Mammoth Mountain

Rare Year: Mammoth Skis into August

It's only happened once before, in 1995. As for the closing day? That's TBD.

No dilly-dallying: We're about to get frank about August.

It's a roaster, top (where the sun is) to bottom (where your feet touch the sizzling sidewalk). With that, there is nothing more to add about what's between the sun and the sidewalk, except sunblock and ice cream and floppy hats and shades and patio misters and the other items that help us weather the weather.

The winter fun times have fully vamoosed. The only skiing you're doing is with a spoon, down a small slope of sherbet in the bowl in front of you.

But schussing on the side of a real mountain? In the Northern Hemisphere? Pah.

"Pah" no more, sweaty-templed August ski dreamers, for Mammoth Mountain just revealed over the Memorial Day Weekend that it would keep open hours every day, for snowboarders and skiers alike, into the eighth, AC-on-high month of the year.

This is rare, you betcha, so rare, in fact, that it hasn't happened since the summer of 1995. True, there are often July ski days at the Eastern Sierra destination, but August at Mammoth is almost strictly about mountain biking, hiking, and other summery, no-ski-hats-needed pleasures.

Remember when January 2017 was declared "the snowiest month on record" at Mammoth Mountain? A full week-plus before January even ended? Thanks to the 241 inches that had already hit the ground?

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If some ski-sporting soothsayer had predicted, then and there, that there'd still be snow action in August on the mountain, they'd have been 100% correct. One imagines that people were wondering how far this snow show would really go.

Answer? FAR.

As for the base at the Summit? It's 270 inches, with the Main Lodge rocking 105 inches or a pinch under nine feet.

Now here's are a few chilly must-knows to tuck in your mittens about all of this highly unAugust-like info:

This is not, we repeat not a "through" August announcement, but an "into" August deal. No closing date has yet been announced, but that could come on Aug. 2 or Aug. 31. Time is at the steering wheel on this one, for now, so watch and wait.

Two? Kids under 12 can ski for free through the end of the season which keeps growing, and growing, and groooowing.

Three? If you buy a Cali4nia Pass for the 2017-2018 season, you can start using it now, in the ever-expanding 2016-2017 season.

And four? Yes, we know, there is actually year-round skiing in the North America — hello Mt. Hood, in Oregon — but we're kind of starting to wonder if the end of the 2016-2017 season at Mammoth will just touch the beginning of the 2017-2018 season.

Could it happen? Is it but a daydream? One thing is for darn sure: If you ski in August, you won't need to stow your gear too deeply in the closet, for opening day'll be back around at the big mountain in November.

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