SIERRA SUPERSTAR: If you've never been to Mammoth, or even the Eastern Sierra, you can be forgiven for thinking that Mammoth Mountain, one of the most popular skiing destinations on the West Coast is rather confined, rather finite, and easily covered in a few hours. That isn't the case, as regulars know. Mammoth is massive, and its Sierra Nevada home? A great range of jag-toothy-peaks and valleys. And when the resort opens in early November, as it usually does, and then opens a few more runs come December, and finally fully opens thanks to healthy snowfall, it is easier to get a sense of its girth. And visitors to the 395-close mountain will see that starting on Friday, Dec. 7, when Mammoth will open "the entire mountain" for visitors The upshot? "Mammoth will have more terrain open than any other resort in the country." And that includes lifts, lodges, the whole caboodle.
THE SNOWY TO-KNOWS: The big opening is due to the 4-6 feet of fresh snow that fell a few days back. The weather's timing could not be more impeccable; the resort has several holiday-themed things afoot, like the Night of Lights and Torchlight Parade on Dec. 22. New Year's Eve is always quite the party up the mountain, too.
EASTERN SIERRA LOVE: If you're a Mammoth regular, and only ever turn off at Highway 203 to hit the slopes, consider driving a bit further on. The area recently got a lot of love from Lonely Planet. In fact, the publication dubbed the Eastern Sierra one of the top U.S. travel destinations to visit in 2013. Mono Lake even got the top photo slot. Sweet. Love the California love, Lonely Planet.