Here in the Northwest we have an amazing cross section of ski areas. From the small community focused areas like Mt. Ashland, to the destination resort that is Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon, there is something for everyone, and every ability level. There are really challenging runs and terrain out there, and then there is gentle easy to handle slopes perfect for the novice or the beginner level skiers or riders. Ski season here in the Northwest is a long one typically beginning in late November and running through Memorial Day.
Rogueweather will keep the focus local with reports daily for all four of the ski areas in our immediate region. They are Mt. Ashland, Mt. Shasta Board and Ski Park, Willamette Pass east of Eugene, (the closest ski area for Douglas County skiers and riders), and of course, Mt. Bachelor. In addition, you will find daily reports from areas in the Tahoe Basin and Mammoth Mountain in the Sierras, and also from Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia. You also get daily reports from Jackson Hole in Wyoming. Jackson Hole has been rated the #1 ski resort in North America for four years running now.
Remember, the guy doing this...Greg Roberts....is a former ski racer and raced throughout the Western US and Canada and competed in slalom, giant slalom, and super giant slalom. He also worked at Mt. Bachelor for 7 seasons.
CONDITIONS FOR FEBRUARY 23rd
MT. BACHELOR INFORMATION:
SUMMIT WILL OPEN TODAY
Mt. Bachelor reports clear skies this morning. The temp is 10 degrees at West Village and 13 at mid mountain. Winds today are light. The base is 118 inches at West Village, and 150 inches at mid mountain. 9 lifts will run today. Summit Chair will open later today once they have completed storm recovery and avalanche control. 113 runs are open today. 62 runs were groomed. The groomed runs have packed powder surfaces. The Nordic Center is open 9 to 4 daily. 56 kilometers of trails have been groomed and track set. The sno blast tubing park is closed today. The dog sled rides are running out of Sunrise. ALL lodges and facilites are 100 percent open. The parking lot at Skyliner is open for season pass holders. There are no ticket sale facilities there.
The re consturction of Rainbow Chair is complete. It will run on Saturdays and Sundays and Holiday schedules.The length of the chair has been reduced considerably. It now tops out lower down the mountain than it did before. Both Sunrise Express and Cloudchaser top out higher up. Rainbow now serves beginner and low intermediate terrain only.
Mt. Bachelor is the major destination resort for the Pacific Northwest. It draws skiers and riders from Northern California, to Washington state and beyond. Mt. Bachelor is well known for it's forgiving slopes and plentiful snowfalls. Unlike many resorts in Oregon, Mt. Bachelor seems to regularly get the type of cold dry powder more typically seen in the Rocky Mountains. Mt. Bachelor has the most lifts of any resort in the Northwest and the majority of them are the high speed lifts that keep lift lines small. The mountain itself is very spacious and has two main base areas, West Village and the Sunrise Lodge serving the east side of the mountain. Mt.Bachelor also has established a reputation for some of the very best grooming of their runs in the entire ski business. When I worked there in the mid 80s to the early 90s, Mt. Bachelor was frequently voted as THE best grooming at any major ski resort in the country. That legacy lives on. It is also highly praised for it's high speed lifts. The big news over the summer was the construction of the new Cloudchaser Express lift on the east side of the mountain. It began operating in December.
Mt. Bachelor has year round activities beyond just winter fun. In the summer they will run the Pine Marten lift to access the Pine Marten Lodge for dining and sightseeing on the weekends. In addition, Mt. Bachelor built an extensive system of Mountain Biking trails in the West Village area. These are well designed trails that will give a challenge to riders of all ability levels. Mt. Bachelor will be home to premier Mtn. Biking competitions in the summer and fall.
MT. ASHLAND INFORMATION:
NIGHT SKIING TONIGHT
POWDER ALERT! 10 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Mt. Ashland reports low clouds with light snow this morning. Visibility will challenge to start the day, but they do expect partly cloudy skies later. The temp at the lodge is 16 degrees with light winds. The base at the lodge is 126 inches, it is 126 inches at mid mountain, and 156 at the top of Ariel. All five lifts will run from 9 am to 4 pm today, and then Sonnet, Comer, and Windsor will run until 9 pm for night skiing. All runs and terrain are open. They did groom the Sonnet run and everything around Comer. In addition they groomed Upper Juliet, Lower Dream, Lower Tempest, Lower Winter, and All's Well. The groomed runs have new over packed powder surfaces. The access road has packed snow and icy conditions. Chains are not required, but their use is recommended for two wheel drive vehicles without studs.
