Mammoth Multi-sport Extravaganza

This July, Marty, Lilly, and I had a Mammoth multi-sport extravaganza! It all started with Mammoth Mountain having an epic snow year, with the most of the mountain open in July. We hatched up a plan to ski, bike, swim, and climb all in one day. Lilly was stoked to go for it, and Marty just can’t say no to a good suffer.

Sport #1: Ski, 10am — 12pm

We kicked off the day with the best possible breakfast: Pie from the Alabama Hills bakery. Marty and I had just gotten married last week, so this was extra special marital pie. We hit the slopes at 10am, ready to ski in t-shirts. The snow was soft and plentiful, and we got probably 6–8 runs in, checked out this big rock, and had a type-1 fun skiing morning.

Chairlift up up, look at all that snow!

best seat in the house, plus a big old rock that had fallen onto the middle of the run

Sport #2: Mountain Bike, 2-3 pm

We went back to Stella and Womer’s condo where Lilly was staying, ate lunch, packed gear, and picked up some rental mountain bikes. We set up a shuttle with Lilly’s car down in Mammoth, then piled into the van and drove to the top.

lilly guarding the bikes in the back of the van

What we didn’t realize was the mountain wasn’t _quite_ open yet, so we had a bit of an adventure! The trail disappeared into snow quite often, which, to be fair, was why we had such a good time skiing earlier that day. We giggled hard as we pushed our bikes through the snow, puddles, mud, and more.

What small parts of of the trail looked like (left). What most of the trail looked like (right).

Nestled in the woods we found a seemingly abandoned excavator…with the keys still in it! Some shenanigans ensued, but we promise we didn’t cause any damage :). The lower part of the trail was dry, flowy, and stupendous!

plz don’t use this as evidence.

Sport #3: Road bike, 3–4:30pm

Next up: same bikes, different terrain! Our destination was Crystal Crag in the Mammoth Lakes Basin, but the road was closed and the shuttle only ran until 6pm. So, we rode up on our mountain bikes- climbing gear, ropes, and more strapped to our backs! The road was paved, and we would catch glimpses of lakes and Crystal crag through the pines. Normally Crystal Crag is a pretty popular trail, but we were the only ones up there! It was really cool to have the whole place to ourselves.

Climbing helmets work as bike helmets too! (right??)
The view from the bike vs. the view I painted for our invites!

We masterfully disguised the bikes under some pine branches, and Lilly was even smart enough to drop a pin for us to recover the bike later.

No bikes to be found in this photo!

Sport #4: Hike + Swim, 4:30–5:30pm

Off we went! There was a lot of snow on the trail (surprise surprise), but luckily Marty and I had approach shoes and Lilly had microspikes.

A beautiful, snowy approach

The altitude was nipping at our lungs, but our packs weren’t too heavy, and we meandered our way up towards the great crystal. After reaching Crystal Lake, Marty and Lilly, who are crazy people, said, we gotta jump in. I also can’t say no to a good suffer, so we stripped down and jumped in! The water was frigid but oh so refreshing.

The lake we jumped in (left). Post swim bliss (right).

Sport #5: Climb! 5:30pm — 9pm

Crystal Crag is a very special place for us, Marty and I got engaged up there, with Lilly and all our climbing friends present. I blasted off on lead, climbing on doubles with Marty on one and Lilly on the other.

Towards the top, you pass through this incredible crystal corridor. There are two ways to go, and this time around I went right into some looser quartz. Realizing my mistake (and after kicking a bunch of small loose rocks down), we veered left to reach the top.

Top notch views and some of the incredible crystal at the top

The summit was glorious! The golden light, the lakes, the trees, zomg. Marty and I felt especially happy to be up there as freshly newlyweds :).

Marty belaying me to the stunning views from the top

friends and lovers at the top of crystal crag!

Pics from the proposal, back in august 2021!

On the hike down, we grabbed some large sticks as makeshift ice axes and glissaded much of the way down. Marty demonstrated his upright glissading skills. We whooped and cheered as we got another couple ski runs in.

Marty self arresting on a very steep slope

We finally got back to our stashed bikes at 9pm, just as the last of the light was going. On the bike out we passed a lodge on the lake where a wedding reception was having a ripping dance floor. We danced outside on our bikes, savoring the memories of our own wedding a week prior.

Zooming down the Lakes Basin road at night was probably my favorite part of the day. The stars were shining hard while our hair and ropes whipped in the wind.

revealing the bike cache

Sport #6: Hot springing, 10pm — ???

Upon returning to the car around 9:30pm, I was on the fence about our final activity — a night soak in the hot springs outside Mammoth. Lilly, my queen, my muse, and my inspiration, said hey, why not? It’s the perfect end to a perfect day. So off we went! It was only 15 minutes out of town, the tub was hot, deep, and secluded. The Eastern Sierras stretched to West in their silent snow capped beauty. Eventually, hearts full and bodies fully jelly-ified, Lilly headed back to the condo, while Marty and I camped in the van by the springs. What a multi-sport day!

the tub the next morning

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