The Ski Channel Hero Runs: Hemlock Ridge, Mammoth Mountain

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on April 14, 2009 6:00 pm

Hero Runs.  What are they?  These are runs on the map where your skills are on display for all to see.  Hero Runs are only for those seeking thrills and attention.  They quench the primal childhood need of “Look at me, Ma!”  This tree skied in a forest and everybody was there to hear and see it fall.  Think The Fingers of KT-22 at Squaw Valley

The Hemlock Ridge is a Hero Run, found backside of Mammoth Mountain.  “Hemlocks” is a short five to 10 minute hike up the ridgeline along the ski area boundary.  On powder days, the boot pack lays down the path in record time. Patience rewarded, for the party-rush on a powder day all but disappears the day after, even though the snow on Hemlocks stays niiice for days.

The aptly named “Outpost 14″ is the sun deck and BBQ spot below, right next to the base of Chair 14.  As you hike up the ridge, the slow procession serves as your stage introduction to the folks seated in the valley below.   When you find your line down Hemlocks, best to repeat it a few times, until you know where you can shoot the gap and not splat a tree.  It’s not heavily treed, but you need to know where they are so you can straight-line the bottom third of the run, carry enough speed to carry the long flat.  Fantasize about your own segment in a ski film and put on an AK style finish.  Plus, you don’t want to get stuck on the flats, when it’d be much cooler to casually cruise by the audience as you slide your way back onto Chair 14. 

Hero Runs should be done in style and how you finish is the last impression you leave of your skills.  Hemlock Ridge at Mammoth Mountain is a Hero Run.

photo bottom: staring down Hemlocks this past Easter Sunday, sun deck staring back

photo top: there are some trees, know where they are.  photo by pelly

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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