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It’s all downhill from here

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Mt. Ashland Ski Area is set to open Saturday, and some other ski areas in the region are open too
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneJeff Anderson of Eagle Point makes turns down the Pistol slope during opening day at Mt. Ashland Dec. 18, 2020. The ski area opens Saturday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneKirk Austbo and Tom Beam are all smiles behind face masks getting the first chair ride on the Windsor lift during opening day at Mt. Ashland last December.
Larry Turner photo Lee Juillerat heads down the slopes at Ski Shasta last winter.
Lee Juillerat photo A snowboarder makes tracks in the powder at the Warner Canyon Ski Area.

‘Tis the season to go downhill skiing and snowboarding.

That’s possible beginning today at some ski areas, including the Mount Shasta Ski Park near Mount Shasta City in far Northern California and the Mt. Bachelor Ski Area near Bend.

The Mt. Ashland Ski Area will begin its winter season Saturday, as will the Warner Canyon Ski Area near Lakeview.

Weekend hours at Mt. Ashland are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On weekdays beginning Monday through Dec. 31, lifts will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with twilight skiing. Beginning in January, Mt. Ashland will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Weekend and holiday lift tickets cost $64 for youths and adults age 7 to 69, with free skiing for youth up to age 6 and seniors 70 and older. Weekday and non-holiday lift tickets are $57 for adults, $47 for youth 7 to 12 and free for younger and senior skiers and boarders. For updated information, visit the website at www.mtashland.com.

At the Shasta Ski Park, which will begin operating lifts at 9 a.m. Friday, improvements include a new parking lot. Last year there were times when the parking lots were full, causing people to either have to wait for a vacancy or wait for another day. On at least some occasions, would-be Shasta skiers left and drove to other ski areas. In addition, ski park staff have cut down foliage on nine groomed slopes so that it takes less snow to open the runs.

Tickets at Ski Shasta are set at a limited capacity but can be purchased in advance online. Day tickets for adults 13 to 64 cost $79, $64 for seniors 65 and older, and $59 for “pups” age 7 and younger. Half-day tickets are also available, as are multiday tickets. For updated information, visit the website at www.skipark.com.

At Mt. Bachelor, recent snow allowed Wednesday’s opening of the Pine Marten, Little Pine, Sunrise, Alpenglow and Rainbow chairlifts plus five Woodward Mountain parks. Hours through April 24 are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reduced hours of 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will be offered April 25 through May 29, depending on the snowpack. The Nordic Center is also open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 24.

Warner Canyon, located off Highway 140 east of Lakeview, will likely open next weekend and then remain open during the Christmas holidays to Dec. 31, and again Jan. 1-3. After the holidays, the area will be open weekends, and some Fridays, January through March 20. The annual SnoFest Celebration is scheduled Feb. 26.

Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the lodge opening at 8 a.m. The area has a single three-person chairlift. Season passes are available at Tall Town Bike and Camp in downtown Lakeview or at the ski hill lodge. Ski and snowboard instruction program will be offered, with session 1 scheduled to begin Jan. 15 and session 2 beginning Feb. 5.

Warner Canyon day passes cost $40 for adults 19 to 68, $30 for students 13 to 18, $20 for seniors 69 and older and pre-teens age 6 to 12. Children 5 and younger are $10. For updated information visit the website at www.warnercanyonski.com or call 541-947-5001. Warner Canyon has no snow-making facilities and depends on snowfall. Oregon sno-park passes are required in the parking area.

The Cedar Pass Snow Park, 18 miles east of Alturas off Highway 299, is closed and will not open this weekend. More snow is needed, according to Nichole Battram. Once open, Cedar Pass will operate Saturdays, Sundays and some holidays from 10 to 4 p.m. “if we have the volunteers.”

Cedar Pass has a rope tow and a T-bar but no chair lifts. Cross-country skiers can use the park’s lodge and ski area to access the Cedar Creek Interpretive Trail and surrounding meadow and backcountry terrain. For frequent skiers, along with a season pass the area is offering a 10-day punch card. For information on costs and the area’s status, call 530-233-3323 or visit its Facebook page.

Willamette Pass, located off Highway 58 at milepost 62 near the Klamath-Lane County line, will celebrate its 80th anniversary this season. No opening date has been announced. For information, visit the website at willamettepass.com, and for updated snow reports call 541-345-7669.

Reach freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net or 541-880-4139.