Bike Park opinions... Mammoth or North Star- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike Park opinions... Mammoth or North Star

    Heading out to California next month for about a week or so, no real itinerary. Might hit both, but curious about opinions if one is "better" than the other? If so, why or why not?

    I know, it's a pretty subjective question... I prefer more natural lines to built obstacles, not sure that makes a diff?
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  2. #2
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    I've never been to mammoth, but I had a season pass at northstar last year. I never had a day up there I didn't enjoy.

  3. #3
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    You want mammoth...if the upper mountain is open. Both are amazing though.

    Well it depends what you mean by natural features. If you mean normal DH trails with a good variety of berms, jumps, drops, rock features, then pick northstar. If you mean steeper trails with really weird traction and f-ed up rock features and endlessly long runs, then mammoth.

  4. #4
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    mammoth has some crazy stuff. its got a killer rock drop from techno rock that hits up with velocity that i saw 1 person hit in 2 days up there, and a huge steep rock roller into an slightly less steep wooden run-out (the rock part is vertical, i'd guess 8 feet tall, and you will most likely have to drop it). Velocity has some of the gnarliest rock gardens i have seen. Chainsmoke is ridiculous, all around. but its great fun. i cant wait to go again.

    Northstar has way more jumps, and some very technical stuff, but a different way. Its way less steep all around, but has some long rock gardens that seem endless, some small tech drops, a few big ones (flameout) and tons and tons of jumps.

    Mammoth is supposedly stepping their game up (10x larger budget, 5 new freeride/jump trails, 3 fully irrigated trails) but im not sure how thats going to go. check up on mammoth as they get closer to fully open. if they got everything they say they're going to add, it will be awesome. but if the full mountain aint open, hit N*. i love them both, but right now, im glad northstar is closer.

    Northstar: Check out Flameout-Phodog. thats mine and Smurf Favorite run. kinda easy? yes, but fast and fun, good warmup.

    Mammoth: Check out "off the top"-Kamikazee-lower shock treatment-richter. off the top is very easy, but you can get going surprisingly fast, and has an awesome view.

    Have fun, you cant go wrong either way.

  5. #5
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    I ride Northstar and have heard that it's more flowy and fun than Mammoth. Otoh, this year, we still have a boatload of snow, need to be after July 15th or so to ride Northstar's good stuff, and even then, much of the mountain will probably still be closed. Late July, early August I'm guessing for entire mountain to be open.

  6. #6
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    its apples and oranges, coke and pepsi. both are good parks in their own rights.

    mammoth: good for big mountain DH. the runs from the top are LONG (albeit with a lot of traversing the mountain to get to specific trails. the place is still huge (3400 someodd acres), and most runs would take a fit person a good 20 minutes. lots of tech, lots of chunk, lots of loose pumice (which some hate, but its pretty predictable. just never use your front brake in it). not a lot in the way of jumps, but they're working to change that this year with a few trail changes / additions.

    of note on mammoth, they had a record snow season this year, so there's still a very large amount of it up there. depending on when you go in july, they might not be open to the top. they're still skiing from the top on 4th of july weekend. I'd wait until the last weekend or two at least.

    northstar: by comparison, its a very small park. that makes it easier to find stuff and get around though. less traversing the mountain, runs are usually down in the 5 minute or less range if you're quick. tons of freeride stuff. jumps, ladders, drops, etc. everywhere. theres also livewire, which is all jumps (and irrigated for your pleasure).

    the techier end of it will give mammoth a run for its money. karpiel, dog bone, or stiks n stones are all notably nuts, and not for the feint of heart. that said, I cleared all of them in a day, but have yet to clean a few of the gnarlier rock gardens at mammoth (like on upper velocity).

    dirt-wise, it's dusty and loose. more like plowing through powder than anything, and finding myself up to my rotors in loose dirt wasn't that uncommon the time I went (it was later in the season though).

    if i had to choose one for a single day of riding, I'd say northstar. I love mammoth (had a season pass for 2 years now), but its so vast that you cant possibly hit everything in a day. it also takes some getting used to the pumice before you can really start to shred it and have fun. northstar has enough features to keep even the most ADD of riders completed interested, and is very easy to navigate around and ride if you dont know where you're going.