Mt. Ashland has been providing Local Mountain Fun to the residents of the Rogue Valley since 1964. A very family friendly ski area, Mt. Ashland has a compact layout of just four chairs and one base lodge. It does make it much easier to keep track of everybody. It has something for everybody up there....but the higher end terrain is something that you just have to experience. This is one of the more challenging mountains to ski or ride on in the Northwest. It has been said if you can ski Mt. Ashland, you can ski anywhere. To increase the beginner experience, the Sonnet beginner slope has been regraded and a rope tow installed. Mt. Ashland typically is open in early December and the season will run into April. There is night skiing on Thursday and Friday nights from January through mid March. Mt. Ashland has a full rental shop if you need any kind of gear, and certified instructors are on hand to help you become the skier or boarder you truly want to be.
TIMBERLINE RESORT INFORMATION:
Timberline Resort reports clouds and flurries this morning. The temp at the lodge is 15 degrees. Winds are light at the lodge, and breezy out on the mountain. The base is 139 inches at the lodge with more out on the mountain. 4 lifts will be running for sure today. The Bruno, and Pucci chairs along with the Jeff Flood Express will run from 9 am to 4 pm. The Stormin' Norman Chair runs 9 am to 3:30 pm. Magic Mile will run conditions permitting. If it does go, it will run until 3 pm today. Molly's Chair is on standby today. They did groom the runs last night off Bruno, Pucci and the Jeff Flood Express. They also did groom some runs off Molly's Chair and Stormin Norman. The groomed runs have packed powder surfaces. If you go off open runs, you are advised to ski and ride with care. Unmarked obstacles exist. 6 terrain parks will be open. The highway to the mountain reports packed snow and icy conditions. Plows and sanders are working. Chains are required for all vehicles. Vehicles under 10,000 gvw and not towing can use traction tires / studs. Please drive up carefully.
Timberline Resort is located on Mt. Hood here in Oregon. It might have the longest ski season in the world with lifts running from the beginning of November through July. In my ski racing days, we trained at Timberline from late May through July. Timberline can and does get snow during all 12 months out of the year. In really snowy years it would be possible to do year round skiing on natural snow. The long ski season is what makes Timberline unique. It is not a big ski area in terms of acreage or lifts. But, if you feel that need to ski on the 4th of July...here is where you can do it with chair lifts running.
HOODOO SKI RESORT INFORMATION:
Hoodoo has cloudy skies this morning. The temp at the lodge is 26, and it is 17 up top. Winds are light this morning. The base at the lodge is 98 inches. 4 lifts are running today from 9 am to 4 pm. Hodag Express is closed today. All runs and terrain is open. 20 runs were groomed with packed powder surfaces.Highway 20 reports packed snow. Plows and sanders are working. Carry chains and drive up safely.
Founded in 1938, Hoodoo is Central Oregon’s original ski area. Hoodoo sits on the summit of Oregon’s Santiam Pass and is Oregon’s most centrally located destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Just 44 miles west of Bend, 85 miles east of Eugene and 130 miles southeast of Portland, Hoodoo Ski Area offers more than 800 acres of terrain, 32 runs, five lifts, night skiing, and one of the largest tubing parks in the West. The ski slopes are on a big, rounded butte, with lots of wide open terrain. So whether you prefer deep and challenging powder or finely groomed runs, Hoodoo has something for you.
WILLAMETTE PASS INFORMATION:
POWDER ALERT! 15 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Willamette Pass reports it is still snowing this morning. The temp is 19 at the lodge and winds are light. The base is reported at 75 inches at the lodge, and 112 at to top of Peak 2. 3 lifts are running from 9 am to 4 pm today. Eagle Peak Accelerator, Peak 2, and Twilight. All runs and terrain are open and lift served. The did groom many of the runs on the front side and all of the runs off Peak 2 last night. The groomed runs have packed powder asurfaces. They also groomed and tracked set 20 kilometers of cross country ski trails. Highway 58 to the Pass has packed snow. Plows and sanders are working. Carry chains and drive up safely.
