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Better late than never: Mt. Ashland is open

It's a day later than expected, but the Mt. Ashland Ski Area lifts are turning. 

"We are open! Sonnet and Windsor lifts are currently operating and Comer lift will be opening soon," a Facebook post from the park reads. "We'll see you on the hill!"

Officials added the Ariel lift will not operate today, and that the upper mountain terrain is closed because of uncertainty regarding snowpack stability. The park will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, then reopen on Thursday. After that, lifts will operate seven days a week through Jan. 2, the release says. 

It's the earliest opening for Mt. Ashland in two years. The park was only open 38 days for the 2014-15 season, which included a closure the full month of January that resulted in layoffs. They did not open during 2013-14. 

Mountain officials announced in a press release that the access road up to the park has been cleared, but is still snow covered. Chains or traction tires are required, the release says. 

Their power is also back on after getting knocked out Sunday — when park officials had originally planned to open — one of the 25,000 temporary electricity casualties from weekend snowfall. 

This morning, the park reported it had received 13 inches of new snow over the past 24 hours. That makes for a total of 53 inches of snow at the base and 55 inches at mid-mountain.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.