Ski area will be open until 4 p.m.; only received half of average snowfall
By Lee Juillerat
The downhill ski and snowboard season is coming to an end Saturday afternoon, March 26, at Mt. Ashland Ski Area, but plans are already being made for the winter of 2022-23.
The ski area will close for the season at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Mt. Ashland received only 141 inches of snow this season, which is just over half of average, General Manager Hiram Towle said, but the area still had a very successful season with more than 92,000 visits, 30 percent more than average. He said that because of the north-facing slopes and area’s high elevation, the skiing and snowboarding remained good throughout a relatively dry winter.
“We want to finish strong with a fun and exciting final day,” Towle said in a news release issued Thursday. “The snowpack is diminishing quickly. With the current forecast we feel finishing up the season under sunny skies and the good conditions that remain, this is the only way to go. I am proud of our team’s efforts to keep the ski area looking and running as good as it did this season. Despite the challenges of low snow, COVID-19, and a low labor pool, our team really nailed it. Just ask anyone, Mt. Ashland employees are the best and our guests were thrilled to be here with them.”
The closure, however, caused the cancellation of the annual Dummy Downhill sponsored by Valley Immediate Care.
Lifts will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. As an added bonus, live music with Eric Leadbetter playing out on the bar deck until 5 o’clock. All services will be available including lessons, rentals, retail shop, T-bar Lounge, and the Granite Grill. The free shuttle service will continue to run hourly through Saturday, departing from the Ashland Hills Hotel from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served.
Towle said the area is already looking toward next season with a Spring Season Pass Sale that starts April 1.
In addition, a new “Magic Carpet Conveyor” lift will be installed this summer. The lift is a conveyor belt that allows people to slide onto the belt and stand on a moving “carpet.” A $250,000 fundraising drive was accomplished in only three weeks. The carpet is expected to attract more beginners who might otherwise be intimidated by a rope tow.
“We thank all of the skiers and riders, donors, and supporters for another amazing season at our local nonprofit ski area,” Towle said in the release. “The camaraderie and stellar vibe continues to grow on the mountain, whether it’s a season of big storms or endless sunny days. In the end, we are all here for the same thing. Sliding downhill on snow and spending time with the members of our mountain family.”
Email freelance writer Lee Juillerat at firstname.lastname@example.org.