before, and the quality of the trails have improved greatly. There's even talk of them opening up canyon express this year.
    Well lets see I've got 42 days on my ski pass this year. Have 7 days on next years pass. Last summer I got 15 days on my bike park pass and plan at least 20-25 days this summer.

    I own a 4 bedroom house there since 1996 and spend at least 10 - 12 days a month there.
    My first trip to Mammoth was September 1975 and I haven't missed spending time there summer or winter since then except when deployed while I was flying for the Navy for 15+ years. I worked on the mountain three winters while in college.

    I wasn't speaking of what been done on the mountain either for skiing or biking.

    I'm speaking of the somewhat less than accurate information put out by the marketing department, the far less than even okay customer service that is now the norm, the over inflated prices, the drop in overall quality of the Mammoth experience in terms of how people are treated by mountain staff and management.

    Of course if you don't know what it was you have no measure of how bad it is today.

    Oh, I make part of living flying so I'm drug tested regularly and have never had a positive test result.

  38. #38
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    The official snow reports are for beginners and first timers. If you get in 42 days a year I'd hope you have some better ways to get snow info than that.

    The park is either open or not. Anyone who cares will know what that means early season. I'm not sure how that's being deceptive.

    I haven't noticed any of the supposed difference in the customer service in the last 25 years, but maybe I just "don't know what that is" or don't deal with the employees enough to notice.
    Last edited by PerfectZero; 05-04-2013 at 03:58 PM.
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    I appreciate a different perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by DWill View Post
    Well lets see I've got 42 days on my ski pass this year. Have 7 days on next years pass. Last summer I got 15 days on my bike park pass and plan at least 20-25 days this summer.

    I own a 4 bedroom house there since 1996 and spend at least 10 - 12 days a month there.
    My first trip to Mammoth was September 1975 and I haven't missed spending time there summer or winter since then except when deployed while I was flying for the Navy for 15+ years. I worked on the mountain three winters while in college.

    I wasn't speaking of what been done on the mountain either for skiing or biking.

    I'm speaking of the somewhat less than accurate information put out by the marketing department, the far less than even okay customer service that is now the norm, the over inflated prices, the drop in overall quality of the Mammoth experience in terms of how people are treated by mountain staff and management.

    Of course if you don't know what it was you have no measure of how bad it is today.

    Oh, I make part of living flying so I'm drug tested regularly and have never had a positive test result.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by inteligencia View Post
    I appreciate a different perspective.
    Yeah, I apologize I shouldn't be *****ing so much. It is what it is.

    I guess I just kind of miss the old school days of Mammoth when it was a great place to work and people weren't thought of in terms of dollars per visitor.

    There's a reason for instance that things like the ski school have gone from being one the top two or three school in the US to one no one even talks about much. You want to see the impact of the new (well not so new now) business model just walk through the season locker areas. There's a huge number of lockers available and has been since. Before the sale of the mountain there was a 1-2 year waiting list to get a locker.

    For years and years there were just very small number of "new" people near my locker, now there's pretty much a entire new group every year and about half the lockers in my area are empty.

    Anyway, I'll stop *****ing. Mammoth is still a great place just different in terms of the intangibles and maybe not so user friendly as it once was.

  41. #41
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    Trail Report

    Expected trails opening Memorial Weekend: Downtown, Uptown, Big Ring, Lower Paper Route, Juniper, Timber Ridge, Shotgun, Lower Pipeline, Bullet, Lakes Trail, Lower Follow Me, Pioneer Practice Loop

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    sweet. headed up next weekend to investigate.
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    Awesome. So now instead of snow blazing and testing barely opened trails on July 4th, park would be in primo condition by then. Hope they will start developing lower mountain as were planned before.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

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    If you don't mind bus shuttles and a bit of hike a bike, early openers are awesome.
    Limited trails, but what's open can be really good after the trail crew does their first pass.
    Bullet/Lower Bullet and Shotgun are usually super grippy and stupid fast early in the season.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectZero View Post
    sweet. headed up next weekend to investigate.

    Better get that Nomad in shape . . .
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Better get that Nomad in shape . . .
    its done.
    buzzes like a fridge

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    I rode some of the lower trails today. it was ok, the trail crew has some work to do if they plan to open up for Memorial Day Weekend. I think the amount of work is completely doable, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Uptown is rideable to the crossover above chair 4, the crew is plowing out downtown from above chair 4 until it is clear. Lower shotgun is open. Big Ring is rideable with a few large snow burm exceptions, as is juniper from Timber Ridge down to chair 15. Juniper looked rideable up above Timber Ridge, but I was running out of time and daylight. It should be a nice summer!

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    I live and ride in Mammoth Lakes. The lower part of the mountain is riding great. In particular, shotgun is 100% clear and running as good as it gets! The mountain bike park will definitely open memorial day weekend with Shotgun, lower bullet, lower pipeline and timber ridge, juniper, vodoo chutes. Bring your bike, board, skis, fishing rod, golf clubs and hiking shoes and enjoy the high sierras this memorial day weekend.

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    I have my trip planned and booked for 4th of July weekend!!! can't wait!

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    Quote Originally Posted by membrain View Post
    I have my trip planned and booked for 4th of July weekend!!! can't wait!
    I think most of the trails will be open. Here's a tip: park and ride out of chair 2 to avoid the crowds at the village.

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