Willamette Pass is located in the Cascades east of Eugene along Highway 58 right on the crest of the Cascades. Willamette Pass has a total of 5 chairs. It is a very diverse ski area in terms of the terrain. It has very gentle beginner terrain, but it also has one of the very toughest lift served runs in the country in RTS, which stands for Rough, Tough, Steep. It absolutely is. If you can conquer the top of this thing, you can ski or ride ANYTHING! Willamette Pass is very family friendly and lift tickets are modestly priced. If you have never been here before, make sure to put it on your list for next season. During the summer the Eagle Peak Accelerator Chair runs to provide access to miles of hiking and biking trails. They also have a number of activities that occur.
MT. SHASTA SKI PARK INFORMATION:
Mt. Shasta Ski Park reports cloudy skies this morning. The temp at the lodge is 21 degrees. Winds are light. They report an inch of snow overnight. The base at the top of Douglas Chair is 120 inches. All lifts are open 9 am to 4 pm today. All 32 runs are open and 19 are groomed. The groomed runs have packed powder surfaces. Highway 89 reports spots of ice, and the access road has a light layer of snow it along with slick spots. Carry chains and drive with care.
This is the only seven days a week ski area between Mt. Bachelor and the Tahoe area. The Mt. Shasta Ski Park is a very inviting ski area that families just love. It has ideal terrain for novices and beginners, yet it also balances that out by offering challenging slopes for experts. Mt. Shasta Ski Park is a very compact area so keeping track of everybody is very easy to do. They have night skiing Thursday through Saturday nights, and then again on holiday nights. There are a total of three chairs and a surface lift here. The surface lift is a rope tow that is used for beginners only. The season at Mt. Shasta is typically from early December to mid April. The Ski Park sits in an ideal spot to catch the storms as they roll around Mt. Shasta so that the snow can fall deep in big storms. However, if there is a scarcity of natural snow, they do have snow making which can be used to augment the real stuff.....or create their own base. This ski area is a favorite of skiers and riders from both Northern California and Southern Oregon. It is the closest skiing and snowboarding to the Redding, Chico area, and Susanville in Northern California and many of the visitors here come from those areas. To get to Mt. Shasta Ski Park take I 5 to Mt. Shasta City, Take State Highway 89 and then follow the signs to turn onto the access road. Mt. Shasta Ski Park is unique for the western United States. It is one of the very few ski areas in the western US that does not sit on National Forest land.
HEAVENLY SKI AREA CURRENT INFORMATION:
Heavenly reports cloudy skies this morning. They did get an inch of new snow in the last 24 hours. The base is reported at 131 inches. Winds are breezy at the bases and moderate to around 35 miles an hour up top. 26 lifts will be running. They report 91 runs open. 53 runs were groomed with packed powder surfaces. Mott and Killebrew Canyons are open. Use extreme caution in the canyons due to the very deep soft snow. Avoid tree wells. If you go off open runs, always go with others for safety.
Heavenly is one of the best ski and snowboarding vacation destinations in the entire world. Sitting right on the border between California and Nevada, you do literally ski and ride from one state into another. With Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon you get some of the greatest lift served back country terrain in the United States. This makes it an ideal place for experts. If you tire of getting a workout on Heavenly's terrain you can always take time off in the casinos at the bottom of the mountain in Nevada. A gondola serves that area now so you can get whisked right back to skiing and riding when you are ready. With the combination of the casinos, you get an experience that does not get duplicated anywhere else in the world. Ski or ride all day and then head to the casinos for outstanding dining, gaming, and entertainment. Big name performers are always on stage on the South Shore at the base of Heavenly. This is by far my favorite place to take an unwind ski vacation that mixes in so much more than just being on the mountain.
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN INFORMATION:
Mammoth Mountain is reporting clouds with light snow this morning. The temp at Main Lodge is 8. Winds are moderate near 25 miles an hour. The base is 200 iinches at Main Lodge and 350 at the Summit. 27 out of 28 lifts will be running today. Only Chair 20 will be closed. 92 runs are open today. 63 runs were groomed with soft packed powder surfaces. If you go off open runs, always go with others, never go alone. Be expecting unmarked obstacles when off open runs as well. Mammoth is a volcano and due to volanic features, there can be obstacles out there that are not marked.
