“Please dear Lord let the snow levels match my stoke level this winter!”, says SOU senior Daniel Hamblin. After a seemingly snowless season last year students anticipate a white winter this year. There is certainly a buzz around campus about this dream of real snow.
That buzz doesn’t go without merit. “Winter is right around the corner and this year El Niño is going to be a major player in the winter weather,” says Winter Weather Expert Tom Niziol from the Weather Channel. El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, which can increase rainfall and snow for the winter season. According to the National Weather Service, “There is an approximately 95% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, gradually weakening through spring 2016”.
OK so what does this mean for Ashland?
Mt. Ashland is SOU’s closest mountain to ride, and it’s already getting blanketed with snowfall. The mountain stands 7,533 feet in elevation with about 200 acres of riding territory. “It’s accessible, and an easy day trip”, says Hamblin. Grinning with the thought Hamblin also mentions, “Dream is my favorite run to snowboard”.
Mt.Ashland is scheduled to open up December 12th this season. As far as a mountain report goes within the past seven days “Mount A ” has received 3 inches of snow and a season total of 10 inches so far. You can also check out the Webcams that show a live feed of the mountain top. The National Weather Service forecast that Wednesday and Thursday of this week have a 40% chance of snow on the mountain. You can also check out Mt.Ashland’s website for more information regarding the mountain including season passes.
SOU junior, Laura Mercer, also anticipates booting up the hill. “I’ve been doing the snow dance since July”, says Mercer. She has been snowboarding for more than six years, and is currently pursuing a job up at Mt. Ashland this winter. When asked what she thinks of when she hears the word snow Mercer replies, “I think of freedom”.