1. Ask for a local’s discount when you’re not a local.
This is the best way to piss one of us off. No, the fact that you pay property taxes on your second home to Mono County doesn’t qualify you as a local. The local’s discount is there so parents who work two and a half jobs in order to pay their mortgage can afford to buy winter coats for their kids. The local’s discount is there so that an 18-year-old kid living off a lift operator’s wage can afford to take his girlfriend out to dinner. The local’s discount is not for you, Beverly Hills neurosurgeon, or you NYC corporate lawyer, or you celebrity dance choreographer. If you are smart enough NOT to ask for the local’s discount, however, us locals are more than happy to answer other questions with some insider knowledge. We’d love to recommend a secret lunch spot or tell you which bar the hot local girls go to. Just know your place as a visitor.
2. Try to drive your 2-wheel drive car up the Minaret Road to Main Lodge when it’s snowing.
We know that you are trying to prove how awesome or maybe even masculine you are by forging on through the snowstorm in your beamer, but honestly, you need to park your car and take the bus. We’re not impressed when you’re the one slip and sliding in front of us or behind us — you’re putting our lives and yours in danger. If you live in Mammoth or are visiting from Tahoe, go ahead and drive your car. If you’re from LA, San Diego, San Fran, or anywhere else that’s constantly sunny and 75, don’t even try. Actually, if you really want to feel cool and local just hitch hike.
3. Ask us if it’s going to be a good snow year.
Look, we appreciate your interest. We also wonder how the winter’s going to go. That being said, we can’t promise you a record-breaking snow year just because you bought new skis from us. Any ski day is a good ski day, which is also why…
4. You shouldn’t bitch about the snow conditions.
Understand that the snow conditions are different every single day and there’s always some awesome skiing to be had. A real skier or snowboarder can shred any kind of snow with a smile on their face: powder, ice, slush, crud, corn, chalk, butter, boilerplate, etc. As long as you’re stoked to be shredding, we’re stoked to let you know which part of the mountain is popping off.
5. Feed the bears.
Don’t feed the bears, seriously. This has been a Mammoth anthem for a while now. Always make sure your trash is locked up and all the food is out of your car. We love our bears but they’re still wild animals that love trash. If we’re careless, they’ll start to tear into cars and homes, and then eventually they’ll have to be shot by animal control officers. So please help us keep them wild and alive.
6. Litter. Like at all.
If you’re using any of our wilderness areas, trails, campgrounds or even our parks, sports fields or parking lots, you need to pick up ALL your shit. The reason you even come here is because it’s beautiful and pristine, so you need to help us keep it that way. If you are part of another group of beater-van-dwelling, self-proclaimed hippy rock climbers leaving your empty cartons of almond milk and organic cheese wrappers behind, know that we are watching you.
7. Tell us about how much better the Rocky Mountains are.
Oh really? You can’t ski our ‘Sierra Cement’ you say? Maybe you should go to Colorado on vacation instead, where the crowds are twice as big and the prices are twice as high. Then come back and see us.
8. Honk. Ever.
Do not honk when the stoplight turns green. Do not honk when someone is Jay walking. Do not honk when families of deer, or ducks, or bears are crossing the road. There is no hurry, man. You have to enjoy life and just wait your turn because this is not the city. The only acceptable reason to honk is to say a friendly ‘what’s up’ to someone you know. But if you are a tourist, beware, we will assume any honk was maliciously intended. So just don’t do it.