A Trip to Mammoth Mountain


Luciana Karafa

Mountain sunset on the way to Mammoth

Me and My brother Skiing (Kacie Karafa)

This April, my family took a trip across the country to Mammoth Lakes, CA to go skiing at Mammoth Mountain. This is one of many trips we have taken there but this year is the most snow we have ever seen. In fact, this season has seen the most snow on record at a whopping 704 inches (about 58 feet). The average amount of snow each season is

My Grandfathers house (Luciana Karafa)

around 400 inches. If you still aren’t convinced that this is a lot of snow then take a look at this picture of the driveway with snow on either side. We stayed at our grandfather’s house which he had built many years ago. It has three floors and a beautiful view of the mountain. It’s only a two minute drive or a seven minute walk to the village. We love to visit the ice cream shop, the chocolate factory and most of all, we all love going to dinner at the Side Door. We always get a couple of pots of fondue there and it’s delicious.

View from the house (Luciana Karafa)

On the second day there it was finally time to ski; we rode the gondola to the mountain. Mammoth Mountain has 25 ski lifts and many trails for all levels of skiers. But before that we headed to the ski rental to get the right size ski boots, skis, and poles. Lucky for us it was only in the 30s the week we were there so it wasn’t too cold. Except for the last day, where the wind was blowing up around 30-40 mph and gusts higher than that. We skied for a total of four days and had a ton of fun skiing all over the mountain following our grandfather who basically has the whole mountain memorized. Except for a couple of mishaps, we all had a lot of fun and it was a wonderful vacation.

My Mom, Brother, and Grandfather on the chair lift (Luciana Karafa)

My grandfather, Keith Woodard, has been skiing here for many years and I interviewed him about his experiences and why he chose to build a house there.

How long have you been skiing at Mammoth and why do you like it so much?
I have been skiing at Mammoth for 68 years. I was here when the first chair lift was put in. And I like it because it is the best mountain in the world with all different kinds of terrain and ski runs [for all different] abilities.

What made you choose to build a house here?
I used to come here as a kid with the YMCA camp and I liked to hike up here a lot and when I was working back east I came on vacation out here and one day I bought a lot. Ten years later I decided to build a house because I had enough money to do it.

Mountain landscape (Luciana Karafa)

What is your favorite thing about skiing here?
The snow conditions are great; they get more snow than any other ski area. We got 704 inches this year.

What has been most difficult about having so much snow this year?
The most difficult part about having so much snow this year is having to shovel it off of the walks cause we have stairs that go up that are exposed and they had twelve feet of snow on them this year. And it cost $1180 to remove it.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about this amazing ski resort and that someday you get to visit. Let me know in the comments if you have been to Mammoth or if you have any questions about it.