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 in many surveys of skies and riders..
The guy doing the reports is Greg Roberts who worked at Mt. Bachelor for 7 seasons, and is a former ski racer. Greg raced throughout the Western US and Canada competing in slalom, giant slalom, and super giant slalom. Many of the ski areas outside of Oregon that are reported on are personal favorites of his. Especially Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Whistler, British Columbia.
IMPORTANT SAFETY MESSAGE...... FOR CALIFORNIA, OREGON, AND WASHINGTON ESPECIALLY!
Remember that with increased heavy snowfall brings increased risk -- always ski and ride with a buddy and even better in groups. DO NOT GO OFF OPEN RUNS BY YOURSELF....ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A SNOWBOARDER! Avoid the base of trees, and if you're going to fall try to do so feet first. Snow immersion suffocation should be front of mind during these conditions. Mt. Bachelor in the Central Cascades of Oregon saw two deaths on Friday due to people getting caught in tree wells. They were alone and unable to get out. They suffocated and died as a result. One was a snowbaorder and one a skier. This can happen to anybody. Don't let it happen to you. NEVER GO ALONE!!!
REPORTS FOR 3/23/2018 - As of 9:00 AM
LOCAL SOUTHERN OREGON AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA REPORT
MT. ASHLAND INFORMATION:
OPEN EVERY DAY THROUGH MONDAY APRIL 2ND FOR SPRING BREAK!
WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT WITH BLIZZARD CONDITIONS LIKELY
ARIEL ON WIND HOLD AND NOT EXPECTED TO RUN TODAY
POWDER ALERT!! Snow is dumping down this morning and it is primo powder. First tracks all day! Mt. Ashland reports a very stormy day will be happening. They report snow falling and strong winds even at the lodge this morning. Winds are hitting 50 miles an hour at the lodge with steady winds of 50 - 60 miles an hour up top on the top of the mountain. The temp is 20 at the lodge. Expect the winds and snow to continue throughout the day. The National Weather Service is describing conditions to come as blizzard conditions. They plan to run the Sonnet, CFomer, and Windsor chairs 9 am to 4 pm today. All runs are open. 14 were groomed last night. The groomed runs have new over machine tilled surfaces. If you go off open runs, always do it with a friend, or in groups. Obey any area marked closed. It is closed for your safety.
As to the ski area boundary......it is NOT recommended that you go past it due to risk potential. However, the areas around Mt. Ashland are not closed. You can go into them. But, you do so at your own risk. The terrain outside the ski area boundary is very steep and loaded with all kinds of hazards. People have dies up there going out of the ski area boundaries. Going into those areas and past the ski area boundary means the responsibility is all on you. If you get lost or injured, assistance could be hours in reaching you.
The lodge and all facilities are open today. The access road is reporting snow and icy conditions up towards the top. Plows and sanders are working. Drive up very carefully and have chains with you and be ready to use them at anytime.
Mt. Ashland announced that they will be open through the end of April. Once April arrives the plan is to be open Friday through Sunday through the month if visits hold up. If they are not seeing enough interest to stay open, then they will declare an end to the season. They did take a poll which indicated that people would indeed be coming if they were open.
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.
MT. SHASTA SKI PARK INFORMATION:
COYOTE CHAIR OPEN
WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT
Mt. Shasta Ski Park reports snow coming down this morning and windy conditions. The temp at the lodge is 30 degrees and the temp is dropping and will through the day. Winds are breezy to moderate with very strong gusts at times at the top of Coyote and Douglas. The snow base is 32 inches at the top of Marmot. All 3 lifts and the two sruface lifts are open today from 9 am to 4 pm. Coyote will close at 4 pm, but the others will run until 6 pm for Twilight skiing. 15 runs are open today. 4 have been groomed with new over machine tilled surfaces. There are many marked and unmakrd obstacles. Rock skis and snowboards are still very recommended. If you go off open runs, always do it with a friend, or in groups. Obey any area marked closed. It is closed for your safety. The lodge and all facilities are open. There will be live music in the bar this evening for Twilight skiing. The roads to the mountain have snow pack building on them with slick spots. The access road is snow packed and the use of chains for all but 4 wheel drives with studs on is recommended. Expect chain requirements for all vehicles to go up at anytime for Highway 89, I 5, and the access road. Plows and sanders are working today, and with the conditions, you need to drive with extreme caution. Give yourself plenty of time to get here.
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.
