Mammoth hopes for Nov. 6 opening |

Mammoth hopes for Nov. 6 opening

Column by Sam Bauman

Believe it or not as the air conditioner ticks away, the new ski/board season is only 10 weeks away, Nov. 6. At least that’s what Mammoth Mountain announced on closing July 4. It should be exciting at the big hill next season with the awesome new gondola.

Sheila Greeno, formerly sales and marketing director at Boreal, has moved to Diamond Peak, replacing Lee Ann Webber in the same position. The good news there is that there will be no increase in lift ticket prices, holding the line at $38. Same at Boral, $28. she notes.

SKI magazine has come out already with a rating of the new skis and gear. This time it’s all shaped skis with hardly a glance at the traditional form. Actually, most of the gear is just an update in cosmetics with minor fiddling with sidecut and and occasional titanium plate or two added to the shovel.

SKI also has a nice piece about Jonny Moseley, but not nearly as much fun as the piece in Outside magazine about our Jonny. Outside paints Moseley as a happy, wealthy, fun-loving kid who couldn’t wait to host a party on his folks’ party boat in the Sacramento Delta. His life seems to have changed since the Nagano Gold, but he hasn’t.


The 1998-99 board of directions at the Heavenly Ski Foundation (home of the champions) are already hard at work, with Stan Hansen as president; Gary Woodcock, VP; Pete Norma, treasurer; Jeff Higman, secretary; and Jim Bradford, Steve Johnson and Wally Johnson as members.

The board has done lots of planning and is, as always, looking for corporate sponsors who will receive all kinds of recognition. Call (530) 541-7354 if you have any hot leads.


Just a reminder that this weekend Kirkwood is presenting its annual hike up the Mormon Immigrant Trail, led by visiting historians from back East. The hike starts at the base of chair 4 in the back bowl and traces the route carved by the Mormon Battalion back in 1848. This is the highest route taken by any wagon train heading west and peaks out at 9,100 feet. It’s a fun hike, not too demanding with lots of historic information from the experts.

It starts Saturday night at the activity center with a slide show at 7:30, with the hike starting the next morning at 8:30. Bring a lunch, a camera and a thirst for history.

Most people don’t realize that this trail was cut west to east rather than the other way round as the Mormons were in a hurry to get back to Salt Lake City. You may encounter some Mormons from Sacramento re-enacting the original trek from Tragedy Spring where three Mormon scouts were murdered to Kirkwood’s Thimble Mountain. Kirkwood folk will drive hikers to the starting point.


Squaw Valley is again offering would-be astronomers a chance to peek at the heavens this Friday-Sunday with the help of Bob Graf of the Astronomical Society of Nevada and associates from the University of Nevada Reno Astronomy Department.

“If there is a clarity of the atmosphere we should be able to view the Perseids and meteors from the constellation of Perseus,” Graf said. “Because of the progression of the seasons we’ll be able to see planets such as Uranus and Neptune.”

Gazing beings at 8:30 and lasts until about 10 p.m. Only fee is $5 for the cable car up and down. Pets aren’t invivted and warm clothing is recommended; and there is a bit of a hike.


Jimmy Huega was one of America’s first truly international stars, winning a bronze medal at the Innsbruck Olympics in 1964. He grew up in Tahoe City and was coached at Squaw by Emile Allais to many titles.

He was afflicted by multiple sclerosis later, a disease shared by 500,000 Americans. He never gave up and continues to head the Jimmy Heuga Center in Colorado for fellow sufferers, offering rehabilitation.

So Squaw is hosting the ninth annual Alpen Wine Fest as a benefit for Jimmy’s Center. A $20 admission fee gets you a souvenir wine glass, wine sampling, hors d’oeuvers, a raffle and a silent auction. All proceeds go to the Heuga Center.


If you need a new pair of gloves or anything else for next season, remember Heavenly’s annual tent sale will be popping up over the Labor Day weekend. You could probably pick up a pair of traditional skis for a song and a couple of choruses. Get there early and don’t forget your checkbook.

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