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No Snow in Mammoth

Well as if the title of this blog post isn’t sad enough, then I look out my office window with it being the first day of February, and I’m astonished on how dry it is out there.  It looks like either July when almost all the snow is melted away, or October after a first snowfall….but it definitely doesn’t look like typically February here in Mammoth Lakes this season.

In a resort town like Mammoth Mountain, a lack of snow can often bring a lack of enthusiasm with both the local community and the tourist alike.  Big snow years produce tremendous excitement among the many who have a deep passion for the winter outdoor sports, activities and lifestyle.  So not only can the micro-economic effect of a drought year be a real disappointment, but so can the over energy within the community.

wheresthesnowThe warm temperatures, lack of snow, and a disappointing 7-day Mammoth Forecast is often a revolving topic of general conversation between folks when talking about Mammoth Lakes lately.  I won’t try and sugarcoat the fact that I too am longing for one of those typical Mammoth dumps that we measure in feet day after day.  But I’d also like to take a moment to point out the positive in all this.

If your annual sport of choice is skiing or snowboarding, I get it….be bummed, as the way things are looking you’ll need to wait until next winter season to get your fix of fun.  But for the many of us that are multi-sport creatures, weak winters just mean long summers to me!  On big snow years my hiking, mountain biking, climbing, backpacking, and mountaineering seem to all get pinched into just a quick couple month summer.  However, on these drought years those activities can easily stretch over six months or more.  So for me I’ve been trying to stay on the bikes and enjoy pedaling around the dirt trails and roads that should and usually would be buried in snowpack this time of year.

Furthermore, I keep hearing this doom and gloom type discussion as to whether or not it will ever snow like it used to here in Mammoth.  Well I’m a numbers and statics sort of guy.  I’ve been skiing Mammoth Mountain for over 30 years now, and have been an Eastern Sierra resident for about 12 years.  In those 12 years I have experienced the dryness of what we are seeing this year, all the way to record breaking snowfall years.  So this winter season of 2014/2015 is proving to be about the worst, and yes, the previous three winter season were not so good either.  But I love it how quickly we as humans can ignore, forget, or just disregard the recent past to cry about present.  Let’s not forget the two back-to-back records seasons of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.  And let’s not forget the 2004/2005 season when Mammoth Mountain opened in October and stayed opened through 4th of July!  And most of the winter win between of all that were right at average snow levels.

So after 12 seasons of living here full-time, I’ve seen 4 bad, 4 epic, and 4 average.  That all balances out pretty evenly in my book.  Some may choose to focus on the theory that we are in a new warming pattern based upon this being the fourth drought year in a row.  I’m no scientist, but I like to think positively and believe that it’s just a strange anomaly in weather patterns, just as it was an anomaly to have to back-to-back record breaking years.   So you can sit around and “pray for snow”, but I’ll be outdoors biking and climbing and smiling until it does snow, regardless if that’s this season, or the next or the next.  Any way you slice, Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra are a great place to live!

Written by Eric Leach / 800-921-6520 / Eric@ResortPropertyRealty.com

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