Three runs not to miss:
1. On a good powder day, head to Chair 22 for Sunshine Glades, Grizzly, or Shaft (oh, you'll definitely dig it), and tear through some of the Sierra’s best tree skiing.
2. For the more advanced, Dragon’s Tail and Dragon Alley (accessed by the Cloud Nine Express chair) also offer perfect powder, and usually with fewer people.
3. For a beautiful route all the way around the mountain and back down to the base, take the gondola to the top of the Sierra and catch Upper Road Runner to Road Runner to Lower Road Runner -- a fantastic run, even without Wile E. Coyote in pursuit.
Pro tip #1: Don’t be one of those suckers at the ski rental shop squandering prime piste time in line. For a few extra bucks, Black Tie Ski Delivery will bring skis, boots, and boards to your room (delivery is actually free) for a personal fitting. You’ll be carving it up before the rest of the masses have even picked out poles.
Pro tip #2: A well-kept secret for excellent side country is June Mountain, Mammoth’s lesser-known sister, about 20 minutes away; it reopens on December 13 with 500 acres of beginner and intermediate terrain, plus an additional 2,590ft of vertical.