    Mammoth does have more natural lines, but like I said, the place is huge. the maps are good, but some of the connectors on trails are hard to find if you cant find someone to follow around. go check out the any of the double black diamond runs at N* and you'll find plenty of gnarly natural tech...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryguy17 View Post
    its apples and oranges, coke and pepsi. both are good parks in their own rights....
    +1 yup, what he said-Mammoth is a ton of fun, if you know your way around. Northstar will definitely keep you busy trying new lines down the mountain all day long.

  8. #8
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    If you're going to make the trek I'd say just go to both if you have a car. They're like 3.5 hrs apart, and its a nice drive.

  9. #9
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    Snow will be a major factor in the enjoyment of Mammoth this summer.
    Even though lots of updates will be put in place for new trails and improvements, I'm betting Mammoth won't be a whole lot of fun till LATE July.
    Trails will be open before then, but it's going to take a lot of work and time to get things in shape.
    So, if it's going to be limited terrain due to snow-Northstar will be more fun in July.
    Mammoth should be absolutely killer in August after the trail crews have had time to really get to work.

  10. #10
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    I'm a fan of Northstar but if you prefer natural lines as opposed to obstacles, then mammoth is the way to go. I've been calling mammoth to set up reservations but they have told me that upper mountain won't be ready for quite some time. Northstar hopefully be fully open within the next two weeks. Depending on when your trip is, if Mammoth doesn't have the full mountain open, I'd definitely stick to northstar, but that's just my 2 cents.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the great info - appreciated.

    Not sure which way we'll go - other factors will also influence what happens... will report back with our findings after the trip.
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  12. #12
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    Both parks are amazing and offer good natural terrain. You really want to go to both. Northstar is more continuously rough, Mammoth has some really hard tight rock gardens, but they tend to be short. You really can't go wrong with either, they are totally different terrain and both freaking awesome. If you want to do other types of riding too, Tahoe has much more to offer than Mammoth lakes.

  13. #13
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    Just another vote for both. They are both fun and unique, and the drive between them is scenic and not too bad.

  14. #14
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    Moon-Dust or Kitty Litter...take your pick.

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    1 for moon dust please...drove past mammoth for 5 yrs, but did stop by there end of last season and wish I had 1 more day. northstar is fun but tahoe has way more riding then just the resort; unlike mammoth which only has lower rock creek not really dh and is just as far as downieville is to north star.

  16. #16
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    sounds fun either way!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostrangertodanger View Post
    lower rock creek not really dh and is just as far as downieville is to north star.
    Not even close.

    I agree though, the riding outside the mountain is pretty non-existent. Thank your friendly wilderness expansion advocates. Used to be a LOT more.
    STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.

  18. #18
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    Also, Mammoth has natural hot springs post-ride....N* you can probably find a hot tub. Take your pick.

  19. #19
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    Bringing the topic back for 2012

    N* or Mammoth. I was reading hear that Mammoth made some profit and was going to improve the park in 2011. Did that happen? I'm planning to do a 4 day getaway to either N* or Mammmoth and practice and practice more. Its hard to pick one and I don't have time to go to both.

    By the way I'm a noob to downhilling. I've been to N* once. I liked Karpiel a lot even though I was unable to clean it big time. I just keep picturing myself getting better at it and just want to keep shredding. I like rocky/rooty descents with a drop/table top here and there. I ridden Livewire and the jumps are fun but it gets old to me. I prefer spending more time on trails like Karpiel.

    Anyway just wanted to bring the topic to surface again and hear what experienced downhillers have to say.
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  20. #20
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    After going to both last summer...

    Mammoth had more "wow factor" - and probably more trails? But, lots of it was blown out with moon dust and it was not exactly user friendly. Shuttles back to the lifts were convenient, but got on my nerves a bit. If you can find the hot springs, it's just about the coolest thing out there

    Northstar seemd much more self contained - trails exited near the lifts, and the village was right there at the bottom.

    Northstar was much more what I'm used to and similar to the resorts in Colorado, Mammoth was like Disneyland... and I only had a day and half at Mammoth - (it takes at least a day to learn your way around that place if you're by yourself.) I dunno, it would be hard for me to back and only go to one.

    If I was going by myself again, I'd go to Northstar. If I had a buddy that knew his way about Mammoth, I'd go there.

