Ski Back Trail, take two

The Mammoth Mountain Ski Back Trail, at best a highly modified success last ski season and at worst a flub, is getting a makeover.

On the trail itself, workers under the direction of Operations Director Clifford Mann have been grading, erecting retaining walls and fixing the areas that made the trail nearly impossible for snowboarders and a problem for many skiers.

Having largely completed the work in the forest, Mann and his crew now are busy on the finishing touch – the long awaited pedestrian bridge across Forest Trail.

Forest Trail itself has been expanded to accommodate the construction, according to ski area spokesman Daniel Hansen.

“Now you won’t have to dodge traffic to get to the Village,” he said.

The Ski Back Trail connects the ski area and the Village. It begins near the bottom of Roller Coaster Express (Lift No. 4) and last year ended at the corner of Forest Trail and Minaret Boulevard.

For some, it ended well before that.

“There were different spots where the trail was lacking – too much flat and too much uphill in certain spots.” Hansen said,

“So instead, we put it in place for a year and figured out where the problem areas were. We went back this summer and did a lot of re-grading and added a retaining wall to make a much more constant slope.”

Among the most grateful for the improvements will be the snowboarders, Hansen said.
“Last year it was pretty much a ski-only trail because snowboards had such trouble.”