In Episode 1: We're Planning a Trip, Luke talked about his snowmobiling trip to Mammoth Mountain. Here's some pictures and stories.
I was given the opportunity by my friend Arin Buffington to go have my first snowmobiling adventure in Mammoth Lakes, CA a couple weekends ago. What a good time! It was literally an overnight turn around trip which involved close to 16 hours of driving. but it sure was worth it!
This is how it began looking as we headed north of Bishop on the 395 getting closer to our destination.
When we got there it was some of the most snow I've ever seen. I think they had gotten 15+ feet of snow in the previous week. We were in a Ram truck with a Lance camper on the back pulling a box trailer with the two snowmobiles. It wasn't easy, but we were able to find a semi-plowed parking lot to park in to get some sleep.
Unfortunately around 3am there was a giant bulldozer that came around trying to clear the parking lot of snow. I personally would have pretended not to notice, but Arin was a little more cautious than me and got up and moved for the guy and moved us back after he left. What a good kid.
In the morning it was a quick trip to Starbucks (once we found the door), and we were a hop skip and jump away from go time!
It was really a good way to ease into learning the machine by riding the groomed trails and getting used to controlling it. Did you know that snowmobiles have heated grips?! I didn't. Pretty fuckin cool!
Getting off the trails was a whole new experience in itself. In deep snow like that you really have to stay on that throttle as not to sink and get stuck, but it takes a little getting used to when steering under those conditions. you literally have to turn the sleds in the opposite direction that you want to go but lean the other direction...ya....or you can run into a tree if you want.
Eventually we found our way to the top of a mountain near the ski runs and Arin got the great idea to go check out the surrounding area. That didn't work out so hot. All he found was a deep hole filled with fluffy snow. Long story short, it took us about an hour and a half to dig that thing out....glad he had shovels for us to carry in our backpacks.
After that it was a great time exploring the epic scenery on our steel wolves. Talked to a guy that was so into it that he gave up skiing after a 20 year stint to spend his time on the sled. I'd say he really likes doing it. Although I will give it to him, he did seem to majestically glide over the snow while fading into the forest like a mythical being as we went our separate ways....that might be an exaggeration.
A nice warm stop at the German style lodge at the American ski resort (can't remember the real name of it) for a delisious WeinerSchneitzel and we were off heading back to the truck.
One cool thing about riding the sleds is that you're cleaning them while you ride them. There's no need to do anything to them........so we made like a compound fracture and boned out!
We made it back around midnight so it was a pretty quick trip....I think around 32 hours give or take. It was worth every minute. Get your ass out there!