    Flip a coin - with four days, you'll enjoy both and will definitely work on your skills.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacing08 View Post
    N* or Mammoth. I was reading hear that Mammoth made some profit and was going to improve the park in 2011. Did that happen? I'm planning to do a 4 day getaway to either N* or Mammmoth and practice and practice more. Its hard to pick one and I don't have time to go to both.

    By the way I'm a noob to downhilling. I've been to N* once. I liked Karpiel a lot even though I was unable to clean it big time. I just keep picturing myself getting better at it and just want to keep shredding. I like rocky/rooty descents with a drop/table top here and there. I ridden Livewire and the jumps are fun but it gets old to me. I prefer spending more time on trails like Karpiel.

    Anyway just wanted to bring the topic to surface again and hear what experienced downhillers have to say.
    Went to both parks in 11...mammoth twice.
    Mm definitely stepped it up with jumps and
    More fun trails then they have had in past.
    N* seemed unworked and same potholes
    Were in the landings from 2010. Both parks
    Are worthy but mam. is a bigger more spread
    out so u will pedal more too.

  22. #22
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    edited, see below

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacing08 View Post
    N* or Mammoth. I was reading hear that Mammoth made some profit and was going to improve the park in 2011. Did that happen? I'm planning to do a 4 day getaway to either N* or Mammmoth and practice and practice more. Its hard to pick one and I don't have time to go to both.

    By the way I'm a noob to downhilling. I've been to N* once. I liked Karpiel a lot even though I was unable to clean it big time. I just keep picturing myself getting better at it and just want to keep shredding. I like rocky/rooty descents with a drop/table top here and there. I ridden Livewire and the jumps are fun but it gets old to me. I prefer spending more time on trails like Karpiel.

    Anyway just wanted to bring the topic to surface again and hear what experienced downhillers have to say.
    did you search the forums before asking this question?

  24. #24
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    You say you dont have time to hit both, yet you are gonna be there for 4 days. 2 days is plenty of time to ride either of those places, you'll get bored of the trails if you are riding the same ones for 4 days. Go to both, you'll thank yourself. If you demand on only one, go to Mammoth just because you've already been to Northstar. Plus, the surrounding mountains and scenery in Mammoth blows the petty little mountains in Tahoe away.

  25. #25
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    I hate to say it because N* is my home park (its 2-3 hours closer than mammoth) Bit Mammoth really stepped their game up, and Northstar is just opening the lifts and thats about it. Sure they built a few new jumps on Livewire, and a really cool step up to drop option, but I woulda liked it a lot more had they made all the trails smoother.

    and Northstars 6 jumps they added, can't compare to mammoths 3 new trails, all of which have more than 6 jumps. Upper Twilight, Recoil, and pipeline. I'm really pissed that I most likely wont make it to mammoth this year, I'm going to whistler instead though so I'll get over it.

  26. #26
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    I just hope mammoth is willing to keep up/maintain the improvements this summer after a crappy ski season. I haven't heard if anything new is on deck.

  27. #27
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    Never been to Mammoth, but been hitting N* about once a year for the last 8(?) years when I'm down in Tahoe. Fun stuff, even for those of us lucky enough to live within driving distance of Whistler, Squamish, Shore, etc.

    The best trails there are ones like Boondocks and Karpiel that take advantage of the natural terrain and dusty, rocky glacial till. Sorry to say it, but Livewire sucks. Even when they've got it watered, it almost always gets blown out and janky by the middle of a busy day. Wish N* hadn't wasted so much effort to terra-form a trail that clearly isn't right for the mountain.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    Never been to Mammoth, but been hitting N* about once a year for the last 8(?) years when I'm down in Tahoe. Fun stuff, even for those of us lucky enough to live within driving distance of Whistler, Squamish, Shore, etc.

    The best trails there are ones like Boondocks and Karpiel that take advantage of the natural terrain and dusty, rocky glacial till. Sorry to say it, but Livewire sucks. Even when they've got it watered, it almost always gets blown out and janky by the middle of a busy day. Wish N* hadn't wasted so much effort to terra-form a trail that clearly isn't right for the mountain.
    I agree. My favorite trails are Boondocks, Stix, and Flameout. They have a lot of fun natural features and really take advantage of what is there.

    I wouldn't say livewire sucks. It isn't the best, but its a fun change from the rocky gnar of some of the other trails. I usually do 2 or 3 laps down livewire. I like how relaxing it is.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    Never been to Mammoth, but been hitting N* about once a year for the last 8(?) years when I'm down in Tahoe. Fun stuff, even for those of us lucky enough to live within driving distance of Whistler, Squamish, Shore, etc.