MT. BACHELOR INFORMATION:
WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT WITH BLIZZARD CONDITIONS LIKELY
SUMMIT CLOSED DUE TO STORM CONDITIONS
PINE MARTEN, OUTBACK, AND NORTHWEST EXPRESS ON WIND HOLDS
POWDER ALERT!! Snow is dumping down this morning and it is primo powder. First tracks all day! Mt. Bachelor has heavy snow falling and very windy conditions this morning. The temp is 19 degrees at West Village and 15 degrees at mid mountain. Winds are strong over the entire mountain at over 50 miles an hour. They have picked up 4 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours and heavy snow is expected to continue today. The snow base is 87 inches at West Village and 103 at mid mountain. 6 lifts are running today 9 am until 4 pm. Expect those on holds may not open. 98 of 112 runs will be open. 73 runs are groomed with new over soft packed powder surfaces. Use care when going off open runs and into terrain. Never go alone, always go in groups or with a friend. There are marked and unmarked obstacle out there. Beware of tree wells right now. They can be death traps. They are a huge reason you never go off open runs by yourself. All facilities at West Village are open, including the Sno Blast Tubing Park from 10 am to 4 pm. It runs Fridays - Sundays and holidays. Sunrise Lodge and parking lots are open. Pine Marten Lodge is open, Sparks in Pine Martern Lodge is open daily. Scapolos is closed for the season. The parking lot at Skyliner is open for season pass holders as there are no ticket sales there.
As for the Nordic Lodge and cross country skiing operations, they report that at 7 am they had an air temp at 21.2°, the snow temp measures 23°, and relative humidity is at 80%. The grooming report shows the full network of trails with skate corduroy and classic tracks. The snowfall mostly tapered off during the night leaving the trails clear of accumulations this morning, but that is sure to change shortly. They will be day grooming the Uppers, Screamer, and the abbreviated Woody's Way to Easy Back (Rabbit Ear) loop. Classes will run as scheduled. In a nutshell, there is a lot of snow projected today and unless you enjoy pushing your skate skis through powder, please opt for classic skiing from late morning onward. You won't hear any complaints though! Thrilled at the prospect of hopping into skinny skis and kicking and gliding through pillowy fresh powder.
Century Drive has packed snow and icy conditions. Plows and sanders are working. Carry chains and drive up carefully.
Mt. Bachelor is the major destination resort for the Pacific Northwest. It draws skiers and riders from Northern California to Washington 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 high speed lifts of any resort in the Northwest and 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.
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.
TIMBERLINE RESORT INFORMATION:
Timberline reports snow coming down this morning. The temp is 19 degrees at the lodge. Winds are light at the lodge and higher out on the mountain. They report 4 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. The snow base is 146 inches at the lodge with more out on the mountain. 5 chair lifts and the 2 surface lifts are running today. The Bruno and Pucci chairs and the Jeff Flood Express run from 9 am to 4 pm. Molly's chair and Stormin' Norman will run 9 am to 3:30 pm. Magic Mile is on a weather hold. It is a 50/50 to run today. They did groom runs on the lower mountain and off Magic Mile. Expect new over packed powder surfaces on those runs. Remember, use caution if you go off open runs and terrain. There are unmarked obstacles out there. Stay safe. There are five terrain parks open. Blossom, Conways, Schoolyard, Spraypaint, and Thunder. The highway to the mountain and Highway 26 has packed snow with slick conditions. Chains are required for all vehicles. Traction tires allowed in place of chains on vehicles under 10,000 GVW and not towing. Vehicles towing must use chains.. Plows, de icers, and sanders are working. 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.
MT. HOOD MEADOWS
Mt. Hood Meadows reports snow falling this morning. The temp is 22 at the base, and 16 at the top of the Cascade Express. Winds are moderate to 25 miles an hour right now. They are expected to increase. There was 4 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. The snow pack is 103 inches at the base, and 151 inches at mid mountain. 7 lifts are running 9 am to 4 pm. The Cascade and Vista Express lifts and the Heather Canyon Chair are on weather holds. They may not run today. They did groom runs last night. Expect new over packed powder surfaces. Be watching for marked and unmarked obstacles. If terrain is mark closed, please do not enter it. If you go off open runs always go with a friend or in groups for safety. Their Nordic Center is open. They report 15 kilometers of trails groomed and set. Highway 35 to Mt. Hood Meadows has packed snow with slick conditions. Chains are required for all vehicles. Traction tires allowed in place of chains on vehicles under 10,000 GVW and not towing. Vehicles towing must use chains.. Plows, and sanders are working. Drive up carefully.
Mt. Hood Meadows is located on Mt. Hood's east side and is Oregon's second largest ski area. It has a total of 12 lifts serving it's terrain. And, that terrain is some of the most challenging you will find anywhere. But, there is plenty of easy going beginner and lower intermediate terrain here too. This is the most popular ski area on Mt. Hood for those coming out of Portland. It is the defacto ski area for Hood River and the communities in the Columbia River Gorge. Because of it's proximity to Portland and the Northern Willamette Valley, weekends and holidays can be very crowded up here. Meadows is blessed with a long season. It typically will begin in mid November and then will run through early May.
HOODOO SKI RESORT INFORMATION:
OPEN EVERY DAY THROUGH MONDAY APRIL 2ND FOR SPRING BREAK!
Hoodoo reports snow falling this morning. The temp is 27 degrees at the lodge and 20 up top. Winds are moderate to 35 miles an hour up top. There has been 2 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. The snow base is 69 inches at the top. 4 lifts are open today 9 am to 4 pm. 28 of 35 runs are open. 14 runs are groomed with new over packed powder surfaces. Please obey all closed areas. They are closed for your safety. There are many marked and unmarked obstacles. If you go off open runs, always do it with a friend or a group for safety. The lodge and all facilities are open today including the Autobahn Tubing Park. It is open today through Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Highway 20 to Hoodoo reports packed snow with slick conditions. Chains are required for all vehicles. Traction tires allowed in place of chains on vehicles under 10,000 GVW and not towing. Vehicles towing must use chains.. Plows, de icers, and sanders are working. Drive up carefully.
