This last trip showed a totally different side of Mammoth. The sun was blazing in a cloudless sky; the snow was groomed and hard-packed; the top was open. Shiao-Wen was a good sport and agreed to go with us to the lift lines at opening time, 8:30 a.m. Given the 40-degree temperature predictions, we were worried the snow would turn to slush in the afternoon. We were also worried about the crowds. Starting around 10 a.m., the mountain turned into a leftover sandwich swarming with ants. Bryan had to stop on two successive runs to pick up skis that had snapped off fallen skiers. By 11 a.m., we went back to the car and drove to June Mountain, about 30 minutes north. That turned out to be a brilliant idea because at June, we hardly had to wait in lift lines and we shared each trail only with maybe 3 or 4 others. The trails are shorter, but there’s a good variety of blues and blacks. It did give us pause when we passed a snowboarder who said, “Oh man, it’s so hard to snowboard drunk,” but at least we had enough space to avoid him and his friend.