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Mt. Ashland’s run comes to end for season Saturday

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune The Mt. Ashland Ski Area season ends Saturday. In preparing for next year, a new Magic Carpet Conveyor lift will be installed over the summer.

The downhill ski and snowboard season is coming to an end, but plans are already being made for the winter of 2022-23.

The Mt. Ashland Ski Area will close for the season at 4 p.m. Saturday, while the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, which closed last weekend, is offering several promotions for next season.

At Mt. Ashland, which received only 141 inches of snow this season, which is just over half of average, General Manager Hiram Towle said the area still had a very successful run with more than 92,000 visits, 30% more than average.

He said that because of the north-facing slopes and area’s high elevation, the skiing and snowboarding remained good throughout a relatively dry winter.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune A snowcat buffs out the slopes and fills in the holes at Mt. Ashland, which received only 141 inches of snow this season, just over half of average.

“We want to finish strong with a fun and exciting final day,” Towle said in a news release. “The snowpack is diminishing quickly. With the current forecast, we feel finishing up the season under sunny skies and the good conditions that remain is the only way to go.

“I am proud of our team’s efforts to keep the ski area looking and running as good as it did this season. Despite the challenges of low snow, COVID-19 and a low labor pool, our team really nailed it. Just ask anyone, Mt. Ashland employees are the best, and our guests were thrilled to be here with them."

The closure, however, caused the cancellation of the annual Dummy Downhill sponsored by Valley Immediate Care.

Lifts will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. As an added bonus, live music with Eric Leadbetter playing out on the bar deck will go until 5 o’clock. All services will be available, including lessons, rentals, retail shop, T-bar Lounge and the Granite Grill.

The free shuttle service will continue to run hourly through Saturday, departing from the Ashland Hills Hotel from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served.

Towle said the area is already looking toward next season with a Spring Season Pass Sale that starts April 1. In addition, a new Magic Carpet Conveyor lift will be installed this summer.

“We thank all of our skiers and riders, donors and supporters for another amazing season at our local nonprofit ski area. The camaraderie and stellar vibe continues to grow on the mountain whether it’s a season of big storms or endless sunny days. In the end, we are all here for the same thing. Sliding downhill on snow and spending time with the members of our mountain family.”

At Mt. Shasta, which closed earlier this month, season passes are already on sale. A pass protection program guarantees a 60-day ski season. For each day short of 60, a rollover credit of 1.67% per day will be offered for the 2023-24 season.

Various perks include 50% off hourly snow tubing, 20% off food purchases (not including alcohol) and rentals, waxing services and lessons, plus 10% off in the mountain retail shop. The discounts are for season pass holders only.

The plan also benefits at other resorts, including discounted lift tickets at Mt. Ashland and two to three days of free skiing at Bluewood in Washington, Bogus Basin in Idaho, Snow King in Wyoming, Ski Cooper in Colorado, Lee Canyon and Diamond Peak in Nevada, and Snow Valley in Southern California.

A variety of other plans for adults, families, youth, seniors, seniors plus, golden seniors, tykes and pups are also available.

For more information, visit the Mt. Shasta Ski Park website at thinksnow@skipark.com or call 530-926-8610.

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