June Mountain Ski Area launched its first lifts in February 1961. The resort is still plugging along as the young sister to Mammoth Mountain, but added a public shuttle this year to link the two.

Bud Hayward opened June Mountain Ski Area with a three lifts on The Wall in Chalet Bowl -a poma, a T-bar, and Chair 1. Mammoth's founder Dave McCoy originally intended to link the two resorts with 12-15 lifts crossing several mountains, but the plan derailed when it collided with environmental and Forest Service concerns, thus having the two areas developed separately.

June Mountain opened in February 1961 on a holiday that used to celebrate George Washington's birthday. That birthday is now Presidents' Day, one of the biggest holiday ski weekends of the year. The ski area postponed its 50th milestone events to March 5-6 this year for a less hectic chance to party. "We'll have a vintage ski race with prizes for the oldest skis and the best costume," spokesperson Abigail Ross told us.

This year, the resort also linked to Mammoth via a new shuttle service. "We took the employee shuttle from Mammoth and extended it," said Ross. "One shuttle makes two trips in morning and two in afternoon."

The daily shuttle, which is contracted through the Eastern Sierra Transit Authority, costs $7 one-way or $13.50 round trip for the 35-minute ride. June Mountain provided many of the hotels in Mammoth Lakes with vouchers for overnighters to hop on bus for free.

Ross reported that June's snow base is running 5-9 feet. "That's pretty good for this time of year," she said. "We scheduled to be open until April 24 this year, and we should make it."

Good snow is always a good birthday present.

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Steeps at June Mountain

Skiers today at June Mountain still drop down The Wall of Chalet Bowl to reach the base area. Photo: June Mountain.