Family Trip to Blizzard in Mammoth: Thursday to Sunday

What started as a simple family skiing trip, scheduled months ago, to Mammoth to enjoy some more challenging slopes than Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear skiing and a change of pace from Southern California, turned into a wintry adventure.

We left early Thursday morning since the weather forecast was iffy for driving. We arrived in Mammoth after an uneventful trip from Santa Monica north to Mammoth Lake. It was beautiful when we arrived with about 10 foot piles of plowed snow along the roadsides and in all the parking lots. The road into Mammoth, while snow covered, was drivable in our truck.

The rented condo had direct ski-in access to the lifts and slopes and the white firs and Jeffery pine trees were magnificent, holding silent court over the snow covered slopes and happy skiers.

By evening a light snow, fine and gently flaky, began to fall gently. Who knew what this would mean?

We awoke at dawn and the snow had picked up to a light and steady snow. By the time the ski lesson was scheduled at 12:45 pm, a heavy snow was blanketing the view so as to obscure the ski lifts and the mountains in the distance. All that could be seen were the tops of the trees and a white veil screen.

The kids came back in from the lesson by 3:30 with heavy snow falling and temperatures of 14 degrees, feet stomping and shaking snow everywhere.

The next morning greeted us with heavy snow and blowing winds, temperatures in the single digits. The ski lesson was for 9:00 am and everyone was excited to go. Watching from the condo window over the slopes, the trees flocked and the winds quieted. Standing in amazement while the snow piled up, we enjoyed the snow and tried to go for a walk but gave it up due to the ice and heavy snow.

By the afternoon, the tree boughs were heavily weighed down and a walk around the outside hallways showed the lifts operating and the skiers shushing. Dedicated folks doing what they love the most!

Although CalTrans showed the roads down to Bishop were closed, we had a 10:00 am deadline to exit the condo so we packed up and hoped for the best, leaving by 9:00, hoping to beat the rush. After dropping off the keys and merging onto the road south through the courtesy of kind drivers, travel stopped, still.

It stayed stopped for over an hour. Everyone exited their cars, milling around trying to determine the cause and when their trip home could resume. The stoppage was due to car accidents from impatient drivers passing and losing vehicle control. Several ambulances and police cars whizzed by and in due time, traffic resumed.

The trip home took over seven plus hours…five folks with three dogs sharing a space together and passing the time.

Sunset in Malibu was welcome.

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