Pro Snowboarder Gabe Taylor moved to Mammoth Mountain California from Encinitas in 1998. This is his guide to his beloved Mammoth.

Why Mammoth?

I’d only been snowboarding for a year or two and I kept hearing about this place Mammoth Mountain. I came out with a friend and was blown away, it was so big, the parks were incredible and the people were incredibly passionate about the mountains.

What do you love about Mammoth?

The diversity. There’s always something good to ride here. Big bowls, steep chutes and cliffs, 11 terrain parks and enough secret stashes to keep everyone content for years.

Best place for coffee?

Stellar Brew. They also have some incredible grab-and-go burritos.

Best place for après?

I love the Yodler. It’s right there at Main Lodge and has that authentic European ambiance. Apparently they brought the building over from Austria, no idea how, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.

Best place for breakfast and favourite dish?

The Stove. Two pancakes and a couple eggs over medium. Or maybe the French toast, it’s HUGE!

french toast

Special occasion dinner spot?

Tamarack Lodge up in Lake Basin. Really cool rustic lodge and cabins in an incredible mountain setting and The Lakefront Restaurant.

What is your favourite event on or off the mountain during the season and why?

The U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix was all time last year. TJ Dawoud and his park crew built one of the best half pipes of all time with very little snow to work with. People are still talking about it. Also New Year’s Eve always goes off up here!

Secret scenic spot – where do you take out of town visitors to WOW them?

Minaret Vista and the San Joaquin Ridge. Picture some of the most radical mountains in the Sierras right in front of you, almost like a painting, but you couldn’t imagine something as crazy.

Secret powder stash or favourite run in the region?

The Hemlocks. Bumps, jumps, cliffs and cornices make it one of the sickest areas of terrain I’ve ever experienced.

Your favourite local character and why and where would we find them?

If there’s one thing we have plenty of in this town, its characters. Steve Klassen is someone that I’ve looked up to for years and has been extremely instrumental in growing snowboarding not only in Mammoth but around the world. He is also a five time World Freeride World Champion and charges harder than anyone I know, and he’s close to 50.

What can you get there you can’t get anywhere else in the world?

A lot of snow and a lot of sun. Usually it’s one or the other, not in Mammoth.

If you had to buy one thing to take back with you as a visitor what would it be?

The Mammoth Beanie, it’s sick!

Best Mammoth memory?

A few years ago I was riding around the back of Chair 1 on a cloudy day after an overnight snowstorm, and I assumed the upper mountain would be closed. I pulled up to Ch. 23 that goes to the top and the liftie and I just stared at each other.

“Well, are you going to go up?” he asked . “Yeah for sure.”

I was down to ride in the clouds. To my surprise, after a few hundred feet the lift broke through the clouds to reveal the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen – endless empty bowls full of a meter of new, untouched powder. I had it all to myself.

After a few runs the rumour got out and people showed up, but the time I had was unforgettable.


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