    The best trails there are ones like Boondocks and Karpiel that take advantage of the natural terrain and dusty, rocky glacial till. Sorry to say it, but Livewire sucks. Even when they've got it watered, it almost always gets blown out and janky by the middle of a busy day. Wish N* hadn't wasted so much effort to terra-form a trail that clearly isn't right for the mountain.
    All the trails are blown-out. Limited trail maintenance and 7 months of no precip and the place gets pretty beat up. That being said, I get a pass every year and it is a kick in the pants (not to mention an ass-kicker!).

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JefedelosJefes View Post
    You say you dont have time to hit both, yet you are gonna be there for 4 days. 2 days is plenty of time to ride either of those places, you'll get bored of the trails if you are riding the same ones for 4 days. Go to both, you'll thank yourself. If you demand on only one, go to Mammoth just because you've already been to Northstar. Plus, the surrounding mountains and scenery in Mammoth blows the petty little mountains in Tahoe away.
    I don't think I'd get bored in four days due to the fact that I'm a noob to resort downhilling. So everything is new to me. I could see myself obsessing on the trails trying to do it better each time. Day one would be just getting familiar most likely with the trail and the bike. You'd get bored cus you are experienced and would just fly down the trails. For me, I'm learning and can't blast down yet. There will be a lot of trial and error with me.

    Then again I'm a noob to resort downhilling so I'm sure N* and Mammoth would be both exciting to me. When I did go to N* it was literally just one day and that one day is the only resort downhill experience I have and I felt like I spent the day just getting a feel for things including the bike.

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm most likely going to N* for the fact that I want to make up for that last time I was there. I know what to expect now and I have my own DH bike this time around. Mammoth will be next year.
    A spotless bike is a bored bike.

  31. #31
    brake later, pedal sooner
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    honestly... i like how f'd up the trails are at NorthStar... if you guys wanna ride smooth stuff i'm sure you can goto the XC forum and ask them about the latest single track they've been "shredding".

    this is mountain biking come on.. horrible braking bumps, blown up turns, loose dust, rocks scattered everywhere in and out of the turns and trails..... just pin it harder and all those things disappear. thats what the fun is all about..

  32. #32
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    I agree ustemuf, having it blown out,loose,rocks scattered makes you get better as a rider.Its mountain biking and if the trails too hard for you get on an easier trail. Some of us more advanced riders have to have like the natural mountains we ride. My local trail is 10xs harder then anything at Mammoth or Northstar. Its like Ginger at Bootleg Cyn. GNAR IMO..

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by COLIN M View Post
    My local trail is 10xs harder then anything at Mammoth or Northstar. Its like Ginger at Bootleg Cyn. GNAR IMO..
    Interesting comparison.
    Ginger is certainly difficult, but it's on par with the harder old skool stuff at Mammoth.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Clydesdale View Post
    Interesting comparison.
    Ginger is certainly difficult, but it's on par with the harder old skool stuff at Mammoth.
    Some of the gardens on velocity are mind blowing. I'll sit there and stare at it wondering how it's possible, then someone will come blowing through it, and it looks like magic. I'm too scared to try some of that at full speed.

    Upper Shock treatment, Techno Rock, all those are insane. It's tons of fun though.

  35. #35
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    Shock Treatment got easier once they put wood bridges but Upper Velocity and Bullet sections is just crazy.

    To M vs. N* discussion, Mammoth wins for me every time due to variety. At N* no matter what you trying to do, it beats sh$%$ out of you while at Mammoth you can do flowy speed runs, crazy rocks or enduro cardio ride. Too bad it's longer drive.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalk View Post
    At N* no matter what you trying to do, it beats sh$%$ out of you while at Mammoth you can do flowy speed runs, crazy rocks or enduro cardio ride.
    I'll agree with this one. N* has more chop that pounds you down by the end of the day. Unless, I guess you are fast enough to fly over much of it. I blistered the callouses off my hands last year at N*.

  37. #37
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    Honestly man I would recommend you hit up Mammoth.

