Top Stories

The latest news, deals, and events from ski resorts throughout North America.

SnoCountry SnoShots: Pacific Northwest Getting The Goods

SnoShots-Mt-Hood-Meadows

Early on, above-freezing temps kept snowfall down in the Pacific Northwest. But lately, the temps have dropped and the depths have risen. Pacific storms have stayed north, pummeling the Cascades and intermountain region with snowfall measured in feet.

Continue reading
  1424 Hits

Keepin’ The Groove Goin’: Apres Ski Music Scenes In The West

Jackson-Mangy-Moose-Music

Everyone knows what a rush it is to have a full day of skiing and riding, but often you still have the rhythm in your bones even after the lifts close. Enter the apres-ski music scene at mountain resorts.

SnoCountry scanned the West and came up with a sampling of apres-ski spots where the rockin’ goes on long past the final run of the day.

Continue reading
  1303 Hits

More Snowmaking, Access To Lifts Highlight New Season At Mt. Hood Resorts

Timberline-Skiers

The options for skiing and riding in Oregon range from the one-lift town hill to the only year-round mountain in the United States – with all kinds of variety in between.

Continue reading
  1630 Hits

SnoCountry SnoCast: Low Track Coast-To-Coast Storm

mammoth

After an incredible November, more wintry conditions take us into December. We’ll kick it off with a cross-country storm system tracking low across the U.S.

Continue reading
  1963 Hits

SnoCountry SnoShots: The West Is Set To Get It On

Copper-Sign

The snow guns are firin’, the supply chain is hummin’ and everyone is primed for a new ski and snowboard season across the West.

Continue reading
  1419 Hits

Half-Dozen Pacific Northwest Resorts Ready To Drop The Ropes

49-Degrees-Pow

The first snow storms of the 2018-2019 season have coursed across the Pacific Northwest, and a number of resorts are gearing up for November openings.

Continue reading
  1888 Hits

Point And Shoot: Five Photogenic Resorts In The West

Telluride-Town-View

With the proliferation of Smartphones and digital cameras, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to capture the beauty of the West – especially in the mountains.

Continue reading
  1235 Hits

Summit Ski Area Acquired By Timberline Lodge

Summit-Ski-Area-3

The owners of Timberline Lodge & Ski Area on the shoulder on Mount Hood have bought Summit Ski Area, a small, novice-oriented slope about six miles away.

Continue reading
  3006 Hits

Plenty Of Summer Fun At Pacific Northwest Resorts

Crystal-Mountain-View

Summertime at ski and snowboard resorts in the Great Northwest packs in all manner of adventure, food and new perspectives.

Continue reading
  2598 Hits

Endless Winter: Where To Ski This Summer

The-June-shred-is-alive-and-well-at-Mammoth-Facebook

If skiing and riding in the summer is on your bucket list, make it happen this year with options from California to the Southern Hemisphere to the European Alps.

Continue reading
  3477 Hits

Insider’s Guide To Timberline Lodge

Timberline-Lodge-Snow

Iconic mountain lodge has it all. (Timberline Lodge/Facebook)

Only one resort in North America spins its lifts in all four seasons. That’s Timberline Lodge Ski & Snowboard Area, hard on the slopes of Oregon’s Mount Hood and beneficiary of both high elevations and the largesse of the Northern Pacific storms. 

Continue reading
  4579 Hits

Insider's Guide To Mount Bachelor

Bachelor-Boarders

Cutting a deep carve near base of Bachelor. (Mt. Bachelor/Facebook)

Looming into the skies in central Oregon, Mt. Bachelor sits on the east side of the Cascade divide – the dry side – but captures tons of Pacific moisture while still boasting up to 300 days of sun a year.

Continue reading
  5511 Hits

Mountain Solitude: Huts, Yurts Await Backcountry Skiers

Sun-Valley-Yurt

Finding some freshies above Sun Valley. (Sun Valley Trekking/Facebook)

Heading into the backcountry transports skiers and rider into a world of powder, mystery and quiet – especially if the trip includes a night or two out in the woods.

Continue reading
  4659 Hits

Timberline To Open On Weekends

Timberline-Early

Ready to carve the first turns of the season at Timberline. (Timberline Lodge/Facebook)

The ski and snowboard season is officially underway as Timberline on the slopes of Mt. Baker will crank up a chairlift on weekends.

Continue reading
  3290 Hits

Earliest Opening For Mt. Bachelor Terrain Park

Bachelor-Early

Hittin' the early jibs at Mount Bachelor. (Mt. Bachelor)

First-to-be-open honors for the 2017-2018 season may have to go to Mt. Bachelor, as the Oregon mountain dropped the ropes on a terrain park after a foot of early snowfall.

Continue reading
  4444 Hits

Keep On Keepin' On At Western Resorts

Hittin' the summer ski scene at Squaw. (Squaw Valley/Facebook)

Hittin' the summer ski scene at Squaw. (Squaw Valley/Facebook)

After one of the best snow season in recent times, a quartet of Western mountains will keep the lifts turning well into what should be the season for sun-bathing and surfing.

Continue reading
  5160 Hits

Timberline Named Official Training Site For US Ski Team, US Snowboarding, US Freeskiing

Timberline Named Official Training Site For US Ski Team, US Snowboarding, US Freeskiing

Timberline's Palmer Snowfield in February. (Timberline)

Oregon's Timberline Lodge and Ski Area has joined Copper, Mammoth, and Soelden as official U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) training sites.


Home to the Palmer Snowfield, Timberline has long been known as a summer training site for U.S. Olympic athletes.

“Timberline has a long and storied history as a summer training site for The United States Ski Team. From Tony Sailer, Billy Kidd, Steve and Phil Mahre to Ted Ligety; from Cindy Nelson and Picabo Street to Julia Mancuso and Mikaela Shiffrin ... All have trained at Timberline in the summer as well as virtually all other U.S. Olympic Alpine athletes," commends Timberline's president, Jeff Kohnstamm.

