Want more of the downhill skiing and less of the uphill? Don’t we all!

So we have worked with June Mountain Ski Area to be able to take our guests and clients beyond the ski area boundaries out to San Joaquin Ridge. The ridge, extending from Mammoth to June Lake forms the boundary between the San Joaquin River that flows to the west and Deadman and Sherwin Creeks that flow east. This area has long been a local favorite for fine lines and great backcountry skiing and we have been taking people here since the late 1980s. It is our pleasure to be able to introduce you to this wonderful area and to be able to ski the unmatched powder amidst fantastic scenery with you.

Notes

We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000 feet) just prior to the trip. Spending a night or two in Mammoth or camped at the trailhead campground would do the trick. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.

SMC does not rent ski equipment, but we work with Mammoth Mountaineering (760 934-4191) to get you set up on the correct equipment. MMS has a very wide range of rental equipment that is probably the best you will find anywhere in California. All gear is current state of the art, well tuned and rental fees are deductible if you buy a set up from them. (We highly recommend renting before you buy so as to find what suits you best, since a full setup is pretty pricey.) We can coordinate the rental and suggest that if you can you arrive Mammoth the night before and get fully set up since boot fitting can take some time. If this is not possible we will take time to get gear the morning of Day One but if it is already taken care of we can get out and ski sooner.

For backcountry equipment we suggest a full randonnée setup.

This is the preferred set up, designed for backcountry use. It is lighter than a regular downhill setup and the boots are constructed to give comfort on the uphills as well as control on the downhills. But it is a more expensive setup to rent and the boots being a rental are not going to fit your foot the way your own personal pair might.

Both setups require a climbing skin on the base of the ski to enable the uphills to be ascended.

We can coordinate rental of these items with Mammoth Mountaineering in Mammoth who carry a wide and complete range of boots, bindings and skis. Call them at 760.934.4191 or talk to us about options.


Return to Backcountry Ski Skills

After meeting and an equipment check at the base facility we take the chair to the Mid Station and then on up lift J7 to the top of the ski area at 10,090 feet. A warm up run down the ridge takes us to 9678 feet and the saddle at the bottom of San Joaquin Ridge and at the head of the Yost Creek drainage.. About a 90 minute ascent takes us to about 11,000 feet and the top of the ridge and where we make our choice of descent. The Negatives for steep runs, Fern Creek for long open bowls, Fern Grotto for tight turns in a narrow couloir, Hemlock ridge for great tree skiing or the 3D chute for those who really want to push their limits into the super steep zone.

Got energy? Well we can hike on back up for a second run before heading all the way to the road or cutting back into the ski area for a quick snack and drink before the final run to the vehicles down the ‘face’ of June.

Still sup[er psyched? Let’s do another day.

Program Prerequisites:

We can accommodate skiers of a variety of ability from intermediate to expert. However this terrain is not for beginning skiers. Talk to us about your skills and we can determine where you fit in. We can divide groups by ability level and have guides available to work with different ski teams and then get back together at the end of the day.

Program Inclusions:

The price includes guiding and group safety equipment (beacons, shovels, probes) It does not include food, lodging or ski equipment or lift ticket.

Details, Itinerary, and Equipment List:

Details and itinerary