Mammoth can be fantastic--but the snow is generally very heavy (compared to say, Utah, or Wyoming) so if it dumps, you need to be right there to get a taste of powder--a day later and you are moving through "Sierra cement", and you better be in good shape--it will beat you up. The other problem with a heavy snowfall, is that the road up to Mammoth Lakes often is closed--meaning you can drive 5-6 hours toward your reserved room in Mammoth, only to wind up in spending the night in Bishop, unable to get to the mountain until noon or so the next day (this has happened to us twice so far this year ). And of course there's the whole 'close the top of the mountain because of winds' thing--again, fairly common if you're trying to catch new snow, and of course, no refund on your $79.00 lift ticket when that happens. Mammoth is also the only resort where I've ever experienced altitude sickness--the top of the gondola is over 11,000 feet, and you definitely feel it--takes your breath away just hauling your gear out of the lift area.
And sadly, I have to mention the scrapers--there seem to be a multitude of them at Mammoth--(not the snowboarders, riders that actually know how to carve a turn and ride the fall line, how to look where they're going, and avoid less those less adept at getting down the mountain, I love to watch you navigate some sweet powder)--I'm talking about the Scrapers, who are the rest of the bunch, those that traverse the entire mountain riding on their heels, only looking in one direction, oblivious to other skiers and boarders who are heading DOWN, not ACROSS the hill, or worse, scraping all the surface snow off the black diamond run they've found themselves on by sliding all the way down on their heels, too petrified to actually ride the fall line and attempt a toe turn--I hate you scrapers.
I have an equal amount of disdain for parents who bring children who are still snow plowing on a black diamond run--a small child, traversing the entire width of the piste belongs on the green runs, folks--nowhere else. So really, the problem isn't boarders vs. skiers--it's lack of skill, and people attempting to ski/ride where they don't actually have the chops yet to do so. Why do these types seem to be so prevalent at Mammoth? What is it, ego? Do parents and scrapers feel the need to say they or their offspring have been on the black diamond runs?
I have an idea, let's re-christen one of the green runs "triple black diamond", and let the bragging dads, and insecure scrapers have it all to themselves...