Ski in Summer
I found myself leaving Los Angeles and heading to Mammoth Lakes, California in the Sierra Nevada mountains, known for its ski areas and hiking trails. The town is known for the formation of basalt columns known as Devils Postpile National Monument and is about 40 miles from Yosemite National Park.
A Mammoth Trek
The original plan was to fly from LAX to Mammoth on a ‘smaller-than-I-am-comfortable-with-but-large-enough-that-I-will-try-it’ size plane with United Airlines that would have us in the air for only 40 minutes. The distance is about 250 miles from LA to Mammoth, or about 4.5 hours by car, so flight seemed more efficient. Sometimes even the best laid plans do not pan out. Our United Airlines plane broke down on the runway and we were towed back to the gate, deplaned, and subsequently victims of a cancelled flight. I can not say I was bothered by it, since I did not want to fly in the first place.
I did learn that even when the flight is operating, getting to the airport in Mammoth is a coin flip largely due to winds. As a matter of fact, the flight the day before attempted to land, could not land after several attempts and then had to turn around and head back to Los Angeles because the winds were too high to land safely in Mammoth. I met some of these unhappy campers on my flight the following day. I say this because had we known about the unpredictable nature of arriving at the airport, we would have rented a car and driven as our original plan.
We ended up renting an Infinity QX80, thanks to our great friends at Enterprise who felt terrible about the cancellation – which is more than I can say about United Airlines – and embarked on the 250 mile drive to Mammoth; after an 8 hour time drain in the airport.
The drive up was stunning. The sunsets were magnificent. From Mojave, to Red Rock Canyon State Park to the East Side of the Sierra Nevada, the views were breathtaking. Lone Pine has the Museum of Western Film History, which looked like great fun, as well as some incredible looking little BBQ haunts.
After 4.5 hours of driving we pulled up to The Westin Monache Resort Mammoth.
The Westin Monache Resort Mammoth
The entry to the resort is welcoming, though not noteworthy. As a matter of fact, that was my impression of the hotel. The lobby is fair, maybe pleasant is a better way to describe it.
We stayed in a two bedroom suite that was lovely with a fireplace and full kitchen, but not something that blew me away aesthetically. The rooms are brown and beige, rustic, cozy; unimaginative in that they are a standard type ski resort room in the United States.
Where the Westin shines is the location. That is why you stay at this hotel. You can access any outside activity at Mammoth on foot at this hotel, and that is a fabulous benefit.
The proximity to the lifts and Mammoth Main Lodge is a stones throw. The proximity to Mammoth Village is less. We could cross the street from our room and be in the middle of shops and restaurants without thinking of driving or parking.
We spent most of our time on the slopes because Mammoth had 34 runs open at the very end of June with exceptional snow.
We had the luxury of skiing until 1pm, when the mountain closed, and then going to the base of the mountain and engaging in amusement sports like rock climbing and bungee jumping. They also have an adventure center that runs camps for small children. This is where you buy tickets for the outdoor sports at the base of the mountain.
We cleaned out Mammoth Sports, located in the Mammoth Base Lodge (and also in Mammoth Village), with new apparel for ski including some Helly Hanson®, a stuffed mammoth (obviously), a variety of sweat shirts and tee shirts and pajamas. Take my word, the clothing selection at Mammoth Sports is phenomenal.
We tried out Gomez Mexican Restaurant Tequileria largely because of the “Home of the Mammoth Marguerita” hype. I should have listened to the less than 2.5 review on Yelp because it just was not very good. We thought California would mean great Mexican, tough to find in New York, but we know better than to generalize and the food just was not good.
We did enjoy Yodler Restaurant & Bar across the street from Mammoth Base Lodge. This après ski experience is fun! The Bavarian-inspired menu features bratwursts, fondue, schnitzel sandwich, kid favorites like mac & cheese, hot dogs and chicken fingers. Order the large pretzel. Trust me.
Yodler’s has a huge sun deck where you can watch your kids play, or you can opt to dine indoors in a rustic European inspired atmosphere and watch your favorite sports teams on the many televisions.
While the experience was wonderful at Mammoth, the accommodation in the hotel was only “OK” but I would certainly stay again for the location and proximity to all of the fun.
AlphaLuxe Verdict: Worth checking out if you love the outdoors.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Writer with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. Her credits include Sales and Marketing for with PRADA USA Corp., followed by a jump in to the world of beauty as an Esthetician followed by Spa Manager at Jurlique, Spa Manager and Client Relationship Manager and Digital Business Development coordinator position at Amore Pacific where celebrity clients were and remain confidential and her column, “Ask Angela,” was featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. She has also been a contributor for Beauty to Shape and Fitness Magazines.
A side job as a Hospital Victim on “As the World Turns,” and a correspondent on the now defunct lifestyle web series “Tangerine Living,” Angela is no stranger to juggling multiple positions and has built quite the resume. A move to The New York Daily News as Training and Employee Relations Manager with a night and weekend gig as make up artist for runway shows, (she studies in Los Angeles with Amy Ward) including Vogue Bambino and multiple commercials, Angela became a Mom, her best and most important credit to date.
Since Motherhood, Angela has been a Brand Ambassador for the skin line Patchology, featured in Saks Fifth Avenue in store and on air with CBS News segment “Patch me Pretty.” She has been a beauty guest for QVC, and the founder of her own social media communications business, helping business owners to share their digital voice. Actively involved with Smart Children with Learning Differences, her most favorite down time hobby is discovering the best in beauty, travel and fashion around the United States.
Angela is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BS in Communications and Writing, where she appeared on the University Union News as an Anchor and on The Beat of Syracuse, Z89 as a DJ. Angela has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Working with AlphaLuxe is a unique opportunity, “to share what I am most passionate about. Living your best life. In her spare time, you can find Angela running, practicing yoga, taking her son to one of his sports practices. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, son, and chihuahuas.