Mammoth Lakes, CA
Age Range: Teens +
Recommendations: Advanced skiers and riders only. Avoid after a heavy snowfall. Go with someone experienced in the backcountry.
My first “backcountry” experience many years ago was a trip through Hole in the Wall on the backside of Mammoth Mountain. It is just barely out-of-bounds, but it offers some challenging terrain, great scenery and a really unique chance to ski through a cave. Not bad at all! My favorite time to ski it is late morning in the spring when the snow softens into classic Sierra Nevada corn – smooth and silky.
Start your adventure by riding the gondola to the summit. From there, hang a left and head for Dave’s Run. There really isn’t a single route to Hole in the Wall, but I prefer to ski out toward Dragons Back before dropping off the backside. Since it is Forest Service land, out-of-bounds skiing and boarding are legal, but it is always nice to side-step over the ski area boundary to let the patrol know you meant to go out-of-bounds. Read more ›