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Mount Ashland waits for snow

Overnight rain brought minimal snow to Mount Ashland, so skiers and snowboarders will have to wait at least until next weekend for their first runs.

Only 1 inch of new snow had fallen overnight, leaving Southern Oregon's neighborhood ski hill 15 to 20 inches short of the snow it needs to open, according to a posting on the ski area's Web site this morning.

There was 12 to 15 inches on the ground around the lodge, and as much as 24 inches up top, according to the Web site snow report. Additional snow is needed to cover rocks and brush at higher elevations.

The storm brought nearly 2 inches of rain to Brookings, but less than a quarter of an inch to Medford.

Snow permitting, the ski area will operate only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 13. Beginning Friday, Dec. 18, the ski area will be open daily through Monday, Jan. 4, and then begin regular Thursday through Monday operations.

Historically, the ski area's average opening date is Dec. 10, although it didn't open until Dec. 20 the past two winters.

All major ski areas in Oregon are open except Mount Ashland. Mount Bachelor had 4 inches of new snow and 38 inches at mid-mountain; Mount Hood Meadows had 1 inch of new and a 47-inch base; and Timberline had 3 inches of new and a 65-inch base.

The Mount Shasta Board & Ski Park's Web cam showed a mix of light snow and bare earth at the lodge.

— Bill Kettler