Mammoth Unbound by Marion Haerty

Travel | 2015-04-17 16:13:09

Mammoth Unbound by Marion Haerty

Adventure, the true one, as a solo road trip, to conquer unknown lands with your board and backpack for only company. Many have dreamed of it, Marion Haerty did it !

Snow session in Mammoth
Marion Haerty, the nice french snowboarder, is telling us about her version of the Californian Dream, among incredible landscape, exceptional encounters on the way to the famous Mammoth Station through the United States :

« I felt a little bit like ‘an Indian in the city’ in the middle of the big avenues of Los Angeles invaded by traffic jams all day long, before making the five and a half hour road trip to reach Mammoth. »

« This resort is located in the middle of the ancient range of volcanoes of the Sierra Nevada, home to a large number of natural parks, including Yosemite. Its main summit is Mount Whitney, which peaks at 4,421 metres.

Founded in 1953, Mammoth is a former site for prospecting precious stones. Over the years, Mammoth has welcomed the legends of snowboarding thanks to the good reputation of its snowboard park. It even sponsored the young Chloe Kim, halfpipe gold medallist in the last Winter X games.

Once I got there, I still didn’t know if I could find a place to sleep. I was already starting to imagine myself knocking on the doors of strangers, when suddenly, thanks to the Wi-Fi in the local McDonald’s and a man from Chamonix (thank you Facebook!), I got in touch with an American woman who could lend me her sofa for the night. The girl’s name was Nikki and I quickly started a great friendship with her, thanks to her joie de vivre and good humour.
Mammoth mountains

The first day at the snowboard park was a bit strange. I didn’t know anyone and my accent didn’t help things either, but I quickly found my bearings and after a few runs I already had a smile on my face. I was able to meet a lot of riders from around the planet who I shared quite a few good sessions with.
As you can imagine, the level was crazy and I was happy to see so many children on the runs with a board on their feet.

The locals helped me discover spots like the « hot springs », natural hot water baths created by the magma a few kilometres under our feet. You can even find gas holes if you go back country.

Surf session in Marmmoth's river

To tell the truth, I didn’t sleep very well on Nikki’s sofa, so I accepted an offer of accommodation in a nice chalet next to the slopes in exchange for taking care of a little dog for a few days until I left.

Unfortunately,on the road back the pick-up gave up the ghost with 368,000 kilometres on the clock in the middle of the desert. I was 30 minutes from the next town and no coverage… I hesitated between laughing and crying. First I cried and then I laughed, but not too long because I only had 24 hours to find a solution.

A sheriff passed by and took me directly to a garage. I then organised things to get to Los Angeles without paying $500. So I got back to the roots and hitched a ride. I was lucky to get picked up by a wonderful old couple who inspired love and happiness (they took me directly to a friend in LA), just after refusing a ride from a guy who seemed a little on the strange side.

I’m back home now with my head full of memories and an urge to continue to ride the slopes as much as possible!
I wish I could have spent more than 9 days there, after all! Thanks again to all the people who helped me with this trip!  »

Marion’s tips:

Ski package: : 1000$ -> Season pass, but it drops to $400 at the end of the season -> check out lifotpia, a website for package deals.
Accommodation : Website -> Davison Street Guest House.
Restaurant : Thaid up -> The food is great and really well-balanced for about $8 Supermarket:
 Vins -> Get the shop’s card, you can save up to $10.

Tourism : Convict Lake -> There are a lot of magnificent lakes all around the resort
Shopping: Cobwebs -> An enormous second-hand shop in Bishop just before arriving at Mammoth or Wave ride -> really cool snowboard shop!

Check out the video of Marion Haerty over here

Mammoth Unbound – Marion Haerty from Marion HAERTY on Vimeo.

Couple days in the slushy snow park, CA.

Snowboard session in Mammoth with Marion Haerty

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