The season in Mammoth officially runs from mid-November to late April, but it is usually open until late spring and sometimes even to 4 July, for the Independence Day holiday weekend.
With over 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of ski terrain, Mammoth's huge ski area offers slopes for all standards. A quarter of the runs are graded easy; two fifths intermediate; and the remaining third or so advanced - the terrain typically becomes steeper the further up you go.
The upper mountain is a mecca for advanced skiers and boarders, with a swathe of black and steep double black diamond trails swooping down into the powder fields below the summit ridge. However, there is an easier route down for those who need it.
Intermediate skiers can find over a hundred runs to entertain them, while beginners have a special low-priced lift ticket that covers three lifts accessing easier terrain. There are also low-price introductory offers including a lift ticket, tuition and equipment rentals.
The resort's nine Unbound terrain parks have built up a worldwide reputation and spawned easier, family-friendly offshoots suitable for those unnerved by super pipes and big jumps.
Mammoth has invested heavily in on-mountain improvements in the past decade and is one of only five ski areas on the continent to offer more than 25 chairlifts and gondolas (many of them high-speed versions), with a combined uplift in excess of 50,000 people per hour.