    That mountain is wicked. Way more badass terrain diversity than N* in my opinion
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  38. #38
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    Mammoth stepped it up pretty big last year, spending some much needed money revamping the mountain. I had a blast out there last year and will definitely be heading back that direction. North* is really close to where I live but it's getting btfu and I have yet to see a decent amount of maintenance (other than race days) out there. I'm not asking a complete revamp (although that would be nice) but just fixing the berms with holes and the lips of the jumps should be a bare minimum. Also they should fix the first jump into livewire like it was, to detour more beginner like riders from riding potentially harming other riders. Seriously, that trail is like a highway, and there are people who just don't "get it" and compromise the safety of others. NOT COOL. There are plenty of other trails that get you can leverage to get good at jumps, withOUT potentially harming others.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfast View Post
    Also they should fix the first jump into livewire like it was, to detour more beginner like riders from riding potentially harming other riders. Seriously, that trail is like a highway, and there are people who just don't "get it" and compromise the safety of others. NOT COOL. There are plenty of other trails that get you can leverage to get good at jumps, withOUT potentially harming others.
    what!??! dangerous riders on live wire?? no way.

    <object width='750' height='563'><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' /><param name='allowScriptAccess' value='always' /><param name='movie' value='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/165653/l/' /><embed src='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/165653/l/' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' width='750' height='563' allowFullScreen='true' allowScriptAccess='always'></embed></object><p><a href="http://www.pinkbike.com/video/165653/">

  40. #40
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    Ha! Need I say more?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ustemuf View Post
    what!??! dangerous riders on live wire?? no way.
    Ha! That's awesome. I hate when those people swerve back and forth on the trail. Is staying to the right that hard?

    Live Wire is super fun. Why all the hate? Here's my ugly crash on LW from last season. No one to blame here except myself (and that stupid high spot on the entry to the berm!).

    <object width='500' height='281'><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' /><param name='allowScriptAccess' value='always' /><param name='movie' value='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/220655/l/' /><embed src='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/220655/l/' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' width='500' height='281' allowFullScreen='true' allowScriptAccess='always'></embed></object><p><a href="http://www.pinkbike.com/video/220655/">Live Wire with Ed</a> on <a href="http://www.pinkbike.com">pinkbike.com</a></p>
    Last edited by Swell Guy; 05-17-2012 at 10:51 PM.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ustemuf View Post
    what!??! dangerous riders on live wire?? no way.

    <object width='750' height='563'><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' /><param name='allowScriptAccess' value='always' /><param name='movie' value='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/165653/l/' /><embed src='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/165653/l/' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' width='750' height='563' allowFullScreen='true' allowScriptAccess='always'></embed></object><p><a href="http://www.pinkbike.com/video/165653/">
    That was funny. But i guess anything can happen when riding.
    A spotless bike is a bored bike.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacing08 View Post
    That was funny. But i guess anything can happen when riding.
    That's a classic episode of, "Always look where you WANT to go."

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swell Guy View Post
    Ha! That's awesome. I hate when those people swerve back and forth on the trail. Is staying to the right that hard?

    Live Wire is super fun. Why all the hate? Here's my ugly crash on LW from last season. No one to blame here except myself (and that stupid high spot on the entry to the berm!).
    Hey Ed,

    You were tearing it up until you clipped that rock!

    Good on Ya!!

    Take Care,

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  45. #45
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    One last point as we beat this Mammoth vs N* dead horse: it always felt to me like the longest chain of trails (top to bottom) at N* was just about the shortest ride at Mammoth. Yea, you gotta wait for the shuttle bus on the 1/2 hour but at least you rode for more than 5 mins to get there.

    Go to both. After a mediocre ski season they both need your $$$.

    I sincerely doubt you will be bored no matter what you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fgiraffe View Post

    Go to both. After a mediocre ski season they both need your $$$.

    I sincerely doubt you will be bored no matter what you do.
    I think I'm only going to northstar if they look like they give a sh*t anymore. What's it been, 5 years since they put in any new trail or significant feature? 2 years since they lifted a shovel for maintenance?

