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Must-Have Guide to Mammoth's Ski + Snowboard Gear Rentals, Tickets, Lessons and Clinics

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

Receive all the essential information for an affordable, stress-free + all around epic family snow vacation to Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort.

As Mammoth Mountain was founded on the notion that skiing should be accessible to all, almost every aspect of this ski resort lends itself to families. With that said, certain aspects of the mountain (like lift ticket prices and lesson availability) can get a bit tricky if you don’t know how to work the system. So we’ve crafted this article to ensure your family and bank account have a good time on the slopes of this world renowned frozen volcano (that’s right, it is an active volcano.)



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*All rates below are current as of January 21, 2019


Gear Rentals

If you and your offspring already have gear, awesome, skip this part. But if you are one of the many people still unsure of your commitment to skiing or snowboarding, you’ll need to find a good rental shop.


The options below provide a variety of prices and conveniences, so whether you want to get the absolute best deal, or are willing to pay extra to have someone come to your accomodations and fit your family for boots, skis and boards, Mammoth Mountain has you covered.


Note: All prices below are for standard boots and skis (or snowboard.) These rental shops also offer performance gear, and add-ones like helmets and boot warmers for an additional cost. 


Best for Convenience: Black Tie Ski Rentals of Mammoth


The ultimate gear concierge service, Black Tie will fit you for the appropriate gear in your accommodations, come back to pick up the gear when you’re done, and will meet you on the mountain if you need gear adjustments or swaps. This is an especially good option if you, or someone in your family, is an intermediate to advanced skier who is particular about your gear in various conditions. And for an extra $20/ day you can get heated boots, which may make all the difference if you’re riding in below freezing temps and (like Bailey) have circulations issues.


Adults: $55/day for boots and skis, or snowboard 


Kids: $35/day for boots and skis, or snowboard 



Second Best for Convenience: Mammoth Mountain

As Mammoth has on-site rental shops in all of their base lodges (with the exception of The Mill) it's pretty darn convenient, if it's not too crowded. But a wait might be worth it to you if perks such as being able to swoop in to switch out skis for a snowboard, or vice versa, free overnight gear storage, and a Try Me, Buy Me program that allows you to test as many skis or snowboards as you like until you find your ideal match, sounds dreamy.


Adults: $49/day for boots and skis, or snowboard 


Kids: $34/day for boots and skis, or snowboard 


Save Some Money Tip: You receive 20% off multi-day rentals when you reserve your gear seven or more days in advance.



Best for Affordability: ASO Mammoth


Beyond having the charm and thoughtful, friendly service of a small business that was started with the purpose of adding value to the community, ASO offers the best rental rates in Mammoth (if you rent your gear ahead of time online.) While their prices are pleasing, their attention to detail (specifically the customer's comfort) has inspired a loyal customer base.


This place doesn't make you feel like you're just another warm body, but a unique human who the shop attendees want to ensure has a great time on the mountain. They have a wide range of equipment, ask extensive questions to ensure they set you up with the right gear, and are happy to offer quick tune ups or gear swaps, if needed.


Adults: $36/day for boots and skis, or snowboard (when you pre-register online)


Kids: $22/day for boots and skis, or snowboard (when you pre-register online)



Best for Friendliness: Kittredge Sports

This shop is not only great for snow gear rentals, but rentals for just about any outdoor adventure sport. The staff are like walking encyclopedias for everything from ski boot fit to the best bike for a back country adventure, ensuring you leave with gear that will give you the best possible chance of having an epic journey. And the best part - they’re super friendly and have rates that are only slightly higher than ASO.


Adults: $42/day for boots and skis, or snowboard 


Kids: $26/day for boots and skis, or snowboard 



Best for Buying Second Hand Gear: Mammoth Mountaineering Supply and Gear Exchange (in Bishop!)


Whether you're looking for brand name snow clothes, or ready to say a long term "I do" to skiing or snowboarding gear, this extensive supply and exchange store offers everything you need to be professionally prepped for the mountain. Even our friends that work at Patagonia, and get seriously discounted elite gear, swear by this shop. If you're coming from Southern California, you'll pass through Bishop on your way to Mammoth - it's about 45 minutes southeast. This is also a great stop if you're an experienced skier or boarder and are ready to upgrade your gear.


Address: (While we don’t usually provide addresses, because smartphones... this one is a bit tricky to find with the phone. So here ya go! 298 North Main Street


Note: Second Chance Thrift Store in Mammoth also offers decent second hand options (mainly for ski gear.)


Be (Un)Cool Tip: If the weather will be extra chilly, ask the staff at your rental shop of choice about how to add extra heat to your gear. Some of our favorite options include electronic boot heaters and HotHands Hand Warmers. In addition, wearing mittens, high-quality base layers, and weather proof top layers will help preserve warmth.



