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Before driving to Mammoth, catch a quick longboard surf session at Point Dume, 20 miles west of Santa Monica. At the bottom of the steep trail to the beach you’ll find a steady right-hand break-and sporadic visits from nude sunbathers.
Stop in at Mammoth Mountaineering Supply for up-to-the-minute information, then hike 1,000 vertical (less than two hours) to the top of the Sherwin Bowls (elevation 9,700 feet). Rock Chute is the best route, with a 100-foot-long, 40-degree drop into the large aprons below. But whatever line you pick, you’ll end up near a shuttle that’ll take you to the old-school Clocktower Cellar bar, where bottle caps and dollar bills pinned to the ceiling pass as decor. At day’s end, sleep slopeside at the Mammoth Mountain Inn.
Hole in the Wall-a chute through a cliff band-is the local rite of passage. Glean some beta at the Panorama Gondola patrol shack, then, assuming it’s safe, ski down the back side of Dave’s Run, pass the boundary, and traverse left to Hole in the Wall. Lots of snow equals tight walls and a straight run. After the chute, you’ll ski open snowfields down to Tamarack Lodge. Once you get back to town, belly up at the tiki bar at Lakanuki (lack of nookie), where the bass thumps and drinks sport umbrellas.
Drive 45 minutes south to Bishop for some of the best bouldering in the country. Grab a jolt at the Kava Coffeehouse and check in next door with the crew at Eastside Sports. They’ll rent you a pad and point you in the direction of the level of difficulty you’re after. Then head out to a desert filled with massive, freestanding granite “problems.” Back in Bishop, unravel with a cerveza and a chimichanga at Amigo’s.
Take highways 395 and 190 to Golden Canyon. The Gower Gulch Loop day hike wends over multicolored rolling badlands to raw geologic wonders. It’s only a four-mile loop, but bring water.
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