US Ski Team at Timberline

Olympic athletes in all disciplines, including alpine racing, snowboarding, freestyle and freeskiing, will participate in summer training at Timberline.

“This partnership really allows us to ramp up what we are dong there, training more extensively, across more teams,” USSA’s  Luke Bodensteiner told SnoCountry.com.

The 2017 summer training season is especially important. The 2018 Winter Olympics, taking place in PeongChang, South Korea, are only a year away.

Palmer Snowfield Timberline

“Getting time on snow in really specialized venues like Timberline are make and break for our team. Creating that access, with priority to training space, bringing teams for pretty extensive periods of time, is going to make a real difference for us in the Olympics,” Bodensteiner told us.

Although it will not eliminate the need for international travel, the ease and accessibility of the Palmer snowfield will mean less time U.S. athletes will have to be traveling for summer training.

Timberline also offers a hard-to-find facility in the summer: a half pipe.

U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing will be training in High Cascade Snowboard Camp's and Windells Camp's terrain parks, where they’ll find a full 22-foot halfpipe, 22-foot pipe with airbag, large jump to airbag, and every type of freestyle feature found in today's top terrain parks. That coupled with camp-specific handle tows will allow team members to access parks without lapping Palmer chair.

  4390 Hits

Variability Marks Pacific Northwest Season So Far

Variability Marks Pacific Northwest Season So Far

Jumpin' at White Pass. (White Pass/Facebook)

The Snow Gods have been spreading the wealth around the country this season, and now is the time for the Pacific Northwest to count its blessings.


After a decent start to the season – though nothing historic -- the ski and snowboard resorts in Washington and Oregon gathered steam in late January and early February. OpenSnow.com reports that the jet stream that dumps on Lake Tahoe, Utah and Southern Rockies has slipped northward – good news from the resorts of the Cascades and beyond – but Pacific storms may soon take a break.

Coverage all over Stevens Pass.

Always critical in the ocean-sensitive Northwest is the rain-snow elevation, but skiers and riders from the region know how to adjust to widely varying conditions.

“Heavy snow, spotty freezing rain, a rain/snow mix (above 5,500 ft.) – then back to snow,” reports OpenSnow’s Larry Schick. “A low with a warm front is moving in from the Southwest. This system is the causing of the variety of precipitation and this wild weather transition.”

Tracks to be made at Snoqualmie.

The first weekend of February brought double-digit snowfalls to many resorts, including Summit at Snoqualmie, Stevens Pass and White Pass with at least three feet. But, again, the threat of thaw has been ever present. At Crystal Mountain, some 250 inches have fallen but the settled base is 77-88 inches.

Great view from Mount Hood Ski Bowl.

In Oregon, a few dumps came early but resorts have had to make do with intermittent snowfall throughout the first two months of the season – and fluctuating temperatures around freezing. For example, Mount Hood SkiBowl reports 209 inches of snowfall this season, settling to about 80 inches of base.

The long-term forecast doesn’t have any major dumps on the horizon, but OpenSnow predicts colder temps and modest snowfall that to keep base depths on the mountain longer.

“Between February 13-17, the western U.S. and most of Canada will experience high pressure, sunshine, and mostly dry weather,” said OpenSnow’s Joel Gratz.



  2250 Hits

New Chair At Mount Bachelor Leads Oregon Upgrades

New Chair At Mount Bachelor Leads Oregon Upgrades

More powder to carve up at Bachelor with new chair lift. (Mount Bachelor/Facebook)

The new chairlift at Mount Bachelor will bring skiers and snowboarders into gladed steeps that previously required a long hike out.


 

The high-speed quad named Cloudcatcher opens up what is known as Low East – a below-treeline area of 635 acres on the volcano’s southeast side. The four-seat detachable lift will rise some 1,400 vertical feet and carry up to 2,400 an hour, and provide lift-access to some six miles of trails and assorted glades on that side of the mountain.

Cloudcatcher’s top terminal will be high enough so that folks can ski or ride over to the Rainbow or Sunrise Express – or get to the Summit Express loading area. It will also eliminate the 15-20 minute hike out of Low East.



Also this summer, crews shortened the Rainbow triple chair to keep its top terminal below treeline.

The new Cloudcatcher chair opens up Low East area on southeast side of the mountain

“The new lift and shorter Rainbow lift will alleviate capacity on the Sunrise Express and spread people over the mountain more quickly,” Mount Bachelor’s Stirling Cobb told SnoCountry.com, noting that a busy day at Bachelor can bring 8,000 skiers and riders onto the slopes. “The new lift also is protected more from the prevailing (northwest) winds that sometimes force us to close the northwest side of the mountain.”

Mount Bachelor is scheduled to open Nov. 25, weather and snow permitting, Cobb told us.

A helicopter places lift tower this summer at Mount Bachelor

Previously, the last lift to go up on the Oregon mountain was a replacement for the Pine Marten chair; before that, the Northwest Express debuted in 1996.

Elsewhere in Oregon, there will be new conveyor lifts at Mount Hood Meadows and Mount Hood Skibowl. At Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood, the second phase of an interior remodel is done in the Wy’East Day Lodge.


  4229 Hits

Portland Cranks Annual Show As Season Nears

Portland Cranks Annual Show As Season Nears

Plenty to buy at deep, deep discounts at the Northwest's biggest pre-winter expo. (Portland SkiFever/Facebook)

The anticipation of a new ski and snowboard season in the Northwest is ramping up – and the 2016-2017 Portland SkiFever & Snowboard Show fits squarely in the middle of the excitement.

Continue reading
  2077 Hits