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ROGUEWEATHER IS PRESENTED BY:
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.
CONDITIONS FOR 12/11 -
SNOW PARK PERMITS ARE REQUIRED AT ALL OREGON SKI AREAS. YOU MUST HAVE THEM. So just purchase a season snow park permit and say yourself a lot of money, time, and hassle.
SOUTHERN OREGON AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA:
MT. SHASTA SKI PARK INFORMATION:
Mt. Shasta Ski Park has announced they will open for the season tomorrow. They intend to be at 100 percent operation with all lifts turning. At last report they had a State of Jefferson best snowpack of 30 inches at the top of Coyote. They have been making snow down low near the lodge. The best news of all is that more snow is on the way stretching through next week! The opener looks as though it is going to be a GREAT one! Make your plans to be there.
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 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. ASHLAND INFORMATION:
Mt. Ashland is open for the season. But, it is closed today and Wednesday.
Established in 1964, Mt. Ashland is what it is. A community ski area. It is a very compact layout. Mt. Asland has four chair lifts and a rope tow serving 22 runs and a Bowl or Cirque at the top of the Ariel Chair. Within that layout lies some of the most challenging terrain that exits. This is the reason it has been said that if you can ski or ride at Mt. Ashland, you can ski or ride anywhere. There is an area right at the lodge served by the Sonnet lift and the rope tow, suitable for the novice and beginner level skiers and riders. The lodge has undergone renovations making it even more user friendly. All services have been consolidated into the lodge. They do have a ski school to help skiers and riders get started, or to improve their abilities to unlock that great skier or rider inside. They do offer rentals of equipment. But, if you are planning to rent, you may want to rent before you get to the mountain. Busy days can see them run completely out of equipment. Mt. Ashland is typically open by early December and then will run into April. Night skiing is offered January through early March on Thursday and Friday nights. They operate Thursdays through Mondays. They will be open daily for Christmas Vacation and also for Spring Break.
MT. BACHELOR INFORMATION:
Mt. Bachelor reports a mix of rain, snow, and freezing rain today. The temp is 32 degrees at West Village and 30 at mid mountain. Winds are moderate to 45 miles an hour at mid mountain. There was 3 inches of new in the last 24 hours. The base is 26 inches at West Village and 34 inches at mid mountain. Four lifts will operate today 9 am to 4 pm. Pine Marten, Skyliner, Sunshine Acclerator, and Sunrise Express. 47 runs are open. 22 runs are groomed with machine tilled surfaces. You are advised to stay on open runs only due to low snow pack and unmarked hazards everywhere with the early season conditions. Beware of unmarked obstacles in the open runs too. The Cone is open for those who want to hike for their turns. If you go into areas off the open runs, never go alone. Always go with others. Ski and ride with care.
The Nordic Center reports the groomed trail roster is holding steady and includes the Upper Trails, Screamer, Easy Up, Blue Jay's Way, Zig Zag, and the "Rabbit Ears". The 8 AM conditions measure 25.2* air temperature, 23.7* snow temperature, and 85% relative humidity.
West Village base has everything open today, including the tubing center. The bathrooms are open in both Pine Marten Lodge, and the Sunrise Lodge, but that is all that is open. Skyliner parking lot will be open for those who have a valid, activated season pass. The bathrooms there are open. The road to the mountain has patches of packed snow and black ice. Chains are required for vehicles towing from mile post 9 to mile post 22. Plows and sanders have been working. Carry chains and drive up with care.
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 keeps 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 in skier surveys 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 freezing mist/rain today. The temp at the lodge is 33 degrees and winds are light. There was 3 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. The base is 27 inches at the lodge with more out on the mountain. Two lifts, Bruno and Pucci are running 9 am to 4 pm today. Molly's Chair and Stormin' Norman will run 9 am to 3:30 pm. The Schoolyard Terrain Park is open. Terrain is limited with just a few runs open. Early season conditions with lots of marked and unmarked hazards. Stay in open areas only. Do not go into unopened areas due to the low snowpack and hazards. Highway 26 has bare pavement now. The Timberline Highway has snow pack breaking up and spots of ice. Plows and sanders are working. Carry chains, and drive with caution.