  47. #47
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    Basically if you never rode mammoth then don't go. If you plan on riding it a couple of weekends then go, but one weekend forget it.....Mammoth is like no place you ever rode before. It takes a few days to get the groove going. I think you get your groove at NorthStar faster. Now if you are up for challenges and are an advanced Elite rider...then try out Mammoth...definately bring your A game....turns are easier if you go in at speed and lock rear up (I know bad bad, but only to break traction) and then lean and bike will corner real nice

    bottom line: I think you will have more fun at NorthStar if you are not an elite rider

    one thing: Bring an extra set of brake pads to Mammoth....I have seen people go through a pair in a day
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  48. #48
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    bottom line: I think you will have more fun at NorthStar if you are not an elite rider
    If you're on a DH bike, prolly. But if you're on a 5"-6" travel bike I would disagree. A little pedaling (and definitely big high volume floaty tires for the kitty litter) gets you a lot of very fun flowy Blue/Single Black trails at Mammoth. "Flowy" is not a word I associate with N*, at least not at my skill level.

    And yea, hopefully N* steps up the maintenance this year. It seemed like last summer if there was a race planned on a certain trail that ONE trail got attention, but nothing else did all summer.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiver me timbers View Post
    one thing: Bring an extra set of brake pads to mammoth....i have seen people go through a pair in a day
    lol

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    [QUOTE=fgiraffe;9331552]If you're on a DH bike, prolly. But if you're on a 5"-6" travel bike I would disagree. A little pedaling (and definitely big high volume floaty tires for the kitty litter) gets you a lot of very fun flowy Blue/Single Black trails at Mammoth. "Flowy" is not a word I associate with N*, at least not at my skill level.

    This is good to hear. A friend and I hit up N* with 6" bikes a couple years ago. We don't come from a DH background, and we didn't think it was a place we would go back to. I can see with a full on DH bike it can be better. This year we are taking the same bikes to Mammoth.

  51. #51
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    I live in Mammoth and ride 50+ days a year here. the all mountain riding is great, and a 6" bike will take you almost anywhere. As for the DH, the mountain is much bigger than N* but is loose. I hold a season pass at N* as well as Mammoth for a change of scenery, and can appreciate both mountains. With all the love Mammoth got last year it's defiantly worth checking out, and don't be afraid of the pumice, it's not as bad as some make it out to be.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapshot_30 View Post
    With all the love Mammoth got last year it's defiantly worth checking out, and don't be afraid of the pumice, it's not as bad as some make it out to be.
    I love the pumice. I dunno why everyone doesn't like it.

    Northstar:
    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/29750692" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

    Mammoth:
    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28920696" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    2 years since they lifted a shovel for maintenance?
    Not a big North* proponent, although the only game in town generally, but this isn't precisely true. Works been done on Boonies, Gypsy and LIvewire all in the last two years. Not significant, and usually before a race, but sections have been upgraded. Existing being maintained? Generally, no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS View Post
    Basically if you never rode mammoth then don't go. If you plan on riding it a couple of weekends then go, but one weekend forget it.....Mammoth is like no place you ever rode before. It takes a few days to get the groove going. I think you get your groove at NorthStar faster. Now if you are up for challenges and are an advanced Elite rider...then try out Mammoth...definately bring your A game....turns are easier if you go in at speed and lock rear up (I know bad bad, but only to break traction) and then lean and bike will corner real nice

    bottom line: I think you will have more fun at NorthStar if you are not an elite rider

    one thing: Bring an extra set of brake pads to Mammoth....I have seen people go through a pair in a day
    He hit it on the head
    We had the privilege of riding pipeline closing weekend
    Some of the stuff there was top gear, spinning out prolly 40 ft gaps

    Plenty of stuff all over the mountain for even the best riders to challenge themselves and of course riders of all abilities

    FMX wood and metal hits all over the place, where as n* mostly has "safe" tables for jumps

    Biggest problem was with noobs stopping in places on jump trails that were neither safe for them or others, in rock section to adjust their gps, blind landings,

    Even standing off of the side causes distractions because you don't know if that squirrel is gonna jump out in front of you

    Or the xc riders pedaling up pipeline (I almost hit one on a table and he didn't even get out of the way after that and almost got hit by a few other jumpers)

    Same thing happens on ski mtns, but me tinks that "world revolves around me" mtbrs even worse

    Rant over

    if you like to jump, real baller jumps, Mammoth is now up there with whistler and highland

  55. #55
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    Heading up to mammoth tomorrow afternoon.

    Anyone else going?

  56. #56
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    Any more thoughts/updates comparisons in nearly 2 years?