Mammoth Mountain is located in the southern Sierras of California. This is the closest major ski area to the Los Angeles and Las Vegas metro areas. As such it can get very crowded in the base areas. Traffic to and from the mountain on weekends can be a nightmare. But, the mountain itself is huge and it can spread people out well. Mammoth is well known for running late into the season for skiing. Many years Mammoth can offer skiing on the 4th of July. Mammoth is also used as a spring time training center for ski racers. The US Ski Team has been coming here for decades to train during April, May, and even into June.
SUGAR BOWL SKI RESORT INFORMATION:
POWDER ALERT! 6 - 7 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Sugar Bowl reports sunny skies this morning. The temp at the base is 18 degrees and it is 16 on top. Winds are light. The snow pack is reported at 147 inches at the base, and 236 at the top. They will run 11 lifts today including the access gondola. 88 runs are open. 42 runs were groomed with new over packed powder. Avalanche danger is high. Please obey closures and avoid them. Remember if you go into a closed area, you are liable for criminal prosecution. If you go off open runs into terrain that is open, always go with others and never go alone.
Sugar Bowl is a personal favorite of mine from my early skiing days. It is a popular ski area for those in the Sacramento area, and also the Bay Area of Northern California. Sugar Bowl is in the north end of the Tahoe basin off of I 80. For something very unique, park in the old parking lots of the Donner Park Highway and ride the gondola into the ski area. This used to be the only way to get to the lodge at Sugar Bowl.
BRITISH COLUMBIA AND WYOMING REPORT
WHISTLER BLACKCOMB, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Whistler reports gorgeous clear skies this morning. The temp is 19 at the base, and 17 up top. Winds are calm in the villages and light up top. The base is 101 inches at the Village with more on top. All lifts are running except Franz Chair on Whistler. They report all 200 runs are open. 50 runs were groomed on Blackcomb, and 54 runs were groomed on Whistler. The surface on the groomed runs is machine pwer tilled. When going off open runs, never go alone. Go with friends and have more fun! But watch out for obstacles out there.
Whistler Blackcomb hosted alpine ski racing events during the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. It is a very large area in terms of acreage and spans two mountains. Blackcomb Mountain, and Whistler Mountain. There is a village at the base of the two mountains that reminds me somewhat of Vail, Colorado. They can accommodate crowds very easily. You find the biggest lift lines in the mornings at the base of the Gondolas and the other lifts coming out of the villages. Once you get people up on the mountains lift lines become very short due to the capacity they have to move people. Whistler also has one of the largest grooming fleets in the world and usually offers more groomed runs than most ski areas have for runs in total. They do a great job of providing an excellent experience. Once you come here for the first time, you WILL want to come back.
JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING INFORMATION:
Jackson Hole has cloudy skies with light snow falling this morning. The temp at the base is 24 degrees and it is 9 degrees up top. Winds are light at the base and breezy at 15 - 20 miles an hour up top. There was a trace of new snow overnight. The snow pack is 104 inches at mid mountain and 151 inches up top. All lifts are running today. 130 runs are open. They did groom 53 of them with packed powder surfaces. All terrain is open. If you go off open runs, never go alone. Go with friends and have more fun. Avalanche control work is being done, but use extreme caution in the backcountry.
Jackson Hole is located in the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. A place of breathtaking beauty, it has been ranked as the number 1 ski resort in the United States for the last four years running. If you have been there, you know why. Excellent lift service to get you more runs. The runs are buffed into superb shape by a fleet of groomers. They see some of the driest powder anywhere and when it dumps here, it really dumps! The ski school is excellent, and the staff everywhere is friendly and welcoming. But when it comes right down to it, Jackson Hole has the BEST in bounds lift served expert and advanced level terrain in the country. Just outstanding! Courbet's Couloir is a legend. If you think you can handle steep, just stand at the top of that thing and work your courage up. But, you better be good! The Tram runs right above you so you are putting on a show. I highly recommend Jackson Hole as a great vacation. I loved going there in the ski racing days. One of my favorite stops. The nearby town of Jackson has plenty to see and do as well. And, Yellowstone National Park is not far away either.