Mammoth Mountain: Last mountain standing (or skiing) |

Mammoth Mountain: Last mountain standing (or skiing)

Greyson Howard/Sierra SunA skier takes advantage of spring (summer?) skiing at Mammoth Mountain.

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. and#8212; Ordinarily, skiing Donner Ski Ranch or Squaw Valley on Memorial Day Weekend would have been enough to call it a season.

But with Mammoth Mountain touting plans to stay open until the Fourth of July, I figured it was time to head south for one last hurrah Saturday. And with a claimed 5- to 8-foot base left, Mammoth’s plans don’t seem far fetched.

All that snow and an elevation topping out over 11,000 feet can’t escape the increased solar exposure of early summer, however, so I was up and ready to go early Saturday morning, hoping to beat the heat.

Fortunately, Mammoth was on the same page, starting lifts at 7:30 a.m., closing at 2 p.m.

Many runs were getting salted and groomed, so it wasn’t too hard to pick a route relatively free of mashed potatoes all the way down to the bottom, even at 1 p.m. on the way to lunch.

Even with heavy spring snow, the mountain is a blast with a claimed 275 acres groomed, a half pipe and a race course running and#8212; but just talking about riding misses the point.

The views into the Ritters, the Minarets and the other Alp-like mountains surrounding Yosemite National Park are soul-stirring, and I found myself gaping at the vistas when I should have been paying attention to my skis on more than one occasion.

If you aren’t ready to hang up the skis or board, check out for current conditions and rates.

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