Blue skies and spring conditions welcomed over 300 skiers and snowboarders last weekend to support the work of the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation (MMCF) at the fifth annual Mammoth Invitational, presented by the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card. Among their ranks were the best snow sports athletes in the world, including US Ski Team members Stacey Cook, Laurenne Ross, Bryce Bennett, Steven Nyman and Andrew Weibrecht; Olympic and X Games gold medalist Kelly Clark; local ski cross champion John Teller; and freeski legends Glen Plake and Chris Benchetler.
The pros served as coaches to Invitational guests during the weekend of friendly competition and big mountain fun that included a poker run, biathlon, snowcat driving, snowmobiling and, of course, alpine racing. These athletes also spent time with young members of the Mammoth Teams, signing autographs, taking photos and even racing side by side with Mammoth’s junior nordic skiers.
After sunset, Invitational guests and coaches were joined by the Mammoth community for a swinging casino night and a gala banquet. Thanks to generous donations from Mammoth businesses, event sponsors such as Alaska Airlines and Lufthansa, Mammoth Mountain partners and the pros themselves, Friday and Saturday auction proceeds were record setting.
“We are building the next generation of great athletes and people in the way that only Mammoth can,” said MMCF executive director Stacy Corless. “This event is for the littlest Mighty Mite or Mini Shredder who dreams of being the next Kelly Clark or Stacey Cook, the All-Mountain Charger who’s going to go big like, Glen Plake and Chris Benchetler, while earning straight A’s in school.”
Funds raised at the Mammoth Invitational support young athletes on the Mammoth Teams as well as educational programs at Mammoth Unified School District and Ski P.E. programs that assure snow sports access for children in the Eastern Sierra.