Day 3 – I wanted to get a full day of skiing in, so I grabbed some orange juice and a homemade blueberry muffin from the Side Door Cafewhich serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and deserts. The café boasts savory European fare such as crepes, panninis, tapas and their own fresh coffee roasted in Mammoth. The Side Door Café also has imported and micro brewed beers and a Library of fine wines to choose from. You can access their menu and other information on-line at www.sidedoorcafe.com
I had a great time skiing with Joanie Lynch (Mammoth Mountains director of Public Relations) and Daniel Hansen (Mammoths director of marketing). Both were expert skiers as well, and took to me to a few parts of the mountain I hadn’t skied before. The snow was outstanding. As of January 1st 2010, Mammoth has a 6-9 foot base, with fresh powder and machine groomed runs. Mammoth gets so much snow in fact, that the mountain typically stays open through June for some incredible spring skiing and snowboarding.
We met everybody for a delicious outdoor barbecued lunch at The Mill, one the many bar/restaurants on the mountain. I had the delicious Pulled Pork sandwich with baked beans and French fries. Yummy. From our table we watched as skiers and snowboarders descended down the hill, (some more successfully than others). Most of the eateries have full bars with both indoor and outdoor seating. The Mill also has a fire pit for those who want to see a view of the mountain and stay toasty at the same time. The temperature today was sunny in the mid-40’s so that really wasn’t an issue, but its always fun to take a break and sit around the fire with friends.
After skiing, it was Après ski time once again, followed by a quick dip in the Grand Sierra Lodges heated swimming pool and whirlpool spa. We met everyone at 4:45pm at The Village Gondola to go up to the Night of Lights taking place on top of the mountain. We decided to beat the rush, since literally thousands of people would be making their way up the mountain for the event. The ride up the Gondola at night is beautiful with all the twinkling lights below. It's a whole new perspective at night and very romantic.
The Night of Lights is an annual celebration to kick-off the holidays as well as the Opening Day for Mammoths sister mountain, June Mountain (just to the north). A giant stage is set-up in front of The Canyon Lodge along with a VIP Tent complete with an open bar and tray passed Hors d’ oeuvres. The Night of Lights event kicks off with a live performance with a band. This year was the Indy Scottish group, We Were Promised Jetpacks. The high-energy rock n’ roll got everybody wired and ready for the rest of the nights’ festivities. Tonight’s event had a record turnout of close to 10,000 people.
The Grand Finale was an incredible non-stop fireworks display that lit up the night and the mountain. I was on the roof of the Canyon Lodge to get the best view from above. The entire light show lasted for about twenty minutes and the fireworks spectacular was the perfect ending, not only for the show, but also for the entire trip. Following the light show, a DJ started spinning dance music and it turned into a giant Rave on the mountaintop. It was a pretty cool scene.
After the show we went inside the Lodge for a sit-down dinner in the banquet room and were treated to a full gourmet buffet. There was an earlier seating for dinner where patrons can actually watch the light show in the warm comfort of the lodge, but still enjoy the show through the giant floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows. The buffet consisted of fresh carved Roast Beef, and Smoked Turkey, seafood, pastas, various side dishes and an assortment of deserts. This is a nice upscale alternative to see the light show, and enjoy great food without having to deal with the crowds.
The younger crowd stayed on the mountain for the DJ fueled Snow Rave and the rest of the crowd headed down the mountain to town to continue the partying there. A few of us finished off the night at one of the local watering holes in the Village, The Lakanuki Bar/Café. This is a very popular Hawaiian themed bar with live entertainment, dancing and even more drinking. For those of you who like to sing in the shower, there is Karaoke on Thursday nights. The other bar/clubs in town, Whiskey Creek and The Auld Dubliner are all within walking distance of each other, so you can check out them all out without having to drive and park.
The next day we headed home on the early flight back to Los Angeles on Horizon Air. We were picked up at the airport in a Town Car provided by Exeucar (part of The Super Shuttle franchise). It was an amazing trip and Lawrence Davis and I would like to give special thanks to Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory and PR staff Joani Lynch, Daniel Hansen, Chris Lyman, and Natasha Bourlin.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Mammoth Mountain offers plenty of other Winter activities including ice skating, snowshoeing, dogsledding, snowmobiling and cross country skiing. There is even Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra (DSES); a volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to changing the lives of children and adults with disabilities. This inspirational organization offers year-round outdoor sports and activities and provides expert instruction and adaptive equipment. If you’d like to volunteer or get involved with the program call 1-760-934-0791 or visit the website www.DisabledSportsEasternSierra.org/
To see what activities Mammoth Mountain offers all year round, go the website at www.MammothMountain.com
To read my other articles on this great trip click on these links: