Skiers and snowboarders at Mount Ashland this morning got what they were hoping for overnight, and a lot more.

Skiers and snowboarders at Mount Ashland this morning got what they were hoping for overnight, and a lot more.

Mount Ashland opened today after receiving 20 inches of snow overnight in a fierce winter storm that left six- and seven-foot drifts on many of the ski trails. Early birds had to struggle with icy pavement on Interstate 5 and a only one plowed lane on the road to the ski area.

By 11 a.m. chain restrictions had been lifted on the freeway.

Total snow depth was 48 inches at the measuring stake near the lodge, but no one had been able to reach the measuring stake near the summit of the 7,500-foot mountain.

The overnight storm was too intense for grooming machines to work, and just two runs were groomed when the chairlifts started running at 9 a.m.

The Sonnet and Comer chair opened on time, but ski area managers said the Windsor chair would have a delayed opening and the Ariel chair to the summit would not operate today.

— Bill Kettler