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Mt. Ashland still lacks enough snow to open

Recent storms didn't bring enough snow for the Mt. Ashland Ski Area to open this week as many skiers and snowboarders had hoped.

The ski area had accumulated six inches of snow on Monday after clouds brought rain to the valley and snow to the mountain late last week and over the weekend.

Ski officials had hoped that a foot or more of snow might fall during the weekend, which would have allowed them to open some lifts and runs this week.

In the midst of an unusually dry winter, the ski area has yet to open.

The National Weather Service is forecasting mostly clear, sunny weather in the Siskiyou Mountains through most of this week, with clouds returning on Friday and a chance of snow on Saturday.

"We're just waiting on Mother Nature to cooperate and bring more snow," Ski Area General Manager Kim Clark said.

Full-time staff members have been laid off for several weeks and seasonal employees have yet to work, except for training in early December.

The ski area has lost about one-third of its income for the season because it hasn't been able to open.

It also would have paid out more than $190,000 in payroll to workers by now under normal conditions, ski officials said.

The ski area usually opens in mid-December and closes in mid-April.

Ski officials thanked supporters who came to a Pray for Snow Party on Saturday, which featured deep discounts on gear in the retail shop, a barbecue and music by the bluegrass group Eight Dollar Mountain.

The Mt. Shasta Ski Park in Northern California also remains closed due to a lack of snow.

The Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort is open with a base snow depth of 64 inches and a mid-mountain depth of 78 inches as of Monday. The mountain in Central Oregon received 40 inches of snow during the past seven days.

— Vickie Aldous