Mt. Ashland closes Monday, avalanche control delayed

MT. ASHLAND, Ore.– The Mt. Ashland Ski Area closed on Monday after high winds and unplowed roads made it difficult to get to the mountain.

While ODOT crews were able to plow the roads later in the day, the mountain still warned visitors about the risks. The ski area said that portions of the upper mountain such as the run Upper Balcony hadn’t received avalanche control causing safety concerns.

“The fear is always that after time passes with the kind of snow that we have, we left with some known unstable conditions up there,” said General Manager Hiram Towle. “So that’s why we just take the safe route and we closed the upper mountain.”

Winter weather wasn’t the only problem the ski area was facing though. Over the weekend, employees discovered an issue with the water system that feeds the lodge.

According to Towle, employees started noticing a slow down of water feeding from the 10,000-gallon cistern at the top of the mountain. The weather has delayed crews from looking at the problem thus far.

“It’s a supply issue not a quality issue and we’re just trying to find out why,” said Towle. “But right now it’s been holding steady at the flows that it has but we suspect it could potentially be in the piping.”

Towle says that this won’t cause the mountain to shut down and in the meantime, they’ll have to supplement some of the water with truck deliveries until they find and fix the problem.

The ski area hopes to have better weather in the days ahead to get crews up there to ensure everything is ready. It plans to open the mountain again this Thursday.

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