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 update for Monday March 18th
SNOW PARK PERMITS ARE REQUIRED AT ALL OREGON SKI AREAS. YOU MUST HAVE THEM. So just purchase a season snow park permit and save yourself a lot of money, time, and hassle.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND SOUTHERN OREGON:
Before you head up to the slopes, make sure you are geared up! Our sponsors Black Bird Shopping Center in Medford is THE place to rent your skiing and snowboarding gear. They also rent cross country equipment. The last thing you want to do is head up to go enjoy shredding snow only to find out when you get to the ski area they have rented out all the gear you needed. That happens frequently on busy days too. Especially at the the local ski area Mt. Ashland. But, stopping in at Black Bird takes care of it. You can also get the snow park permit you are required to have to park at any snow play area in Oregon. Click on their banner above to find Black Bird on West Main Street.
If you want to purchase equipment for alpine, cross country, or mountaineering skiing or snow boarding, Rogue Ski Shop is your stop. They have a great selection to fit all ability levels. They are the pros at making sure you have the right boots fitting you too. That is the most important part of all because that is your steering and control system. Click their banner above to find them. For Mt. Ashland information including conditions for the day, click here. Night skiing will happen on Thursday and Friday nights until 9 pm through early March.
MT. SHASTA SKI PARK INFORMATION:
Mt. Shasta Ski Park has another beautiful sunny today. The temp at the lodge is 50 degrees. Winds are calm. The snow pack is reported at an estimated 11 feet at the top of Coyote and 5 feet at the lodge. All 3 chair lifts are running today 9 am until 4 pm. The Moving Carpet surface lift will run 9 am to 4 pm. All runs and terrain are open. 18 runs were groomed last night. The surfaces will be spring condition machine power tilled. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. The lodge and all services in it are open. The Tubing Hill is closed today. Highway 89 to the mountain and the Access Road have bare pavement. Carry chains and drive with care,.
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, then 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.
WARNER CANYON SKI AREA INFORMATION:
OPEN FOR THE FINAL TWO DAYS OF OPERATION FOR THE SEASON THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Warner Canyon is a completly unique experience in skiing in Oregon. It is a privately owned ski area that is operated by the citizens of Lakeview and Lake County who become members of the ski club. Every person working there is a volunteer. The ski area is open weekends, federal holidays, and of course Christmas Vacation provided there is enough snow. They have one chair lift which is a triple chair. There are 21 runs of which 11 are advanced/expert level, 5 are intermediate, and 5 are beginner. The average snow pack when they are open is 20 - 36 inches. They do have ski patrol on duty when they are open. Rentals are available in Lakeview at M& B Ski Shop which is at 4 North E Street, which is just a short drive away. They do have food and beverage services, but tailgating in the parking lot and at the lodge is a time honored tradition here. There will be years where Warner does not open at all. I can think of no other ski operation in the US that can tolerate years of not being open. But, Warner does just that. When the snow is deep enough, it is time to play! This ski area is truly kept alive through the love of a small town.
WHEN THE SLOPES BEAT YOU UP
MT. BACHELOR INFORMATION:
Mt. Bachelor reports very sunny skies this morning. The temps are 37 degrees at West Village and 31 degrees at mid mountain. Winds are moderate at mid mountain. The snow pack is 113 inches at West Village and 128 inches at mid mountain. 8 lifts are running today 9 am until 4 pm. Carrousel, Rainbow, and Red are closed. 112 runs are listed as open. 68 runs were groomed with spring condition machine tilled surfaces. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently. Uphill travel is allowed on the Cone. Stay in the travel path please.
The Nordic Center reports that at 8 am this morning they had an air temp of 30.6*, the snow temp is 23.2*, and the RH is 79%.. The groomer's report there is skate corduroy and classic tracks throughout the system, except for Leslie's Lunge.
