Although many people typically flock to beaches and lakes to cool off and relax on July Fourth, some skiers and snowboarders are celebrating the summer holiday on the snowy ski slopes of Californian’s Mammoth Mountain.
The ski area, located in the Sierra Nevada, remained open to skiers and snowboarders at the start of July, and while it’s not unusual for the resort to stay open past the winter months, what caught the attention of those who worked there was the surplus of snow still available.
“What’s unusual about this season is how deep the base still is at this time of year. Coverage across the mountain is excellent,” resort spokesperson Tim LeRoy told AccuWeather via email.
Coverage across the mountain wasn’t just excellent, but based off a video taken in mid-June, it looked more like snow coverage would during the winter months. The resort was in no short supply of snow nor skiers and snowboarders even as the summer months began.
On July 4, Mammoth Mountain was one of the three ski resorts still open in the U.S., boasting a base depth of 35 to 105 inches. The other two resorts were Palisades Tahoe in Olympic Valley, California, and Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon.
LeRoy had described the snowfall this season as “record breaking,” with 715 inches measured at the main lodge and nearly 900 inches at the summit. The previous record holder had been the winter of 2010-2011 when 668.5 inches of snow had been measured at the main lodge.
Not only did it top other seasonal totals, but for the first time since record-keeping began in the 1969-1970 season at the resort, snowfall amounts at the main lodge surpassed 700 inches. It was just the third time on record that totals eclipsed 600 inches.
It’s a sharp contrast compared to the last few winters when snowfall totals ranged from 492 inches in the 2018-2019 season to 260 inches in the 2021-2022 season.
Camera footage from the resort’s webcam shows a clear difference in skiing and snowboarding conditions on June 30 of 2022 and 2023. In the 2022 snapshot, visitors walked the summit in summer clothes with picnic benches sitting out in the sun. One year later, skiers and snowboarders clad in coats and protective gear stood in their place, snow crunching beneath their feet. A coating of snow still blanketed the surrounding mountains as well, adding to the wintry scenery.
A large portion of the resort’s snow this season arrived in January when a deadly series of atmospheric rivers dropped feet upon feet of rain and snow over California. The precipitation was enough to lift most of California out of a drought, but a few dry areas currently persist. As of June 27, 2023, there were no drought conditions in Mammoth Mountain’s Mono County, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. One year prior, however, all of the county was experiencing at least severe drought conditions.
While the resort hasn’t pulled crowds in over the past month like it does during a typical winter weekend on the mountain, LeRoy said the resort was drawing more guests than it typically does this time of year.
“With the mix of excellent summer and snow activities in the region, this weekend always attracts a crowd,” he said.
He believes that guests will be able to continue skiing at the resort through the rest of July should the snowpack hold up.
Produced in association with AccuWeather
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