Mount Ashland's ski area will launch its season this morning with extremely limited operations after a storm overnight dumped piles of new snow in the mountains.

Transportation officials are requiring chains for all but four-wheel-drive vehicles to pass over the Siskiyou Summit on Interstate 5 this morning, and one lane of the ski area's access road has been plowed for skiers and snowboarders.

The ski area received about 2 feet of snow in the past 24 hours, managers say. They are in the process of digging out 6- to 7-foot drifts near the top of the mountain.

The ski area Web site reported this morning that Lower Juliet and Sonnet runs are groomed with powder snow. Managers plan to open the Windsor lift as well, but the snow has not been groomed on that run.

Skiing begins at 9 a.m.

Weather report

National Weather Service snow advisory

- Staff reports