Lift Tickets

If you’re gawking at the lift ticket prices below, I get it, they’re steep. But Mammoth rewards forethought and multi-day ski trips, by offering 20%-off discounts if you purchase tickets for two or more days, or buy them at least five days ahead of time.


If you're reading this at the very beginning of ski season, and know you plan to ride more than five days throughout the season, purchase the Ikon Pass or Ikon Base Pass (price’s below), which offer access to over 26 mountains across the globe. As an added perk, having one of these passes makes you feel way less guilty about calling it a day hours before the lifts close.


Cost of Full-Day Adult Lift Ticket (Peak Season): $110 - $169

Cost of Full-Day Adult Lift Ticket (Spring): $87 to $127

Beginner Lift Ticket for Adults: $69

Beginner Lift Ticket for Children: $28

Children's Lift Ticket (Kids 4 and under ski free): $35 - $55

Half-Day Lift Ticket (Available after 12:30pm): $83 - $127

Ikon Pass: $899, if you purchase early (no black out dates, and other perks)

Ikon Base Pass (Our top choice): $599, if you purchase early (some black out dates, and a few perks)



Note: Mammoth lift tickets provide access to both Mammoth Mountain and family-friendly June Mountain, which we highly recommend checking out. If you think you'll only want to ski June, buy your lift tickets there as you'll get a big price cut (around $95 for a peak season adult lift ticket if you purchase in advance, and $72 for a half day.)

Lessons

Trying to teach your children or partner how to ski or snowboard can be a rare form of hell. Skip this argument-inducing practice by signing up the beginners in your family, or those looking to up their skill level, for the high-quality lessons offered at every Mammoth Mountain base lodge, with the exception of The Mill. All the instructors we’ve encountered at Mammoth are incredibly kind, and overflowing with the finesse needed to get even the most reluctant of riders to absorb the skills necessary to enjoy the mountain.


For many riders, regardless of age, a lesson is the tipping point for their skills, helping them get past hurdles such as fear, technique issues, and etiquette confusion.


Tip: if your children have any dietary restrictions, make that explicitly clear to the instructors, as food and treats will often be given to the mini-riders throughout the day.


Tip Deux: Lessons fill up quick, so book your spots as soon as you know when you'll be heading to the mountain.



Private Lessons


Those looking for elite treatment will enjoy Mammoth's private lessons that allow you to bring four others (of similar skill level) along for a day with an expert instructor. The instructor will offer the support needed to enhance your moves, discover every section of the mountain that's fit for your level of ability, and skip lift lines - a perk that's especially handy on holiday weekends. This can be a fun family option if you all have similar capabilities.


  • Cost for a full day private lesson (not including lift tickets) is $725, and a half-day is $493.



2.5 Hour Adult Group Lesson

If you're looking to freshen up your skills, and don't mind learning alongside strangers of the same ability-level, the group lessons for ages 13 and up are a fun and effective option. While it can feel intimidating to open yourself up to critique, especially in front of people you don't know, the instructors are expertly trained to offer feedback in a clear yet non-condescending manner, and often address the entire group instead of singling someone out. And of course, this offers a prime opportunity to ask for specific tips on aspects of skiing and snowboarding you find confounding.


  • Cost of a 2.5-hour lesson ranges from $152 to $174, not including lift ticket or gear. For an additional session that will be used on the same day (for example, you did the morning session and would like to tack on the afternoon session), the cost is an extra $59.


Kids Group Lessons

A fun way for your kids to meet friends and learn the basics of their snow sport of choice, Mammoth's group lessons split the kiddos into groups depending on age (3-4, 5-7, and 8-12), skill-level and whether they ski or snowboard. For the little little ones, you can sign them up for a morning or afternoon lesson, or a full-day that includes lessons in the morning, lunch, then supervised activities in the afternoon. Older kids can choose from a full-day of lessons (lunch included), or a half-day lesson in the afternoon. If you think your kids will want full-day lessons on multiple days, you receive a discount if you book these multi-day lessons ahead of time.


*Lift ticket is included with all kid lessons.

  • Ages 3-4: Cost for a half-day is $150 to $165. Cost for a morning lesson and afternoon childcare is $210 to $230.

  • Ages 5-7 and 8-12: Cost for an afternoon lesson is $150 to $165. Cost for a full-day lesson is $210 to $230.



Adaptive Ski School


Year round, expert specialized instruction and adaptive equipment for a variety of sports (including skiing and snowboarding), is offered to children and adults with disabilities by the volunteer-based non-profit organization Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra.


For more information, visit Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra website or call 760.934.0791


Clinics + Tours

Those with the desire to fully immerse themselves in the wonders of this massive mountain should look into the various camps provided throughout the year. Not only is this a chance to improve your skills and develop in-depth knowledge of the slopes, but also connect with like-minded riders who share your passion for the sport. Because of the nature of many of these camps, they don’t lend themselves to a family trip, but as we’ve learned over the course of our relationship, taking solo trips that cater to our unique interests tend to benefit the family as a whole. 


