Like a movie trailer of things to come, Mammoth Lakes got its first snow of the season early Thursday. By noon it was mostly gone, although it served as a reminder that the Eastern Sierra ski season is only seven weeks away.
Lows on Thursday night were forecast for the mid-20s, another sign that as fall begins on Monday, winter in the Sierra will be close behind. Mammoth Mountain lifts will begin to spin Nov. 9, likely with mostly machine-produced snow, courtesy of the cooler nights.
The early snows make for a short summer in the Sierra. After 60 feet of snow last season and one of the snowiest Mays on record, Mammoth did not shut down skiing and snowboarding until July 28. That meant 260 straight days of lift operations.
Highs on Thursday in Mammoth Lakes were in the 50s, and the weekend was expected to warm to the mid-60s. The bike park season at Mammoth Mountain Resort runs through Sunday. On Saturday, the resort will hold its season-ending appreciation day, with giveaways, music and discounts on food and drink.