Pack the car the night before, wake at a ridiculous hour, layer long underwear under track pants, then pull away from the world of rustling palm fronds, bougainvillea, and perennial hibiscus flowers before L.A.’s 10 million or so other residents wake up and clog the roads.
Mammoth is the third most visited ski resort in the United States, although it has often ranked second and even first. For southern Californians, the big mountain’s enduring appeal is elemental—part of the cosmology of California living, like a reset button for the Angeleno soul.
The World War II vet, and subject of the movie “Unbroken,” brought hundreds of boys to Mammoth Mountain to ski, fish, and keep out of trouble.
Louis Zamperini, the subject of the upcoming film “Unbroken,” wasn’t just a weekend warrior skier. He came to Mammoth Mountain with a bigger purpose: to help underprivileged boys stay out of trouble.
Zamperini established the Victory Boys Camp around 1953, according to an oral history document by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, and skiing was one of the many activities he introduced to those boys.
Living the ski lifestyle isn’t exactly easy for most busy parents. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.
It’s 9:30 on a midwinter Friday night, and a river of red taillights winds its way east along I-80 up and over the High Sierra. Many of the cars are heading to old family cabins and rental properties around Lake Tahoe—places that are dark and empty most weekdays. But late on Fridays they come to life with the warmth of wood stoves and soft lights and the comforting smells of home-cooked lasagna and chili and hot chocolate.