Mountain News: February snowfall record set 

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  • UNSPLASH

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif.—Snowfall records have started toppling at Mammoth Mountain, which is often the snowiest ski area in the United States.

Mammoth Mountain by mid-February was already nearing its annual average of 1,000 centimetres of snowfall. Ski and riding season has been extended to July 4.

Mammoth had several rough years of drought. Now, it’s like the good old days—except more. February had produced several three-metre dumps. “You can ski onto our third-storey sundeck here at Main Lodge,” reported Lauren Burke, the communications officer for the ski area.

February alone has been the snowiest on record. At the summit, 14 metres of snow have fallen.

This winter has challenged patience and equipment. The highway to Los Angeles six hours away has been closed often. Winds up to 170 mph accompanied a storm last week. Even a device used to measure snow got buried.

In Mammoth Lakes, the town at the foot of the ski area, streets are lined with banks of snow 4.5 metres high. The town is buried, without sufficient space to dump more snow until the spring shrink begins.

Three hours to the north and 488 metres lower, Lake Tahoe got drenched with rain before yet another storm. The Tahoe Daily Tribune reported that several ski areas in the Tahoe-Truckee area have received two metres or more of snow in recent storms.

If not at the same scale, Sun Valley has also had a storm that produced 89 centimetres in 36 hours, this coming off a winter that the Idaho Mountain Express described as hitherto distinctly unmemorable.

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