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MAMMOTH CAN WAIT - James Cove. Los Angeles, California
Saturday November 18, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI starts its season at a resort that saw 15.6m of snow last winter. It already has a depth of 1.5m but we're in no rush to get there. Why not? NEW




I am not heading straight to the powder.  Instead I'm going to the beaches, golf courses and the sights/experiences of Los Angeles.

The one piece of advice I offer people who head over to the USA and Canada to ski, is to take your time.

Don't just sit in a tin can at 35,000ft for up to 11 hours and then go direct to the bubble of a ski resort, ski a week or so and then head straight home.

Get over the jet lag, get acclimatised, enjoy the city you land in to make your trip so different from a ski holiday in the Alps.

Make it a North America experience.

Vancouver, Quebec, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Denver, Calgary and many other gateway airports to the snow should be visited, not by-passed.

And so I find myself here, in Los Angeles, for a few days.

It is the middle of November and it's a very pleasant 24ºC in the Hollywood Hills.

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I'm staying at the former house of Steve McQueen - it's a long story but lets just say a friend of mine has done rather well in the music business.

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And this is how I have been preparing for my trip to the powder fields of Mammoth Mountain. 

First stop Hollywood Boulevard.

Now I don't usually give to street beggars but this man was an exception.

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Then there was the obligatory tour of the Warner Brothers Studios and a photo with my friends on the 'Friends' sofa could not be missed.

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And with the given temperatures, a day at Venice Beach and stroll along the Santa Monica pier was a must.

Los Angeles, CaliforniaViews from Venice Beach
















Los Angeles, CaliforniaSanta Monica pier















And staying by the Pacific Ocean what better place for a game of golf?

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Another very good friend of mine also lives in LA and it would have been criminal to head straight to skiing rather than breakfast with the BBC's legendary former Los Angeles correspondent, David Willis.

Los Angeles, CaliforniaDavid Wills at home
















In his long and illustrious career he has been reported on every type of story - from the red carpet in Hollywood to being embedded with the US Marines in The Gulf War as they headed to Baghdad.

So what does Los Angeles look like from the hills above David's home?

And so it is time to head to some other hills.

Or rather the mountains... Mammoth Mountain.

As I gazed down from my temporary home high up in the Hollywood Hills overlooking the twinkling lights of LA on my final night I could think of no better way to start my winter ski season.

I am in North America with jet lag long behind me, and I'm energised for the skiing ahead.

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I shall be criss-crossing the mountains of the world for over 100 days this winter and I expect to visit 50+ different ski resorts before I hang my skis up next May.

If this is a tatse of what is to come I must be the luckiest person on the planet right now.

Certainly the luckiest of the PlanetSKI team.

I'll be in Mammoth soon:

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Mammoth Mountain, CaliforniaMammoth Mountain, California














Mammoth Mountain, CaliforniaMammoth Mountain, California















PlanetSKI's senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, is also in the USA at the moment.

She is in Sun Valley in Idaho and has been reporting on snow conditions across the continent:

The lifts open next week but that hasn't stopped her skinning up with friends to make her first turns of the season.

Sun Valley, IdahoSun Valley, Idaho
















Sun Valley, IdahoSun Valley, Idaho
















See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news 

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