Dry Year Impacts Mt. Ashland Skiing

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Southern Oregon is on pace for the driest year on record, and right now some businesses are feeling the impact. Mount Ashland currently has very little snow on the slopes.

Mount Ashland typically opens between the first weekend of December and the start of winter break for local schools. This year, however, they’re still waiting for the snow to come.

The slopes will turn 50 in January; the record for late opening is February 17th of 1977. Mount Ashland officials say they are ready to go once they get the needed coverage.

Ideally, 24-30 inches are needed before skiers are welcomed, but right now they are starting from scratch after about 17 inches of dry snow fell earlier this month. On Friday, some season pass holders could be found at local ski shops eager to get going.

“Some people complain that they don’t want to buy a pass because they won’t get their days in and it’s going to cost too much money. Well, I’ve had a pass for so long, that most times I ski three times what it would cost me,” said season pass holder Nancy Cagle

Mount Ashland officials hope to still get a solid 65 to 70 day season once they get up and running. Beginning Monday, the Ashland office will be closed in an effort to control expenses.

Mount Ashland officials say with the current conditions, it will take at least 2 or 3 winter storms to get the lifts back up and running.