Day 2 - I had breakfast at the Old New York Deli and Bakery Company, (in The Village) and enjoyed the delicious and nutritious breakfast Croissant. You can order a full breakfast or choose from an entire menu of authentic NY deli sandwiches such as the classic pastrami or corned beef. If you're looking for some homemade chicken soup like your mother used to make, this is the place. ONYD also makes their own custom salads, cream cheeses and bakery goods. After a quick breakfast, I was back in the Rental Department to pick up my demos and get back up to the mountain.
After the first day of skiing or snowboarding, you can simply return the equipment to the Rental Center and they'll tag it for you, so it's easy to pick it up the next day for as many days as you're renting it. It saves you from having to drag your skis and boots back and forth from your condo. Since the shop is right off the Gondola in the heart of the The Village (where we were staying), this made more sense for us. If you have your own car in town, you might want to keep the equipment with you the whole trip until it's time to return it.
Today the temperature was in the 40's, and just as beautiful as it had been the day before, with scattered clouds and sunny blue skies. "Bluebird all the way" as they say. We met our group just off the Village Gondola at The Canyon Supersign (a large map of the mountain). Lawrence was taking a lesson and I wanted to ski with the PR people who were advanced skiers. We all went to the very top of the mountain (my first time this trip). Although it was a little windy on the top of "Dave's Run" (named after Mammoth founder Dave McCoy), the snow was fantastic. We skied a solid three hours and met up with everyone for lunch.
Ever ridden in a Snowcat? It's that large machine with tank tracks that you see grooming the mountain after the lifts close. Well now, you can climb aboard a climate controlled, twelve passenger luxury Snowcat and be chauffeured up the mountain to a private picnic area. The seating is similar to a luxury coach bus. What's neat is, the Snowcat takes you off the commercial part of the mountain and up a cat track to a side of the mountain you would never get to see. Once on top, there is a beautiful panoramic view of Mammoth and the surrounding San Joaquin Mountains. Picnic tables are already there, and as you take in the magnificent view, your hosts serve you a catered lunch.
We were treated to gourmet deli sandwiches with marinated mushrooms and a side Mediterranean salad. We were poured white or red wine (depending on your preference) and bottled water. It's easy to get dehydrated on the mountain, (especially with the altitude of nearly 9,600 feet). For desert, we had delicious and very moist carrot cake. (I had two pieces but don't tell anyone). There are currently three packages available, The Minaret Summit Lunch Tour (which is what we experienced), The Minaret Vista Sunset Tour or The Parallax Snowcat Dinner. Prices vary, and are around $79 for adults and $39 for children. This exciting adventure is also available for private parties, special events and even small wedding parties up to twelve people. For more information or to make reservations, contact Mammoth Mountain at 1-800-Mammoth.
After lunch, it was time for the Mammoth Mountain Snowmobiling Adventure. Experience a thrilling snowmobile ride navigating through some of Mammoths most beautiful and undisturbed back-country. Fly through 80 miles of groomed scenic trails deep into the alpine forest and experience a private part of the mountain few get to see. The 90-minute snowmobile ride is nothing short of exhilarating. After miles of snow trails, (over 75,000 acres), our Tour Guide took us into a huge pasture with three foot deep virgin snow and let us loose for about fifteen minutes. What a rush!
You don't need to have prior experience on a snowmobile to be able to handle these machines since there is basically a throttle on the right side of the handlebars and a brake on the left. You'll also get expert instruction at the very beginning to prepare you for the time of your life. There are also tandem machines where two people can ride together if you so choose. To book your own snowmobile adventure, call 1-800-Mammoth or visit their website at www.MammothMountain.com
Following the snowmobile tour was Après' ski in Mammoths historic Yodeler Bar and Pub just across from the Mammoth Mountain Inn and the Main Lodge. Coffee with whiskey or Hot Chocolate with rum and topped with whipped cream was the order of the day. The Yodeler was recently converted into an Italian Restaurant, which didn't seem to catch on. Calamari, spaghetti and meatballs and cannelloni’s next to the fire just didn't scream Après' ski, so The Yodeler has reverted back to its old glory. I personally wouldn't have it any other way.
From the Main Lodge, we took the Après' Ski Shuttle Bus (what else?) that departs the Main Lodge at 6:15 and 7:15 on its way down to The Village. This particular evening, a Reggae band was set up on stage in front of a giant pine tree dressed with lights and ornaments for the holidays. The concert was free, and a lot of the locals who were just getting off work from the Mountain (the bus was jammed) were all going. I returned my equipment and checked out the band. There was also a flaming fire pit that was also a big hit. A couple of minutes of cool music and I was ready for a hot Jacuzzi.
In addition to a huge heated Swimming Pool and five Whirlpool Spas, The Grand Sierra (The Village) Lodge also has three Fitness Centers (open 24 hours a day), Vending and Laundry Facilities, Ski and Snowboard Lockers, and Video Games & DVD's to rent (remember I mentioned each room has its own DVD player). The Grand Sierra Lodge is rated one of the top 50 Ski Resort properties by Conde' Nast Traveler. Also available at The Village Lodge is a 3,700 square foot meeting space and Conference Center, everything you need to take care of business.
By this time, I was famished and it was time for dinner. This time we went to the Whiskey Creek restaurant and bar. (I've had some wild times at Whiskey Creek over the years). It felt like home. We started with some appetizers, ( spinach dip, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella and some ahi sushi). After last nights incredible Beef Tenderloin, I wasn't feeling much like another filet so Lawrence and split a New York Steak with peppercorn sauce (delicious) and an order of the lobster ravioli (our version of surf and turf). Of course there were cocktails, I had my standard Silver Patron Cadillac margarita on the rocks (no salt).
After dinner we all went to one of the local bars, an Irish Pub called The Auld Dubliner. But not before checking out the upstairs bar/nightclub at Whiskey Creek. It seems tonight was the opening night of the dance club, which came complete with some scantily clad Go-Go dancers. Knowing what I know from the past, I'm sure it was going to turn into quite a scene. Our group opted for The Auld Dubliner who actually had a pretty good live band that night. A few more Cadillac’s and I was ready to drive home (figuratively speaking of course). After all, tomorrow night is Mammoths annual Night of Lights celebration and I was not going to be tired for that one.
To be continued on Day-3 of my Mammoth Mountain report. For more information on all that Mammoth Lakes has to offer all year round, call 1-800-Mammoth or visit their website, www.mammothmountain.com/
To read my other articles on this great trip click on these links: