Mount Ashland Opening

Mount Ashland snowboarder

After a multiple season dry spell Mount Ashland is covered in snow and ready for a full winter of skiing and snowboarding.

While still not a confirmed opening date, Mt. Ashland Development Director Michael Stringer feels “optimistic” about being able to meet their projected opening date of December 12.

This year has some promising pricing accommodations for students. For the uninitiated (and those who, like me, missed the Gear Swap last week), Mt. Ashland offers a fairly inexpensive way to help first timers decide if they want to invest in
their own equipment.

For $124 each, students will get one Sonnet (beginner lift) ticket and lessons, and then on the following two days, an All Mountain lift ticket. All days include all of the appropriate lessons and a full package of gear rental. Once you’ve completed, you’ll receive a Graduation Gift with a 7 visit lift ticket punch card, FREE rentals, and 25% off Private Lessons for the duration of the season.

The best deal in my opinion, and the favorite of General Manager Hiram Towle, a lifelong skier and fairly recent transplant from the East Coast, is what they like to call Carload Mondays. Every Monday this season you can fill up your car with up to eight (legally seatbelted) friends and classmates, and head up to Mt. Ashland.

Everyone legally seated in the vehicle skis or rides for $99–total. That’s a day on the mountain for $10 per person, just be sure to consider that for your class schedule.

The only thing that could stand in the way of a great season seems to be Mother Nature. Stringer, for his part, stands confident. While acknowledging that he has no “scientific” data  to confirm this, and with only 38 days open last
year (and a total of 0 days open the year before), Stringer is confident that with some help from the tropical storm pattern known as El Nino we are in for a great snow season.

El Nino, the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation , is a bit of a phenomenon. The weather pattern, whose normal activity would mean less snowfall in the Northwest, has brought with it “Ashland’s last two largest snowfall’s on record”. Stringer is confident that this year will be a repeat of the previous two El
Nino cycles.

Mt. Ashland seems to really be preparing for a great season. With the past few days snowfall, and a few new listings for jobs with and eye toward a promising year, things seem to be well on the mountain.