MT. ASHLAND, Ore.– While it may be October and no snow in sight, Mt. Ashland Ski Area has been hard at work all through the off season in preparation for the first snow.
“We’re right in the middle of our usual finishing up of summer maintenance you know,” said General Manager Hiram Towle. “There’s a lot of work to be done on the ski lifts, snow cats, trail work. A lot goes on up here to be ready for the big show.”
It’s work around the clock for the ski area’s crew. While there aren’t currently any massive projects like the lodge renovation done last year, every bit of maintenance is key to ensuring things run smoothly during the season.
“A lot of it is heavy mechanized, heavy lifting,” said Towle. “The chair lifts require climbing towers, running up in a work car and changing out the shiv wheels on the towers if necessary.”
On top of all of that, Towle pointed out there have been other adjustments being made for the new year. With a recent donation of several ramps, Towle said they’re looking forward to bringing back and expanding the terrain park from last year and adding new snow fences around the beginners lift to pack in more snow and protect from wind gusts.
“Aside from that it’s really putting a little bit more money into our learning center,” he said. “You know enhancing the experience those folks get and then on the upper part of the mountain we’ve been enhancing our glades, you know the skiing in the trees.”
However, Towle said one of their main focuses has been adjusting the terrain to allow for a chance to open even if it’s another slow winter.
“If you look at our snow data over the years it goes like this,” he said making several hill figures with his hand. “And so we understand that so we’re making efforts to adapt and get ahead of that.”
But in the end, there’s only so much prep that can be done.
“We’ve moved ahead a lot of our processes like our job fair is coming up next week, we’re in hiring mode right now,” he said. “We’d like to be ready to open as soon as Mother Nature allows.”
Mt. Ashland Ski Area’s job fair will take place next Thursday, November 1. The ski area is looking to fill some 130 positions and ask for those interested in applying to go to their website, fill out an application and show up at the lodge.
To find out more information you can do so at the Mt. Ashland Ski Area website.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.