ASHLAND, Ore. – Southern Oregon’s only ski area may be on track for a mid-December opening.
After recent snowstorms, the Mt. Ashland Ski Area is hopeful that lifts can start running on December 10.
The Mt. Ashland Ski Area posted the following statement on Facebook Wednesday afternoon:
It’s beginning to look a lot like our favorite time of year! A snowy update and science lesson from our Mountain Operations Team:
We received 5” of new snow in the past 24hr. That makes it 10” total for the last two storm pulses. Our total snowpack at our lower mountain snow stake is 20”.
This early season snowpack on Mt Ashland is one of the best that we have had in a while.
The weather that we received came from the Southeast. The trails are starting to build a decent base. The eastern sides of our slopes have from 12” to 24” of coverage and the west sides of our trails have about 12” to 16” of dense powder. The difference in coverage is the result of snowfall, wind, trees, and sun. Since the snow and wind came from the East, the trees on the Eastern side of our trails acted like a snow fence and provided deeper deposition than on the West side of our trails. The shade afforded by these trees also keeps the temperature down on the Eastern sides of the trails, this makes for better powder and less settling. The lack of shade on the Western sides of our trails also contributes to a warmer and heavier snowpack in these areas. This also accelerates the settling of the snowpack. The new snow will settle and compact, this will provide a good base for the next snowfall, very encouraging for our projected December 10th opening.
Please remember that an early season snowpack can hide obstacles like small trees and rocks. Mt Ashland is not operational; you are on your own if you choose to skin up and bag some turns. There are no patrol services. Ski with a partner and let someone know where you are. Use good judgement when selecting a slope to ride.