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More eyes on the mountain

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Skiers and snowboarders who grew up in the Rogue Valley remember calling Mt. Ashland’s snow phone over and over because it was busy with other snow enthusiasts finding out how much snow had fallen overnight, but now they can see it for themselves.

The ski area has expanded its information on the snow and mountain report at mtashland.com by adding three new webcams to complement the two already in place that broadcast live views from the lodge and the mountain’s summit.

One of the new views is on top of the Windsor lift loading area looking back onto the hill toward the lodge and Comer chair, with a great view of snow depth and surface conditions.

Another camera is positioned on the maintenance building in the lift base area looking toward the Windsor lift, giving a good overview of how crowded the ski area may be.

The third camera was added to the top of the Comer chair looking downhill onto the lift and into the Rogue Valley, which seems to have the same view a pilot has when making an approach into Medford.

Gary King, head coach for Southern Oregon League of Alpine Racing, said the new cameras help him prepare for a day of training or racing.

“I find the cameras and weather info most useful in how we should layer-up for warmth and maybe which type of goggle lenses to use,” King said.

“The new cameras are a great addition in that you can see the depth of new snow accumulation on new-snow days,” King said. “And you might even spot your friends standing in line later in the day.”

The website’s mountain report gives provides 24-hour, 7-day and season snowfall totals, with depth readings from the summit, mid-mountain and lower areas. It also provides current weather station information showing temperature, wind speed with gusts, wind direction and relative humidity. Those reading are taken from the lodge area above the webcam.

Four of the five cameras were functional Wednesday, but the summit camera was not in use after being “hit with an electrical anomaly.”

In addition to the mountain report, the website provides links to road cameras for travel safety.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune A skier drops down the Windsor lift line Monday morning. A new webcam, one of five now on the mountain, has been placed on the lift.