Pro skier Chris Benchetler can live anywhere he wants to. He chose Mammoth as much for its skiing options as its town and off-season amenities. A fixture with such film companies as Nimbus Independent, Teton Gravity Research, and One Percent Coalition, he serves as an ambassador for the town and its junior teams, owns the local Mimi's Cookie Bar with his wife and pro snowboarder, Kimmy Fasani, and focuses on staying fit, be it through pedaling, paddling, or cross-training. "I cross train regularly through rock climbing, surfing, road cycling, mountain biking, and more," he says. "I plan on continuing down this path and want to keep pushing my limits as well as the limits of back country skiing for many years to come."
Here are a few of his favorite things about Mammoth:
Aspect of the region in the off-season: What isn't there to like at Mammoth? We have incredible mountains and granite peaks, along with relatively consistent weather, world-class rock climbing, mountain biking, road biking, and more. Not to mention the stunning hikes and lakes there are to swim in and fish.
Place to mountain bike ride: Mammoth Mountain Bike Park. They've devoted a lot of time to trail maintenance and have trails for every ability. My favorite trail is Pipeline.
Place to road ride: Everywhere. We're very fortunate that there is limited vehicle traffic in the area and well-paved roads. You can do anywhere from 20 to 100 miles right out of your front door, with no stop signs or traffic lights.
Place to ride with the family: Uptown and downtown on the Bike Park are great for families. Also, it's really fun to make the trip south 20 minutes to Lower Rock Creek--a public trail that is a must.
Place to paddle (flatwater): I think the easiest, with continued breathtaking views, is the June Lake area. You can drive right to the water and have four big beautiful lakes to choose from.
Place to paddle (whitewater): I can't say I really know of one, but the Kern River isn't too far away. Your best bet is to ditch the kayak and go rock climbing for the day.
Place to paddle with the family: June Lake. There's a beautiful white sand beach you can post up at and enjoy some quality family time.
Place to refuel: The best place to refuel before your adventure is Stellar Brew. They have a wide range of super healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack items and they emphasize local produce and organic ingredients. One of the best places to refuel afterwards, I'd have to say, is our own place, Mimi's Cookie Bar. She does all organic baked goods, including vegan and gluten-free, as well as makes her own organic frozen yogurt. It's amazing.
Place for a beer afterwards: The best place for a beer and dinner is Toomey's restaurant in the Village. He does some amazing combos that have become world famous, and also carries a lot of the local breweries' beers, including the Mammoth Brewing Co.
Photo courtesy Peter Morning/MMSA
Kimmy Fasani is a frontrunner in women's snowboarding, and her dedication to the sport has earned her the chance to work with renowned snowboard filmmaker Standard Films.
Last season, Kimmy spent time in the Northwest backcountry to score a part in Standard's highly anticipated 2012 release "2112." The film premiered last week in Denver in front of a bunch of rowdy riders, so we caught up with Kimmy to chat about what it's like to work with Standard, and what the highlights of the premiere were.
How long have you been filming with Standard, and what's your favorite part of filming with the legendary company?
I have been filming with Standard for three seasons now. Having an opportunity to work with Mike Hatchett and Travis Robb has been amazing. They have been making movies for 21 years and to have a video part in that stack of history is pretty humbling.
Where did you film with Standard?
I spent a couple months of my season in the Northwest, which was cool. There was a lot of snow, and I got to explore a bit.
What were the standout moments from the "2112" premiere in Denver?
We had a great turnout for the premiere, and it's always fun to hear people cheering for the movie. Seeing all the people getting amped for the season gets me more excited!
What is your favorite part of Standard's "2112"?
My favorite parts are the ones with Fredi Klabermatten and Victor and Xavier De La Rue. They all killed it!
What was the craziest thing you witnessed at the Denver premiere?
When we were throwing out free stuff before the movie people were on the floor wrestling for it. That's always entertaining!
What was the overall vibe of the premiere in Denver?
The premiere was great. The People movie and the Shaun Palmer movie played before Standard's, so the energy was really high and everyone seemed really hyped on the movies. Snowboard Colorado did a really good job organizing the event.
What are you most looking forward to this winter season?
I am looking forward to riding a lot of powder and I'll be spending the early season in Mammoth, California, shredding park. Excited that another season is around the corner.
Kimmy Fasani is one of the leading freestyle riders in women's snowboarding today. After moving to Mammoth Lakes, California, from Truckee in 2002, her snowboarding career exploded into something she had always dreamed of. Indeed, Fasani became the first female to land a double backflip in the backcountry as well as the park, which was highlighted in Standard Films' movie "TB20." On top of that, last year she was named Snowboarder magazine's Ms. Superpark Standout and was nominated for Rider of the Year, Standout Performance, and Reader's Choice by Transworld Snowboarding's Readers Poll.
In Mammoth Lakes Kimmy--who has recently been focusing on making major snowboard films, including Standard's 2012 movie "2112"--enjoys prime park riding, powder days, and the perks of a mountain town. She lives with her husband, professional skier Chris Benchetler, and they are co-owners of the local business Mimi's Cookie Bar.
Here are a few of her favorite spots and things in Mammoth:
Spot to ride on a powder day: Chair 22, Lincoln Mountain. This chair has fun steep terrain and usually stays wind-free. If you hop off the groomers and cruise through the trees there's always a fresh stash of powder!
Place to lap on a spring day: South Park or Main Park. When it's warm and slushy I head to the terrain parks. South Park has great features to learn new tricks on, and then I head to Main Park to perfect those tricks on bigger jumps. If you're not into riding park, then I suggest taking 'top to bottom' laps on the soft groomed trails. (This means take the gondola from the bottom of the mountain to the top for full mountain runs.)
Place to grab dinner: Toomey's Restaurant in the Village. This place is easy to access and has an amazing menu ranging from fresh fish dishes, delicious salads, or hearty meat entrees. Their desserts are also top notch!
Place for happy hour: White Bark at the Westin. This restaurant and bar has a great staff and atmosphere. There's a big assortment of tasty dishes and the bar is stocked with wines, beers, and liquors.
Best family-friendly hangout: Mimi's Cookie Bar. Mimi's Cookie Bar is an organic, all natural bakery and frozen yogurt shop. If you call ahead, Mimi will make cookie dough so kids can "create their own cookies" by using ingredients of their choice. Mimi makes a variety of sweets, including cookies, truffles, cupcakes, cakes, and she also offers gluten-free and vegan options daily!
Best Place to grab breakfast: Stellar Brew. This quirky coffee shop has ready-made burritos. It's perfect for a quick stop on the way to the hill.
Photos courtesy Mammoth Mountain Resorts
Wish that was you?
The second round of footage from Cheryl Maas' winter last year is out and ready for your eyes to see. After being followed and filmed for six months Cheryl is starring in the series "Open Air" and brings her shred experiences last season to the public.
Episode two shows Cheryl as she embarks on a trip to the Silverton backcountry with heavy hitters Kimmy Fasani and Hana Beaman. All in all, this chicks are beasts. Not in a women's softball kind of way - in a big mountain riding kind of way. Double backflips, massive powder slashes, and amazing bluebird conditions, the crew couldn't have asked for a better trip. Watch the ladies get after it below and if you missed Episode One, watch it HERE.
Snowboarder Magazine has now reached out to the kids who can't read good. Their original feature, "Guestbook" that gets up close and personal with the pros is now on video.
No more reading "words" for you. Your short attention span will be stoked. Check out the latest Guestbook and the tight facelift to their site....HERE.