If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Mammoth Mountain Day Trip

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get on a slope so I went through a whole lot of hassle just to get a day of skiing in on Friday. Since it was snowing all week and both of my cars are on summer tires, I picked up a rental car. With renting from Payless at LAX, I was at least able to pick my own vehicle from the row of the cheapest stuff. I ended up picking based on which car had the best looking tires on it. I managed to find an Elantra with newish looking M+S rates non-eco tires so I figured at least the tires might not kill me.


I was headed up to Mammoth so once I got up to Bishop, CA I had to pick up some tire chains from the local Napa autoparts store. This was my first experience with chains so it took me a bit to get them adjusted right and make sure they wouldn’t break/fall off immediately. I did not know how damn noisy these things would be on pavement. These came with a warning that said “DO NOT EXCEED 30MPH”. Well considering the majority of other drivers either completely ignored those restrictions or were just not running them, I felt like a danger on the road with a 30+mph speed differential. I kept the hazards on and kept my speed around 40-45 even though it might risk breaking the chains. I just turned up the radio and soldiered on for the last 15 or so miles of driving to the mountain. That was pretty bad though so I’ve decided I 100% need snow tires for my Subaru to just avoid these shenanigans.

The Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback performed pretty well for the trip. It cruised at 80mph just fine for the 5 hours both ways and got just under 30pmg. Considering the rental for two days only cost $42 and it runs regular gas, it really didn’t cost much more than taking my Subaru anyways. At least the tire chains should fit my Subaru if I get the right size tire at some point. There are 17 inch ones in usable widths listed on the compatibility chart for the chains. Since it is the law to carry chains even if you have the AWD + snow tire combo, even if you never actually use them.


Overall a fun day trip since the snow at the top was excellent wind blown powder. There were lots of upper lift closures due to that wind but more stuff opened as the day went on. Next time I hope to get more sleep but I’d definitely do it again. For this trip, I got 3.5 hours of sleep, drove 5 hours, skied 6 hours, and drove back home 5 hours. Rough but quite the fun adventure!

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