  57. #57
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    I'm going to Mammoth on the 19th for the first time. I got mixed emotions about going there. Looks like a lot of kitty litter and pavers (which is fun but not sure it's worth the 7 hour drive). Was at Northstar today, pretty stoked on the new portions of Gypsy Trail. Also stoked on the trail work done on Sticks and Stones. I'll follow up after I get back from Mammoth.

  58. #58
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    I go to both regularly. Mammoth is a further drive for me but I got a season pass there instead of Northstar. I love riding at Mammoth. I'm typing this from my Mammoth hotel room. So...take that for what you will. But you are right, the kitty litter seems to scare off non-expert level riders. But Mammoth has also done a much better job than Northstar of catering to beginner/intermediate riders. IMO, there really aren't any good green/blue trails at northstar. The only "greens" are boring fireroads, and most of the blues are so blown out and rough they no longer should be called blues.

    Honestly though both parks are kind of slipping. Mammoth seems to have fewer and fewer trails open, but....so does Northstar. Mammoth has a bit more technical riding, bigger features, that kind of thing. But if you just want ride a straightforward jump trail all day, defrinitely go to Northstar.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    But Mammoth has also done a much better job than Northstar of catering to beginner/intermediate riders.
    That's me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    IMO, there really aren't any good green/blue trails at northstar. The only "greens" are boring fireroads, and most of the blues are so blown out and rough they no longer should be called blues.
    I'm a noob to DH biking but I thought this too. I hit some blue trails at Northstar the past week and some were pretty tough tight gutted big rock gardens and harder than a few of the black trails . In fact, some of the black trails were quite easy. And I suck.

    N'star is about 50 minutes from from my house; I probably will drive the 2-1/2 hours to Mammoth for a few days after July 4th. Which is why I bumped this thread.

  60. #60
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    Go to Mammoth.
    It's the perfect place to progress from DH noob to competent downhiller.
    Plenty of old skool DH at Mammoth and they have built a few new skool jump/park trails too.
    The trail rating system has been reworked for this season. It makes more sense now.
    Mammoth has a ton of variety for DH-everything from casual DH trails for fist timers( Shotgun/White Bark/Skid Marks) to a former World Cup DH track(Bullet).
    The intermediate terrain at Mammoth is awesome-ride it on a DH bike if you're new to DH, or hit it on any 5-6" bike if you know what you are doing.
    Lifties are friendly.
    There's beer at both the top and the bottom of the mountain.
    The view from the top of Mammoth is world class.
    Also, the bike park really wants you to have a great time and enjoy the mountain.
    Get a flat, break a chain, and can't repair it in the field? Call the park and they'll send a vehicle to pick you up.
    Cell coverage is excellent on the mountain, and the response and help available to injured riders and broken bikes is awesome

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Clydesdale View Post
    Go to Mammoth.
    Everything he said is correct. They used to run a WC on Bullet? I thought that UV to chainsmoke was their main "Pro Race Trail" back in the day. I wouldn't think bullet would be enough for a WC back then.

    Also, all the trails that are currently open are in great shape. I was afriad all the work they did on Bullet and Follow me last year would've nerf-ed it a lot, it turns out that was not the case. Good improvements only.

    I talked to one of the bike park people today, sounds like they are re-routing skid marks so it isn't always a problem opening it up at the beginning of the season. And they're going to have it open next weekend. That'll make accessing the canyon side a lot more pleasant.

    Also I've NEVER seen Kamikaze as smooth as I saw it yesterday. There were basically no braking bumps anywhere (except near the bottom). It was amazing.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Clydesdale View Post
    Go to Mammoth.
    It's the perfect place to progress from DH noob to competent downhiller.
    Plenty of old skool DH at Mammoth and they have built a few new skool jump/park trails too.
    The trail rating system has been reworked for this season. It makes more sense now.
    Mammoth has a ton of variety for DH-everything from casual DH trails for fist timers( Shotgun/White Bark/Skid Marks) to a former World Cup DH track(Bullet).
    The intermediate terrain at Mammoth is awesome-ride it on a DH bike if you're new to DH, or hit it on any 5-6" bike if you know what you are doing.
    Lifties are friendly.
    There's beer at both the top and the bottom of the mountain.
    The view from the top of Mammoth is world class.
    Also, the bike park really wants you to have a great time and enjoy the mountain.
    Get a flat, break a chain, and can't repair it in the field? Call the park and they'll send a vehicle to pick you up.
    Cell coverage is excellent on the mountain, and the response and help available to injured riders and broken bikes is awesome

    Thanks! I'll go week after July 4th for a few days. I assume weekends are a zoo so I'll go weekdays.