The West Village base is in full operation today except the Sno Blast Tubing Center which is closed. Pine Marten Lodge is in full operation except Scapolos which is closed. The Sunrise Lodge is in full operation. The parking lot at Skyliner is open for season pass holders. The restrooms there are open. There are no daily ticket sales there. The Race Center, (old Blue Lodge), is open with parking there for season pass holders. There are no ticket sales to the puiblic there. The restrooms at the Race Center are open. The Mart is closed. Century Drive from Bend and South Century Drive from Sunriver to the mountain has bare pavement. Carry chains and drive 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 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 sunny skies this morning...but winds are ripping! The temp is 38 degrees at the lodge. Winds are moderate at the lodge at 25 to 30 miles an hour and higher out on the mountain. The snow pack at the lodge is 137 inches at the lodge with more out on the mountain. 5 lifts are scheduled to be open today. The Bruno, Pucci and Jeff Flood Express chairs from 9 am to 4 pm, and Molly's chair and the Stormin' Norman chair from 9 am to 3:30 pm. However, due to winds....Bruno and Stormin Norman are on holds. Magic Mile is closed due to winds today. They did groom last night. The groomed runs will have spring condition machine tilled surfaces. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently. ALL Terrain Parks are open. Highway 26 and the Timberline Highway report bare pavement. Carry chains and drive up 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 sunny skies this morning. and winds are ripping here too. The temp is 41 degrees at the lodge and 32 degrees at the top of Cascade Express. Winds are are strong reaching 35 to 40 miles an hour. The snow pack at the lodge is 118 inches, with 172 inches at mid mountain. 8 lifts are open today 9 am to 4 pm. That includes the Heather Canyon chair, and the Casacde and Vista Express lifts. Winds are going to dictate operations. All runs and terrain are open. They did groom runs across all ability levels last night and this morning. The groomed runs will have spring condition machine tilled surfaces. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently. Highway 35 has bare pavement at White River Summit from Highway 26, and spots of ice in shaded areas coming up from Hood River at Bennett Pass. Sanders are working. Carry chains and drive up 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 reports low clouds and foggy conditions this morning. The temp at the lodge is 34 degrees, and at the top of the Butte it is 25 degrees. Winds are high up top to 45 miles an hour. The snow pack is 96 inches at the lodge. 4 lifts are running 9 am to 4 pm today. Hodag Express is closed. 25 runs are open with 19 groomed. The surfaces are machine power tilled. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently. The lodge and its services are open. The Snow Bunny Sledding Hill is open. Tickets are $5. The Autobahn Tubing Center is open Fridays through Sundays 10 am to 4 pm. Tickets are $10. Highway 20 to Hoodoo has spots of ice. Deicers and sanders are working. Carry chains and drive up with caution.
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 MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS ON REGULAR SCHEDULE
Here is the information you MUST know before going up there.
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 Willamette Valley, and Coos and Douglas Counties. They also see a lot of visitors from Northern Klamath County and Deschutes County. Willamette Pass has a total of 4 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 entire 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 to visit soon. 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 gorgeous clear skies this morning. The temp is 36 degrees at Main Lodge and 28 degrees at the Summit. Winds are light under 10 miles an hour top to bottom. The snow pack is reported as 160 inches at Main Lodge, and 230 inches at the Summit. 24 out of 25 lifts are open. 156 of 157 runs are reported open this morning. 83 runs were groomed last night. The groomed runs will have machine tilled surfaces. The surfaces will be very firm in the morning and then get spring like in the afternoon. All 7 Terrain Parks are open. 1 of 3 halfpipes are open. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently. The lodges and all services 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 beautiful sunny skies this morning. The temp is 36 degrees at the Gondola base. Winds are light. The snow pack at the Gondola base is 96 inches. 25 of 28 lifts are open. Only 3 surface lifts are closed. 100 percent of terrain and runs are open. They did groom 64 runs last night. The groomed runs will have machine tilled surfaces. The surfaces will be very firm in the morning and then get spring like in the afternoon. The Mott and Killebrew Canyons are open. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently. The lodges and all services 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:
Sugar Bowl reports sunny skies this morning. The temp is 26 degrees at the base and 35 degrees up top. Winds are very light under 5 miles an hour at the base and breezy to 15 miles an hour up top. The snow pack at the base is 138 inches, and 214 inches up top. 11 of 13 lifts are open today. 102 runs are open with 51 groomed last night. The groomed runs will have machine tilled surfaces. The surfaces will be very firm in the morning and then get spring like in the afternoon. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently. The lodges and all services are open.
Sugar Bowl is a 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 off 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:
Whistler reports beautiful sunny skies this morning. The temp is 41 degrees at the Village and 37 degrees on the upper mountain. Winds are breezy to 15 miles an hour at upper mountain level, and calm elsewhere. The snow pack at mid mountain is 97 inches. All lifts are open today except Franz Chair on Whistler Mountain and the Horstmann T bars on Upper Blackcomb Mountain. 232 of 240 runs are open. They did groom 99 runs last night. The groomed runs will have machine tilled surfaces. The surfaces will be very firm in the morning and then get spring like in the afternoon. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Beware of marked and unmarked hazards. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently. The lodges and all services are open.
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 sunny skies this morning. The temp is 31 degrees at the base and 25 degrees at the Summit. Winds are very light top to bottom under 5 miles an hour. The snow pack at mid mountain is 92 inches, and 110 inches up top. All 12 lifts are open. 117 runs are open. They did groom 46 runs last night. The groomed runs will have machine tilled surfaces. If you go off open runs never go alone, always go with others. Be alert for unmarked hazards. With an increasing sun now, unmarked hazards will be appearing more frequently.The lodges and all services are open. I see that this is still posted....."Please be cautious and do not approach wildlife. There have been multiple moose roaming the base area and lower mountain." Be heads up for this for sure. Moose are very tempermental beasts. They attack more people every year than bears do. You really want to give them plenty of space.
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.