Timberline 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 August. 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 INFORMATION:
Mt. Hood Meadows reports rain at the base and snow up top. The temp at the base is 36 degrees and it is 31 degrees at the top of Cascade Express. Winds are high to 45 miles an hour at the top of Cascade Express. There was 2 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. The snow pack is 25 inches at the base and 39 inches at mid mountain. 5 lifts will be running 9 am to 4 pm today including the Mt. Hood, and Shooting Star Express lifts. The Cascade and Vista Express lifts are on wind holds. Terrain is limited due to the low snow pack. There are marked and unmarked obstacles all over so ski and ride with care. Avoid closed areas due to hazards. Highway 35to the mountainhas snow pack breaking up at Bennett Pass, and spots of ice at White River Pass. Plows and sanders are working. Drive with caution.
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:
Hoodoo is closed today through Thursday. They are operating Fridays through Sundays until Christmas Vacation. They will be open daily then.
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:
Willamette Pass is now open for the season. They will be running Fridays through Sundays until Christmas vacation. Here is the information you MUST know before going up there. And let's start right with the big one!
Willamette Pass Resort is now “Cashless”. Willamette Pass Resort does not accept cash, American Express, or personal checks.
Willamette Pass Resort accepts only the following payment methods at all locations:
For customers without a credit or debit card, purchase a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover branded reloadable gift card at the retail outlet of your choosing. This is a major thing to know because it is a very long way to any town where you could find a suitable gift card for use at Willamette Pass.
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.
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN INFORMATION:
Mammoth reports sunny skies. Winds are light. The temp is 35 at Main Lodge and 31 at the Summit. The base is 40 inches at Main Lodge and 60 inches at the Summit. 25 lifts are running today until 4 pm. 111 of 154 runs are open at this time. 71 runs were groomed last night with machine tilled surfaces. Terrain is open, but use extreme caution though as there are numerous unmarked hazards. 6 of 7 terrain parks 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 INFORMATION:
Heavenly reports 34 degrees with rain at the base and snow up top. Winds are moderate to 25 miles an hour. The snow pack is 22 inches at the Gondola base. The Gondola is providing the access to the open terrain on the mid and upper mountain from the California side, and Stagecoach has the access from the Nevada base which is now open for the season. 16 lifts are running from 9:00 am to 4 pm, 35 runs are open and 18 groomed with machine packed and tilled surfaces. There are marked and unmarked obstacles in them. Ski and ride with care. There is very limited off run terrain open due to low snow and numerous hazards. Please stay in open areas. Never ski or ride alone off open runs. The tubing center and lift is open today from 9 am to 4 pm.
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:
Sugar Bowl reports cloudy skies this morning. The temp at the base is 25 degrees and it is 42 degrees up top. Winds are light. The snow pack is 20 inches at the base and 42 inches up top. 9 lifts will be running from 9 am to 4 pm today. 91 runs are open with 37 of them groomed. The groomed runs have machine tilled surfaces. The open runs will have marked and unmarked hazards. If you go off open runs into open terrain, always do it with friends. Ski and ride with care.
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.
CANADA AND WYOMING
WHISTLER BLACKCOMB, BRITISH COLUMBIA INFORMATION:
POWDER ALERT! 7 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. Whistler Blackcomb reports snow coming down today. The temp is 32 degrees at the base and 21 up top. Winds are moderate to 30 miles an hour up top, breezy to 15 miles an hour at mid mountain, and calm from mid mountain down. The base is 38 inches at the Village. 12 lifts are running today from the top to the bottom with 33 runs open and 23 groomed. The surface of the groomed runs is new over soft packed powder. Early season conditions are everywhere. Do NOT go into closed terrain due to low snow with hazards. If you go off open runs never do it alone, always go with others.
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 reports cloudy skies. The temp is 27 degrees at the base and 12 degrees up top. Winds are breezy up top to 15 miles an hour. There was 2 - 5 inches of new snow overnight. The base is 31 inches at mid mountain and 44 inches up top. They are still not to 100 percent operations yet. 9 of 12 lifts are running. 60 runs are open. 30 of those have been groomed with packed powder surfaces. Early season conditions exist, please use caution! And, if you go off open runs, never go alone. Always go with others. There are hazards everywhere due to low snow.
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 five 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. Jackson Hole in the summer makes a great vacation to see Yellowstone and then take in what happens in Jackson. They have concerts all summer long with musical choices from classical to hard rock. They also have theater performances as well. The Tram runs for sightseeing and their restaurant at mid mountain is open for dining. The ski runs become hiking and mtn. biking trails. There is a lot do here anytime of the year.