Mammoth Lakes, CA with Hornbeck and Armada Japan
“Heyyyy bro, are you busy tonight? I fly into Long Beach and I’m looking for a ride.” I stared at my phone for a few minutes before calling around and finding Hornbeck transportation from the airport to our office in Costa Mesa. He booked a last minute ticket in hopes to stacking a few shots before the features completely melt out. 12 hours later, we were en route to Mammoth Lakes, CA for a weekend of late season shred.
The drive to Mammoth is crazy. Located 351 miles North East of Costa Mesa, Apple Maps claims it takes 6 hours and 16 minutes door to door. In reality, it can be anywhere from 5 1/2 hours to 10 hours; depending on traffic, wind, weather, and car accidents. Getting out of LA takes about an hour, but if you leave after 3pm, you might get stuck in a quagmire of congested freeways for hours. Beeping horns, stressed drivers, high heat, and a litany of other stimulants make this the worst part of the drive.
Once past LA, you slowly transition into a blur of suburban stagnation, gas stations, and endless desert. Here, a massive windfarm looms to your left outside Mojave, CA. We decided to stop and shoot the massive wind project, then continued our way to Mammoth without a hitch.
The Mojave windfarm.
Mike Hornbeck in Mojave, CA.
Corey Stanton on the wrong side of the tracks. Corey was Armada’s first intern in 2002 and came back 10 years later with a photography degree from Columbia to run the video program. Now a proud owner of an FS-700, he’s responsible for all in-house video content.
The weekend was legendary. With warm temps and 3 perfect bluebird days, we lapped the park until the lifts shut down and everything was too slushy to continue. Weekends like this give put Mammoth on this unreachable pedestal from other North American resorts. Flawless features, bluebird skies, and ultra fast quad servicing the park. What more do you need?
Corey and Hornbeck at the top of the gondola.
Chair 9 closed.
The sign on the summit of Mammoth Mountain.
Mike has been working hard with the Skier’s Edge all season. Constantly in pursuit of the perfect turn, his form is so good that the snowboarder behind him intentionally sat down to watch him ski.
Part of the excitement this weekend was skiing with Armada Japan’s Yoshiya Yurata. Known by his friends as “Bull” he’s one of the most hysterical individuals on the planet. If you’ve heard a Japanese guy yelling “Sorry, No English” before cutting you off and lacing a cork 9 on the jump, chances are it’s Bull.
A Japanese national doing a cork 3 Japan, with Maruyama Yohei following.
Bull has an absurd bag of tricks. In the few days we skied together, we saw him do all 4 9′s, both way rodeo 5s, and huge cork 3s and 5s to the bottom of the landing. Here, he sends a rodeo 5 over the jump.
Hornbeck taking a break in the DJ booth.
Bull’s Japanese counterpart, Maruyama Yohei on the down tube. Yohei is completely insane. In one afternoon, we saw him do 2 or 3 massive cork 5s straight into the woods on the jump. Landing in a pile of dirt and corks, he would simply say, “No problem” and head up for another hit.
Wrecka hiking a perfect down tube on a bluebird day.
On the chair
Just another bluebird day in Mammoth, CA
Through the trees.
One of Yohei’s massive cork 3s on the jump.
T-Crew! Yohei, Bull, and honorary member Corey.
Mammoth shows true dedication to park riding by pushing all the snow on a trail into a single ribbon. Want to hit a 40 ft jump with tons of pop in late May? Mammoth is the place to be.
One of our hidden gems in the 13/14 line up.
Mike Hornbeck vs. the DFD. Hornbeck wins this round.
sw on, prtez 2 from Bull.
On the chairlift with Bull, Yoehi, and Hornbeck.
Get the shot bro!
The FS-700 is so good you hardly have to operate it. Here, Corey guards the camera while it films the crew on the jump.
Bull on the DFD.
Huge bear problem in Main Park.
Hiking for shots.
Bull on the down – flat rail
Switch right 5 from Hornbeck.
Switch right 7 blunt form Hornbeck
T-Crew, T set. Great pop bro, great pop.
Hornbeck checking out the new El Rey
Thanks to Mammoth, Evanomics, Bull, and Yohei for an incredible weekend.
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