From the top of the summit at Mammoth at 11,053 ft elevation, down to Main Lodge at 8600 ft, or Canyon Lodge at 8200 ft, the ski runs seem limitless. Every advanced skier knows that the ride to the top on the Panorama Gondola is the thing that gets you up early in the morning after a night of party, so you can make fresh tracks. The best run, voted by skiers from the top is Dave's Run, named after the original owner of Mammoth.
It takes a bit of effort to get from the gondola to the top of Dave's as the cat track which borders on the boundry lines, is somewhat flat, and requires some good arm muscles from skiers with poles, or a lot of pushing for snowboarders but it is worth it to take a run in a place where only experts go for expert quality snow. Dave's is one of the few places in Mammoth where the snow never melts during summer months, and it is almost glacier ice, covering the lava rocks below. In winter, you can expect one well covered run as it faces the less sunny north side of the mountain.
Dave's is a double black diamond run, only for experts if you're going over the edge. If you want to cheat you can go around, which brings you about halfway down for a much easier time, but this is still not a run for an "advanced" skier. It is one of the toughest runs because the pitch is steep, and there is nothing you can do to minimize it. It is straight down and one must be comfortable with having their shoulders hit the sides of the mountain when traversing. One boo-boo and you're sliding down to the bottom. On one of Mammoth's glorious powder days is the best run. Exhilarating.
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