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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

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2017/04/09 Flight to Mammoth and Attempted 2ft Powder Day
π 2017-04-09 00:00 in Flying, Snow
It had been several years since I last went to Mammoth, and I was looking forward to finally going there with fresh powder. I carefully watched the forecast several days early including saturday when the storm was hitting the resort, to make sure that the top of the mountain would stay closed and I'd get fresh tracks the next day if I went. I got up early (actually I woke up before my alarm) and by 04:45 started getting ready. Got to Palo Alto Airport at 05:15 and then started loading up the plane, parked the car, and got in the air by 06:00 for a beautiful easy flight:







By 07:15, I landed at KMMH, taxied to parking, found my rental car waiting for me on the tarmac (courtesy of Hertz), but sadly it was a 2 wheel drive with crappy tires (the front tires were not even M+S, they turned out to be crappy summer tires). Driving up to the resort, blowing past several chain control signs, took virtually all the driving skills I had. While I was barely able to drive up in the snow, I knew if I ever had to stop, it would be super unlikely that the car would get traction to restart at all (especially uphill), so I drove slowly with some distance with the car in front of me so I never had to stop when the traffic slowed down. Maybe in hindsight I should have gone to Eagle Lodge at much lower altitude, but powder-wise this was not a good idea, it was the wrong side of the resort and the top connecting lifts would be closed for a while. Yes, I should have had chains, but Hertz refuses to give or rent you chains because they're worried you may put them on wrong :(

Despite the driving challenges, I arrived at the main base around 08:15, had to find a far away parking spot and walk to the ticket counter to get my pass. I eventually got to the slopes around 08:40, which wasn't too bad.

snow all the way up to the base
snow all the way up to the base

the top of the mountain stayed closed until about 11:00
the top of the mountain stayed closed until about 11:00

strangely, there was no line at the gondola
strangely, there was no line at the gondola

that's because everyone got out at mid station waiting for the top to open (that took 2H)
that's because everyone got out at mid station waiting for the top to open (that took 2H)

every other lift had 15mn+ lines
every other lift had 15mn+ lines

and lines
and lines

and more lines
and more lines

while the gondola to the top wasn't open yet, but that's a lot of tracks down for a few ski patrol runs. Mmmh...
while the gondola to the top wasn't open yet, but that's a lot of tracks down for a few ski patrol runs. Mmmh...

sadly, the 2ft of powder were pretty packed by the wind
sadly, the 2ft of powder were pretty packed by the wind

line at the mid station gondola. It was better go to all the way back down and get it there
line at the mid station gondola. It was better go to all the way back down and get it there

Gondola towards top of cloud nine had a bit of powder (only enough for one run though)
Gondola towards top of cloud nine had a bit of powder (only enough for one run though)

snow was good up high, but by 9000ft the powder quality went way down :-/
snow was good up high, but by 9000ft the powder quality went way down :-/

hike up the ridge to santiago bowl/hemlock bowl and chair 14
hike up the ridge to santiago bowl/hemlock bowl and chair 14

The next morning, driving up was easier, the road was mostly clear. I also only drove up to Mill's Café, which put me at the lifts I wanted and is actually easier to get back to, than the main lodge. Some people actually camped there:


The next morning was already spring skiing. Not bad, mostly no ice or slush, which is good, but virtually no powder left anywhere:



During those 2 days, I got some nice pictures of the surroundings:


airport I went to
airport I went to

looks nice to ride :)
looks nice to ride :)


this reminds me of heavenly]



On the way back, saw one of the Alaska planes bringing in a load of passengers:



good way to see the mountain
good way to see the mountain

Mill's Café where I parked, and main lodge at the end of the road
Mill's Café where I parked, and main lodge at the end of the road

Facelift Express
Facelift Express


I hiked up the hill to ski down that face a couple of times
I hiked up the hill to ski down that face a couple of times


More pages: October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999

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