There’s no stopping during Opening Weekend at Mammoth and once off hill, we headed to Black Velvet for snacks and drinks with the Mammoth crew. Molly and TJ Dawoud, Gabe Taylor, Lauren Burke, Peter Morning, Sydney Jones and the Unbound staff enjoyed the epic Black Velvet waffles, and a well-deserved after-hours break from the work they all put into Opening Weekend. (The crew at Mammoth is an all-time one—an extra thank you for everything they do, from November all the way through May and beyond!) The mellow vibe at the coffee shop-slash-bar was only the beginning though, as there was a double-header premiere to go to. Abisinthe’s ‘After/Forever’ was on tap at Sushi Rei and Mammoth locals Kimmy Fasani, Garrett Warnick and Jaeger Bailey were deserving of ample accolades for the hammer parts they had filmed the past season. Sapporos were cracked, the restaurant was standing room only, and Kimmy, Worm, and Jaeger were duly celebrated. There continued to be no break in the action as we all headed to 53, just a few doors down in the Mammoth Village, where ‘The SNOWBOARDER Movie: Resolution’ was next up. The tequila came out and the edges of the evening blurred. Before it got too late, our crew pulled the ripcord and loaded into the RV to head back up to the mountain in anticipation of the following day’s boarding, though we heard Laka Nuki went off that night, we were merely pacing ourselves.
Iikka rock wallie. p: Walsh
On Saturday, as the liftlines grew longer with weekend traffic, we met up with Peter Morning who wanted to head to the top. It was a tad windy up there and we were all skeptical, but Peter is practically a mayor of Mammoth; he’s grown up on the mountain’s trails and has worked in the marketing office nearly as long as he’s been skiing. Yelling over the gusts as we exited the gondola, we reluctantly headed left toward Dave’s Run. It was cold and wintery despite the bright skies at the top of Dave’s. We all side-eyed the terrain we were supposed to follow Peter down, but once we dropped in we were greeted with blower turns. It was a bit hard underneath—it was November, after all—but Peter was right. Iikka and Anto showed the crew how it was done and let loose some roosts that were worthy of mid-winter. Big Mountain Brady showed up on his 153 jib board and sent snow into the air. We got to the bottom, traversed back to the front side, and then went back up for more. A quick lap through the soft snow of the park, another run kicking up light snow. There are few places that you can have this duality of snowboarding the first weekend of the year but Mammoth is definitely one of them. We spent the rest of the day lapping the park, staying up late past when the crowds had left the hill. Jordan and Anto capitalized on the receding golden hour for the media crew. It was the very end of the day by the time we got off hill, tired, stoked, and with one more night left to head into the Mammoth Village.