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 JANUARY 23rd
MT. BACHELOR INFORMATION:
Mt. Bachelor reports beautiful sunny skies this morning. Winds are light. The temp at West Village is 12, and it is 18 at mid mountain. They report 2 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. The base is 105 inches at West Village, and 127 inches at mid mountain. They have 8 lifts scheduled to be running today. 111 runs are open. 57 runs were groomed, and they will have packed powder surfaces. If you go off open runs, do so with caution. Do not go alone. The snow is deep and tree wells are potential death traps. If you get in one of those and you are solo, it will kill you. 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 open today, and the dog sled rides are running out of Sunrise. Plenty for non skiers to do here as well. 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.
I had previously stated that Rainbow would be a back up that would run if Summit and Cloudchaser did not.That is incorrect. I have been informed by Mt. Bachelor that in fact, Rainbow is being reconstructed. It is going to be a shorter chair lift with a top terminal much lower down the mountain than where the top of it has been since it opened. They are doing that work right now. Once reconfigured, both Sunrise Express and Cloudhaser will take you higher on the mountain. Rainbow will still be a longer chair than Carrousel, but it's purpose will be much the same. To serve mostly easier terrain. But, the runs will be far longer than what you can access of Carrousel. I did not get an esitmate as to when they thought that would would be complete and Rainbow will re open. But, that is expected to happen this season.
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 in the summer was the consturction of the new Cloudchaser Express left on the east side of the mountain. It is expected to begin operation at Christmas Vacation.
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 some premier Mtn. Biking competitions in the summer and fall.
MT. ASHLAND INFORMATION:
CHAINS REQUIRED FOR ALL VEHICLES ON THE ACCESS ROAD EXCEPT FOR 4 WHEEL DRIVES / ALL WHEEL DRIVES WITH STUDS ON
Mt. Ashland still has sunny skies this morning. Winds are light. The temp is 19 degrees at the lodge. They report an inch of new overnight. The base is 103 inches at the lodge, 112 inches at mid mountain, and 133 at the top of Ariel. 4 lifts will be running until 4 pm today. Comer is on a mechanical hold at this time. All runs and terrain are open. They groomed everything around Sonnet, and Comer. They also groomed Upper Juliet, Upper Romeo, Dream, Caliban. Lower Tempest, and Lower Winter. The groomed runs packed powder surfaces. The access road has been plowed and sanded. Chains are required for all vehicles except 4 wheel drives / all wheel drives with 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 cloudy skies this morning. The temp at the base is 20 degrees. Winds are light at the lodge and higher out on the mountain. They report 5 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. The base is 106 inches at the lodge with more out on the mountain. All lifts are running today. The Bruno, and Pucci chairs, along with the Jeff Flood Express run from 9 am to 4 pm. Molly's Chair and the Stormin' Norman Chair run from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Magic Mile will run until 3 pm. The Palmer Sno Cats are closed. They groomed many of the runs that are open off the Bruno, Pucci, and Jeff Flood Chairs. They have also done some grooming off Stormin Norman, Molly's and Magic Mile. 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. The Thunder, Blossom, Conways,Spraypaint, and Schoolyard Terrain Parks will be open. The highway to the mountain reports packed snow. Chains are required for all vehicles. Vehicles under 10,000 pounds gvw and not towing can use traction tires / studs. Plows and sanders are working. Drive up safely..
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 reports cloudy skies, but the sun is poking through. The temp is 22 degrees at the lodge with light winds. The base is 77 inches at the lodge. All lifts will be open today 9 am to 4 pm including the Hodag Express. All runs and terrain is open. 22 runs were groomed with new over packed powder surfaces. Highway 20 to Hoodoo has packed snow. 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:
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
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:
5 - 6 FEET OF SNOW IN THE LAST 5 DAYS
Mt. Shasta Ski Park is open again this morning. They report low clouds and fog with a temp of 27 at the lodge. Winds are light. The base at the top of Douglas Chair is 120 inches. That is the deepest base they have had in 5 years. All lifts are running from 9 to 4. All runs and terrain are open. 15 runs were groomed with soft packed powder surfaces. If you go off open runs, always go with somebody else or in groups for your safety. There is a lot of soft snow out there. Tree wells are especially dangerous right now. Avoid them. Highway 89 to the Park has chains required for all vehicles from I 5 to McCloud. Chains are also required for all vehicles on Highway 89 coming up from the south from 1.5 miles south of Bartle to 18 miles north of the Highway 299 junction. The access road into the Park requires chains or 4 wheel / all wheel drives with studs.
s not close due to conditions very often. But they are closed today due to winter storm conditions including heavy snow, and whiteouts to near blizzaerd conditions at times. They did report that they have picked up 30 inches of new snow overnight. They hope to be open tomorrow. Forecasts for this coming week show a lot of sunshine in the days ahead.
This is the only seven day a week ski resort 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:
POWDER ALERT! 30 inches of new snow in the last 24 hrs. Heavenly snow continuing to fall this morning. Winds are still moderate on top to around 35 miles an hour. the base is reported at 139 inches. They have 23 lifts ascheduled to run today, but many of them are still in storm recovery mode with delayed openings. 91 runs are open. Grooming was limited to beginner level runs only. The surfaces will be soft packed powder. Otherwise, powderhound's delight with lots, and lots of fresh powder to go around. Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon are open. If you go off open runs anywhere always go with another person or in groups for safety. Both California and Nevada bases are open today. Shuttles are running between them.
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:
POWDER ALERT! 30 inches of new snow in the last 24 hrs. Mammoth still has snow falling this morning. The temp is 17 at Main Lodge. Winds are moderate up to 35 miles an hour up top. The base is reported at 155 inches at Main Lodge and 290 inches on top. 21 of 28 lifts are listed as open today. But, many of the lifts scheduled to be open are on hold due to storm recovery work. All runs and terrain are open. 34 runs were groomed. The surfaces will be new over soft packed powder. If you go off open runs, always go with another person or group. Nver go alone.
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:
101 INCHES OF SNOW STORM TOTAL
POWDER ALERT! 24 inches of new snow in the last 24 hrs. Sugar Bowl is open again and has cloudy skies this morning. Winds are light. The temp at the base is 24 degrees, and 22 degrees up top. The snow pack is 127 inches at the base and 187 up top. 6 lifts are running from 9 am to 4 pm today. 63 runs are open, with 26 runs groomed. The groomed runs have soft packed powder surfaces. Avalanche danger is high. Do not go into any area closed to avalanche danger. Failure to obey closed areas may result in criminal prosecution. If you go off open runs into open terrain, nver go alone. Always go with others.
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 cloudy skies with occasional light flurries. The temp is 32 at the base, and 21 up top. They report an inch of new snow in the last 24 hours, The base is 90 inches at the Village with more on top. 37 lifts are scheduled to be running today. All 200 runs are open. 57 runs were groomed on Blackcomb, and 47 runs were groomed on Whistler. The surface on the groomed runs is packed powder. 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:
POWDER ALERT! 9 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Jackson Hole reports it is snowing hard this morning. The temp is 20 at the base and 15 at the top. Winds are light at the base and breezy up top at 10 - 15 miles an hour. The snow pack is 72 inches at mid mountain, and 110 inches on top. All 12 lifts will be running today. 131 runs are open. 52 of those runs were groomed with new over packed powder surfaces. If you go off open runs, always go with others. 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.