Thanks to abundant snowfall, ski area to remain open an additional two weekends
By Lee Juillerat for Ashland.news
The good news keeps coming for the Mt. Ashland Ski Area.
After announcing last week that the ski-snowboarding area broken its all-time season attendance record, Mt. Ashland managers announced Sunday that its season has been extended to Sunday, April 23, adding two weekends on to a schedule that typically would have ended on April 9.
“With over 278-inches of snow for the season and a snow base more than 10 feet deep, we’re excited to announce we’re extending the season all the way to April 23,” ski area managers said in announcing the new closing day, which is two weeks later than its usual closing date. “The calendar may say spring starts this week, but winter is holding strong.”
The previous record was 106,003 skier-boarder visits in a season and at closing time Saturday, March 18, the ski area had tallied 106,762.
“This season has been historic in several ways,” said Andrew Gast, Mt. Ashland’s general manager. “From our first day of the season, the community has supported the mountain in record numbers. We’ve had outstanding snowfall this winter, we currently have 125 inches of snow on the ground, and that combination of skier support and great snow coverage allows us to stay open a few weeks later. With 24 days of skiing and snowboarding left this winter, the new attendance record will be set very high and we can’t thank the community enough for coming up to the mountain.”
Mt. Ashland will begin its spring events schedule this week, with themed spring break days including a Southern Oregon University Raiders Day on Saturday, March 25, and the annual Dummy Downhill the following Saturday on April 1. A new addition on the calendar is The Great Mt. Ashland Egg Hunt for Easter Sunday. The final day of Mt. Ashland’s winter season is currently set for Sunday, April 23.
“We’re in events season now and have a packed spring break celebration complete with awards for best costumes every day,” Gast said. “So get ready for beer gardens, live music and making turns for weeks to come.”
To help entice skiers and boarders, people can save up to 20 percent by booking ahead on Mt. Ashland’s website at mtashland.com.
After not being held because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Oregon University Raiders Day resumes this Saturday, March 25. All SOU students and alumni are “invited to show off their school spirit to kick-off our spring break celebrations. Join Rocky the Raider in your red and black!” Current students and alumni are eligible for discounted lift tickets and rentals. As part of the celebration, the Danielle Kelly Soul Project will provide live music in the lodge from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit the events page at the website.
A day later, on Sunday, March 26, Deviation Works will offer a demo day. The company, which is based in Portland, will have dozens of models of skis and snowboard for testing. Also being held that day will be “Beach Party in the Snow,” with skiers and boarders urged to wear colorful Hawaiian shirts and “cool shades.” Prizes will be given to people who dress up.
Planned Monday, March 27, is Super Hero Day, with people urged to, “Dress up like your fav super hero while you shred like one.” Games will be available and prizes will be offered to people in costumes.
Thursday, March 30, is Animal Day, when Mt. Ashlanders are urged to dress up as their favorite pets or “creatures.” Pet friends, however, are not allowed.
Activities continue Friday, March 31, with Champions Day. Participants are encouraged to wear jerseys from their favorite sports team. Again, prizes will be offered and games will be held. “Good sportsmanship is encouraged,” organizers add.
Fooling around will be encouraged on Saturday, April 1, with the “Dummy Downhill” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All entrants will receive a prize but the first-place winner will receive a season pass for Mt. Ashland’s 2023-2024 season. Second place will win a $100 Mt. Ashland gift card while third place will earn a $50 Mt. Ashland gift card. Dummies cannot weigh more than 125 pounds, must be mounted on a snowboard or two skis, cannot have glass, ceramic or sharp metal objects, and must be submitted to Mt. Ashland officials by 10 a.m. that morning.
Mt. Ashland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ski area owned and operated by the Mt. Ashland Association under a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service.