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No slowing down at Mt. Ashland

Mt. Ashland officials have packed "March Maddness" with family-friendly events to wrap up the ski season.

There's still more snow in the forecast, and the mountain's tentative closure date is Saturday, April 7, General Manager Hiram Towle said, but there might be some bonus days tacked onto the end.

"People need to get up here and get the snow while it’s great," Towle said. "Before you know it, you’ll be mowing your lawn."

He said the mountain will be open and a shuttle bus will operate every day during spring break.

The first event in March is the last Midwinter Jam from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 8. The event is free.

Eric Leadbetter and Friends will perform live music. Sierra Nevada has donated a custom pair of skis and a snowboard for a raffle, and there will be a Moose Munch giveaway.

The event includes Sierra Nevada beer specials and s’mores on the lodge deck.

Night skiing tickets can be purchased for $25.

A rail jam competition will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Lower Left Tempest Terrain Park. Admission to the contest is $10, and prizes from sponsors Blackstrap, REI and Neff await the winners. Registration is from 3 to 5 p.m. in the lodge.

The second event is the Caldera Screamin’ Lizard Classic, scheduled for Saturday, March 9.

Skiers are encouraged to wear a themed costume. This year’s theme is Mardi Gras, and anyone in costume can receive a discounted lift ticket for $30, Towle said.

The event includes two races run on a course set up on the lower Winter trail, an entry into a raffle, as well as beverages and snacks at the after party in the lodge. A pair of skis and other prizes will be raffled.

Prizes for best costume, best air and speed will be awarded at the end of the day.

A beer garden at the base area will feature Caldera beers on tap as well as canned soda.

The event advertises a new open class for non-telemark skiers.

Proceeds from the event benefit the special Olympics.

The last special event of the season is the Dummy Downhill from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

Participants build a dummy atop a pair of skis or a snowboard to get launched off a large jump downhill of the lodge. The event is free to the public.

At 11 a.m., a panel of judges will score the entries on originality, which makes up 50 percent of the overall score. The other half of the score happens on the ramp when judges will score entries based on a straight approach to the jump, the height the entry achieves and the landing.

Registration forms can be found at https://bit.ly/2H04AMy.

Entries must be submitted by 10 a.m. the day of the event.

The entry may not weigh more than 125 pounds, have any sharp or breakable objects attached or involve any fire or explosives.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. contest entries will be displayed on the walkway from the parking lot to the lodge. The contest begins at 1 p.m.

The first-place winner receives a 2019-2020 Mt. Ashland season pass, and second place wins a $100 Mt. Ashland gift card. The third-place prize is yet to be determined.

Towle said there’s a couple of Race League nights left, and they’re still in need of volunteers. The events take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday nights. The last race is March 15.

A spring special for 2019-20 season passes begins April 1 and lasts through the end of the month. Towle said the pricing will be announced April 1.

Passes can be purchased on the website, www.mtashland.com, at the ski lodge, or at the office, 693 Washington St., Ashland.

Towle said that as of Saturday, March 2, 75,856 skier visits had been logged on the mountain in 60 days of operation. The mountain’s yearly average is about 70,000 visits.

“We opened a day early this season, and it’s been a great season ever since,” Towle said.

Contact Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.

Courtesy photoA skier races in the 2017 Screamin' Lizard competition. The 2019 event is Saturday, March 9.
Courtesy photoRacers in the 2017 Screamin’ Lizard competition pose for a picture next to a giant snow lizard.