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.
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN INFORMATION:
POWDER ALERT! 54 - 70 inches of new snow since Tuesday. Mammoth reports sunny skies with windy conditions this morning. The temp at Main Lodge is 21. Winds are moderate over the entire mountain at 25 to 30 miles an hour with gusts to 40 at times. The snow base is now 110 inches at Main Lodge and 175 inches on top. 17 lifts will be running until 4 pm today. The upper mountain lifts are all in storm recovery mode today. If they can be opened, they will. 134 out of 164 are shown as open. 43 runs have been groomed with soft packed powder surfaces. There are marked and unmakrd obstacles. If you go off open runs, always do it with a friend, or in groups. Obey any area marked closed. It is closed for your safety. Beware of tree wells as they will be death traps. This is a big reason not to go off open runs by yourself. All lodges and facilities are open.
Mammoth 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 in April, May, June, and even into July.
HEAVENLY SKI AREA CURRENT INFORMATION:
POWDER ALERT! 16 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Heavenly reports sunny skies with windy conditions this morning. The temp at the base opf the Gondola is 30. Winds are moderate over the entire mountain to 35 miles an hour with gusts to 45 at times. The snow base is now 95 inches. 16 of 27 lifts will be running until 4 pm today. The upper mountain lifts are all on wind holds and in storm recovery mode. If they can be opened, they will. 92 out of 94 are shown as open. 59 runs have been groomed with soft packed powder surfaces. There are marked and unmakrd obstacles. If you go off open runs, always do it with a friend, or in groups. Obey any area marked closed. It is closed for your safety. Beware of tree wells as they will be death traps. This is a big reason not to go off open runs by yourself. All lodges and facilities are open.
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.
SUGAR BOWL SKI RESORT INFORMATION:
POWDER ALERT! 5 - 12 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Sugar Bowl reports clouds and sun this morning. The temp is 21 degrees at the base and 19 degrees at the top. Winds are light at the base and moderate to 25 miles an hour with gusts to 35 miles an hour up top. The snow pack is reported at 51 inches at the base, and 129 inches up top. 8 lifts out of 12 are scheduled to be running 9 am until 4:00 pm. 77 runs out of 105 are shown as open and 26 of them have been groomed with new over soft packed powder surfaces. They are saying their groomed runs will be giving up powder shots today. If you go off runs, make sure to always go with friends. Never go alone. BEWARE THE DEATH TRAPS THAT ARE TREE WELLS RIGHT NOW! Early season conditions exist and there are marked and unmarked obstacles everywhere. Please stay out of closed areas for your safety. The Access Gondola will be running from 7 am to 7 pm.
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 & WYOMING REPORT
WHISTLER BLACKCOMB, BRITISH COLUMBIA
POWDER ALERT! 11 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Whistler Blackcomb has snow falling this morning. The temp is 32 at the base, and 12 up top. Winds are light at the base and moderate to 30 miles an hour up top. The snow base is 123 inches at mid mountain. Most lifts are open today. The Glacier and 7th Heaven Express lifts and the Showcase T bars on Blackcomb Mountain is closed. On Whistler, the Peak, Harmony 6, and Symphony Express lifts and the T bars on the upper mountain are closed. 235 out of 240 runs are shown as open today. 102 runs were groomed with new over soft packed powder surfaces today. Use caution when going off open runs. Marked and unmarked obstacles are out there. You are advised to always go in groups or with a partner. Never go alone.
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:
POWDER ALERT! 9 - 15 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Jackson Hole reports sunny skies this morning. The temp at the base is 36 degrees, and it is 16 at the top. Winds are light up to mid mountain, and then moderate on the upper mountain to 30 miles an hour. The snow base is 86 inches at mid mountain and 126 inches at the top. All 12 lifts will be running today from 9 am to 4 pm. 112 runs are open today, with 40 of them groomed. The groomed runs have packed powder surfaces. Marked and unmarked obstacles are out there. You are advised to use caution when going off open runs. Always go in groups or with a partner. Never go alone.
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.
WILL NOT OPEN FOR THE 17 - 18 SEASON
WILLAMETTE PASS INFORMATION:
Willamette Pass has made the very hard decision not to open for the 2017 - 2018 winter season. Sadly for them, when the snow finally did come that would allow them to open, they no longer had enough employees to staff the operation. They all found other jobs due to the very long delay in being able to open. Hopefully the winter of 2018 - 2019 will bring plenty of snow early so that they can open up and keep their employees.
Willamette Pass is located in the Cascades east of Eugene along Highway 58 right on the crest of the Cascades. Willamette Pass is the closest ski area to Eugene, the Southern Willamatte Valley, and Coos and Douglas Counties. They also see a lot of visitors from Northern Klamath County and Descheutes County. 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.