5/8 - We can call the situation now headed into the summer season much better. We have resolved the status of most of our ski areas. As you will see below, we are going to rate our ski areas now as most likely to re open, and least likely to. This will encompass four ski areas total. The four that would be running at this time of the year in a normal situation.
MOST LIKELY TO RE OPEN FOR THE SUMMER SEASON...i.e. CAMP SEASON ;
TIMBERLINE RESORT INFORMATION:
EXPECT A REOPENING AS SOON AS THEY ARE CLEARED TO DO SO
Timberline has already announced they will re open for the summer season just as soon as they are cleared to do so. They are working up a new operating plan right now looking to get state approval to be open as soon as possible. They will be running Magic Mile and the Palmer Lift once they do re open. And, expect to see summer season operating hours.
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.
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN INFORMATION:
CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.......BUT A RE OPENING IS EXPECTED FOR THE UPPER MOUNTAIN TERRAIN FOR CAMPS
Mammoth is stating they do intend to re open once they have clearance to do so. However, once that happens, it is likely that Mammoth is looking just to have operations to serve the camps scheduled for the mountain through July.
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.
WHISTLER BLACKCOMB, BRITISH COLUMBIA INFORMATION:
CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE......BUT A RE OPENING IS EXPECTED AS SOON AS THE BRITISH COLUMBIA PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT SIGNS OFF ON IT.
Whistler Blackcomb has announced their intention to be open to serve the camps scheduled there through July. That includes the Canadian national team camps in May, June, and early July. It sounds like British Columbia is making moves to allow Whistler to get open sooner rather than later. But, there is still a process to go through here. And, no clear picture of how long that would take.
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.
LEAST LIKELY TO RE OPEN
MT. BACHELOR INFORMATION:
CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE......a re opening for skiing and snowboarding looking unlikely
Mt. Bachelor at least has the glimmer of possibility to re open. If the Healy and or Pape' Families still owned the mountain, it is far more likely that it would re open at some point here. But, it is Corporately owned now. And that clouds the picture. As does the fact that they typically are running weekends only in May, and usually close on Memorial Day. That is two weeks away. While Oregon Governor Kate Brown stated that ski areas could re open contingent on developing safe operation plans, she also is carrying forward the bans of gatherings of more than 25 people through at least Memorial Day. All things considered, it is looking to be a long shot now for Bachelor to re open. And, Bachelor has still not said a definitive word about their summer operations at this time including the Mtn. Biking operations and the dining in the Pine Marten Lodge on weekends.
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.
CLOSED FOR THE SEASON:
Mt. Ashland information:
Due to the Corona virus situation, Mt. Ashland ceased operations for the season. They are already selling season passes for 2020/2021 season through the Business office and on the website linked above. The mountain itself remains open for those who want to hike for their turns, or for those wanting to do some sledding. There are NO services, including restrooms. If you get hurt, help will be a long time in coming. Sno Park permits required in the parking lot through April 30th. No sno park permits are sold at the mountain. You must have them when you come up.
MT. SHASTA SKI PARK INFORMATION:
Due to the Corona virus situation, Mt. Shasta Ski Park ceased operations for the season. The Ski Park is on private land and is closed. No trespassing is allowed. You will be charged with criminal trespass for entering the Park when it is not open.
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. During the regular ski season, they are the only seven day a week ski area between Tahoe and Mt. Bachelor. They have night skiing Thursday through Saturday nights, and then again on holiday nights. There are a total of three chairs and two surface lifts 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.
HOODOO SKI RESORT INFORMATION:
Due to the Corona virus situation, Hoodoo has ceased operations for the season. The butte itself remains open for those who want to hike for their turns, or for those wanting to do some sledding. There are NO services. If you get hurt, help will be a long time in coming. Sno Park permits required in the parking lot through April 30th. No sno park permits are sold at the mountain. You must have them when you come up.
Founded in 1938, Hoodoo is Central Oregon’s original ski area. Hoodoo sits on the summit of Oregon’s Santiam Pass on Hoodoo Butte, 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. They operate Thursdays through Mondays and on holidays if they fall on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
WILLAMETTE PASS INFORMATION:
Willamette Pass 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. In ski season they are open Wednesdays through Sundays and holidays. 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. Willamette Pass does not accept cash. You must have a credit card, debit card, or a pre paid cash card.
WARNER CANYON SKI AREA INFORMATION:
Warner Canyon is a very rare exception on this list. They did not close early because of the Corona virus. They were already closed for the season. They closed early because of low snow pack. They had a great season while they were open with a lot of visitors. They also had their first ever night skiing sessions. You can expect to see those in the future as the ones they did were very popular.
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 Tall Town Bike and Camp at 19 North E St, 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.
MT. HOOD MEADOWS INFORMATION:
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.
HEAVENLY SKI AREA INFORMATION:
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 is a favorite of mine from my early skiing days. Sugar Bowl is celebrating 80 years of operation this season. 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.
SQUAW VALLEY INFORMATION:
Squaw Valley is one of America's premier ski resorts. It hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and has been the scene of many top level ski races and snowboard competitions. In years with good snowfall, Squaw Valley will have one of the longest ski seasons in California, or anywhere for that matter. Getting turns in with the calendar saying July can happen. It will happen this year. Squaw is very popular with skiers and riders from all over California and also from the Reno area. It is also a major destination resort for skiers and riders from all over the world. Even though lift ticket prices in the main winter season are very spendy, you will still encounter crowds here when the snow is good.
JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING INFORMATION:
Jackson Hole had intended to have a short term closure of a week to 10 days due to the Corona virus. But, when the Wyoming Health Authority extended the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people until mid April, they closed for the season. Jackson Hole has a set policy of closing on the first Sunday in April every season regardless of snow pack.
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.