Note: If you're interested in any of the clinics below, click here to get all the details regarding needed equipment, and where to rent it at a discount.


Introduction to Backcountry Tours


If you're hard core, but want to be safely hard core, this 3-hour intro camp for backcountry riding (offered daily) will scratch your intrepid itch. During this clinic a PSIA-certified instructor and AMGA-certified guide will help intermediate/advanced skiers and snowboarders learn how to smartly navigate back country (including essential avalanche training) and the safety equipment needed to do so, and how to make essential maneuvers like skinning, kick turns, downhill transitions, skating, and downhill ski practice. This training includes instructor demos, evaluations and feedback.

  • Cost: $189, not including lift ticket (must be 13+)


Backcountry Tours

If you salivate while watching videos of riders flying off a jagged chute into a cloud of untouched powder, then curving down a pristine expanse of snow with nary a soul in sight, this clinic will transport you to a nirvana reserved for the bold. After completing the introductory backcountry clinic, you can sign up for this tour, which consists of an AMGA-certified guide leading you on a thrilling journey that begins at the summit of the gondola and ends at Main Lodge 3-hours later.



If you've always been yearning to try your hand at backcountry shredding, but have been waiting for the right time, time your trip (that needs to be at least two days, if you haven't already done the intro course) to coincide with the end of a storm, so you can score fresh snow under a clear sky.


  • Cost: $189, not including lift ticket (must be 13+)

Terrain Park Clinic

If you find that a successful shred on a jib or jump alludes you, this two-day camp is for you. You and your fellow "my face hurts from smashing into the snow" riders can receive crucial pointers from a pro on how to change your relationship with terrain parks from one of friend-and-foe to friend-and-friend-who-pushes-you-to-be-your-best. Those who already have an amiable relationship with terrain parks, but would like to take their skills to the next level, can also benefit from this camp, as the instructors offer individualized guidance, depending on your skill level.


Cost: $329


Camp Includes:

  • 2 days with a 5-hour lesson each day

  • Video Analysis (if the weather permits)

  • Equipment Clinic

  • Aprés Camp Party

Skill Level Required:

  • Intermediate, advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders ages 10+

All Mountain Ski Clinic

Receive a VIP tour of Mammoth's secret stores of powder, bumps, steeps and silky lines during this 3-day clinic for advanced to expert level skiers and snowboarders. A clinic that's not for the faint of heart, this experience will push you to the limit as you gaze over the precipice of puckering drops that cause your heart to wander into your throat.



But unlike the endeavor of braving this extreme terrain on your own, Mammoth Mountain's most skilled instructors will be leading the way, ensuring you receive helping after helping of thrills, while keeping it safe. Adding to the appeal of this clinic is the fact that Mammoth has 3,500 acres of skiable terrain - 35% of which is advanced/expert level - so you'll be hitting something new each day.


Cost: $459


Camp Includes:

  • 3 days with a 5-hour lesson each day

  • Video Analysis (if the weather permits)

  • Equipment Clinic

  • Aprés Camp Party

Skill Level Required:

  • Strong intermediate to expert level skiers ready to ride off groomed runs.


Women’s Ski Clinic

Igniting the strength and beauty of athleticism, intuition, courage and bonding that blooms when women come together under extraordinary circumstances, this life-changing clinic is a true testament to girl power. During this 3-day immersion, women will explore the mountain with Mammoth's premiere female instructors, and fellow skiing enthusiasts, while being lovingly pushed out of their comfort zones into a new echelon of skill. Bailey not only discovered that she had the nerve to be a much better skier than she thought possible for her "keep it safe and slow" self during a women's ski clinic, but also connected with a lady gang that became her ride or dies - luckily they've only tested the first half of that idiom.


Cost: $459


Camp Includes:

  • 3 days with a 5-hour lesson each day

  • Video Analysis (if the weather permits)

  • Equipment Clinic

  • Aprés Camp Party

Skill Level Required:

  • Strong intermediate, advanced and expert skiers.


Mogul Ski Clinic

Bumps are as inevitable in skiing as meltdowns are when you tell your children they have to eat their broccoli. So whether you're a mogul-seeker, or just want to become better at managing them when they pop up on a well-trodden groomer, this 2-day clinic will teach you the skills to stay balanced and limber, find your ideal line, and ski over or around these frosty humps. Not only will you end this experience a better mogul-manager, but an all around better skier.


Cost: $329



Camp Includes:

  • 2 days with a 5-hour lesson each day

  • Video Analysis (if the weather permits)

  • Equipment Clinic

  • Aprés Camp Party

Skill Level Required:

  • Strong intermediate, advanced and expert skiers.


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