    Besides Mammoth's Demo Center and Footloose, any other bike shops with downhill rentals/demo?

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseJim View Post
    Thanks! I'll go week after July 4th for a few days. I assume weekends are a zoo so I'll go weekdays.

    Besides Mammoth's Demo Center and Footloose, any other bike shops with downhill rentals/demo?
    Mammoth Sporting Goods/Mammoth Outdoor Sports should have a few.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    Everything he said is correct. They used to run a WC on Bullet? I thought that UV to chainsmoke was their main "Pro Race Trail" back in the day. I wouldn't think bullet would be enough for a WC back then.
    Grundig World Cup 2001

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseJim View Post
    Thanks! I'll go week after July 4th for a few days. I assume weekends are a zoo so I'll go weekdays.
    Not true. Saturday was kinda busy, never waited in the lift line more than about 2 minutes. Sunday was empty. Like, I saw people, sorta. No one on the pro/expert trails really. But granted a couple trails aren't open so that's probably scaring off some people. It seems less busy than last year. Maybe snow summit is really cutting into their business now.

  66. #66
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    So I hit Mammoth for three solid days Tues-Friday and came back last night.

    Major differences are the amazing views from Mammoth (you can barely see Lake Tahoe from Northstar), much longer runs, and elevation 11,000 feet at Mammoth summit compared to about 7000 feet at Nstar summit.

    Mammoth was a hoot: great trails but the pumice especially on Skidmarks had me thinking I was land surfing more than biking. Kamikaze was indeed smooth. Lots of variety in trails and well marked.

    The only 'glitch' was they run Stump Alley lift only Fri-Sun so the first two days I had to take long gradual climbing traverses to get to the rider's right runs. Not a big deal but in the summer heat it was not pleasant, sapped my energy a bit, and 'wasted time'. They had a shuttle bus take you from the bottom of that lift back to the gondola. Stump Alley lift turning Friday was a huge help.

    Recoil, Twightlight Zone/ChainSmoke, and Flow-Seven Bridges were standouts for me.

    The 2-3/4 hour drive for me is super easy and beautiful so it's nice to have Mammoth for quick trips and Nstar 'around the corner.' It should be 2 hours to Mammoth but there are a few towns where the speed limit drops to 25 mph on I-395.

    I rented bikes from Footloose: not cheap but a great demo-ing experienceemo 8 I, Intense 951 Evo, SC V10 carbon (medium)*, and I took a mini-run on an instructor's Tuner DHR (medium). No access to large SC V10 or Turner DHR.


    *I'm 6'2" 190 lbs re the sizing.

    Everybody was so freaking nice and enthusiastic. As if they put Zoloft or Prozac in the water system. Great trip and great runs.
    Last edited by IntenseJim; 07-15-2014 at 06:41 PM.

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    Tried out northstar for a couple days 3 weeks ago...loved it, especially sticks n stones and boondocks. Usually hit mammoth at least once a summer, and love that too...sounds like the changes to bullet and follow me will be really fun if/when I head up in mid august!

  68. #68
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    What have they Changed to Bullet and Follow Me?

    There seems to be a new trail listed in the intermediate advanced section. Any one hit that? Also whats the new intermediate skills area like?

    Heading there in a week. Can't wait!

  69. #69
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    Almost nothing has changed on bullet when I was there 2-3 weeks ago. They nerfed the rock garden a bunch. That's about it. Follow me has a bunch of ladder bridges into, in, and out of turns. Nothing major.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseJim View Post
    Everybody was so freaking nice and enthusiastic. As if they put Zoloft or Prozac in the water system. Great trip and great runs.
    It's the elevation. Every time I drive home I get more and more pissed the closer I get to LA.
    buzzes like a fridge

  71. #71
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    Sorry for the bump, wanted to respond to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectZero View Post
    It's the elevation. Every time I drive home I get more and more pissed the closer I get to LA.
    I get the same way! I can be a wound up person, but up here in Mammoth I've been very chill.

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    I can drive to to Mammoth in 6 hrs, Tahoe in 9 hours or fly to whistler and be in the village in 5 hours. Probably why I always end up in Whistler!

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