Surprises are funny; they are liked by some and disliked by others. However, I think everyone agrees that we all love a pleasant surprise. Mount Ashland Ski Area was a very, very pleasant surprise. Located 20 minutes south of Ashland, Oregon. Mt. Ashland, at 7500ft, is the highest point in the Siskiyou mountain range and the north facing slopes collect an annual average of 300 inches of snow. There are 23 trails in addition to steep chute riding in its famous bowl. All trails are easily accessed by 4 chairlifts.

The reason why Mt. Ashland is different from most all other ski resorts is that it is run as a non-profit. All profits are fed back into the area helping support long term growth for the area, city of Ashland, and it community.  It always feels good to support any small community but doing it while riding powder makes it awesome!

The locals love to say “If you can ski here, you can ski anywhere”. The fact that 50 percent of the mountain is listed as expert terrain makes the resort tag line “It’s steeper here” aptly fitting. The area called the Cirque Bowl is filled with steep lines along with plenty of air to be grabbed for those with the need for flight and speed. With all the advertising of expert terrain beginners and intermediate riders like my lady might think the area is not suited for them. Wrong! The intermediate and beginner terrain comprises the other 50 percent of the mountain making it enjoyable for all levels of expertise. Alia always sends me to ski the morning by myself allowing me to ski where I want while saving the afternoon for us. I was so excited from skiing the morning I couldn’t wait to pick her up and ski the afternoon together.

“Lovey, why don’t you go ahead and ski by yourself for the afternoon since you are having so much fun” was the response when I phoned to let her know I was coming to pick her up at the Mount Ashland Inn. Immediately my radar went off for two reasons. One, she was excited to ski all morning while getting a chance to take a late morning nap. Two, we both work in sales and know that if it is too good to be true, it generally always is. After a few minutes of prodding out comes the real reason………

Photos courtesy of Lucas Balzer

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