Great news for skiers and snowboarders across Oregon: NOAA is predicting La Niña conditions with cooler, wetter weather in the forecast for the Pacific Northwest winter season. The positive winter forecast is of course tempered by the current COVID-19 situation. Fortunately, Oregon ski areas are implementing plans and protocols to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 to ensure a safe winter season. Despite the challenges, there’s plenty to be excited about with new lodges, upgraded lifts and increased operations at many Oregon ski areas. Check out some of the newer offerings below.
Timberline Lodge & Ski Area has upgraded the popular Pucci Chairlift from a triple chair to a high-speed detachable quad. This upgrade increases uphill capacity with a new top terminal for speedy unloading. The Pucci Chairlift services beginner and novice terrain with some lower intermediate terrain, reducing ride time from approximately 6.5 minutes to 4.5 minutes. With the addition of this new detachable quad, the entire Timberline Ski Area is now served by four place chairs. The resort continues to refine its COVID-19 operating plan to manage capacity and safety with updates available on the Timberline Lodge & Ski Area website.
Mt. Hood Skibowl has added a new lodging partner, Lake Simtustus Resort & Marina in Central Oregon, located just 58 miles east of Government Camp, less than two hours from Portland, and only one hour from Bend. The resort offers eleven, fully-furnished Tiny Homes in addition to 75 RV sites with full hook-ups. The resort continues to refine its COVID-19 operating plan to manage capacity with new procedures for reservations and online ticket sales this season, more information is available at Mt. Hood Skibowl website.
Mt. Hood Meadows is unveiling the new 23,500 square-foot Sahale Lodge this December. The lodge includes 10,000 square-feet for restaurants and seating. The ground floor of the lodge will house equipment rentals and the Meadows Learning Center. The $15-million project also includes two acres of additional parking. The resort has relocated RV parking and introduced enhanced drop-off zone and new shuttling protocols for the season to streamline the arrival process. The resort continues to refine its COVID-19 operating plan to manage capacity and safety with updates available on the Mt. Hood Meadows website.
Hoodoo Ski Area has a new 200-foot long carpet lift. This new conveyer lift offers novice skiers and snowboarders easy access up the slope to the east of Easy Rider. Hoodoo will also be open Wednesdays this season, which will increase night skiing to four weekly sessions, from Wednesday through Saturday night, with day skiing Wednesday through Monday.
Ski Resort Season Pass Sales
Season pass sales are already in full swing at Oregon ski areas, with the best prices offered before the lifts start spinning. Many resorts are limiting their day tickets sales to manage visitation in response to COVID-19, as such it’s a great season to be a season-pass holder. In lieu of season kick-off parties this season, resorts are offering season pass renewals and new purchases directly online.
- Mt. Bachelor season passes are on sale with a range of offerings for children through adults and seniors. Choose from either a full-season pass or a midweek-only pass. For 2020/21 season, Mt. Bachelor has introduced the Passholder Promise with added COVID-19 coverage in case of closures or reduced operations. The resort will open for the season on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020 (or Dec. 11 for non-pass holders). This season the resort is revising the operating plan for COVID-19 to manage capacity and safety with a new parking reservation system. More information is available at the Mt. Bachelor website.
- Timberline Lodge & Ski Area season passes are on sale through Nov. 8, 2020 (with the exceptions of the midweek plus pass, which will be available for sale into the winter). The resort is offering two groups of sales windows this winter —Group 1 for prior passholders and a limited number of Group 2 passes for new passholders. Timberline is also offering the Fusion Pass, which includes lift access to Mt. Hood Skibowl, plus Powder Alliance benefits including 51 free days at 17 other ski areas. Timberline pass options include a full season pass, a Timberline Midweek Plus Pass, a Parenthood pass allowing parents to trade off use of the pass, and the spring pass (details TBA).
Timberline will offer only the Midweek Plus Pass for $549 after Nov. 8. Ski and ride weekdays until March 26, 2021 (Mon-Fri except peak dates). The pass ‘pluses’ to an unlimited pass through March 31, 2021.
- Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort season passes are on sale now with a variety of passes offered for families, adults, military, college students and more. Passes are available for purchase online through a new contactless Season Pass System. All day tickets will also be sold online and are available for advanced purchase beginning December 1, 2020. ALMR is operating with new COVID protocols in place including limiting lodge usage, managing capacity and, unfortunately cancelling cat-skiing for the season.
- Mt. Hood Meadows 2020/21 Value, All Access, Night and Nordic passes are on sale with early season pricing extended through November 8, 2020. The passes offer mountain access during non-peak days with the option to upgrade to include peak access days. The resort has implemented a 100 Day Guarantee – guaranteeing high-speed quad operations at least 100 days next season or pass holders will receive credits toward the following years season pass. The resort also has a worst case guarantee in place offering full pass refunds in the event operations are cancelled altogether. These guarantees are in addition to updated parking and shuttling options and metered lift tickets sales throughout the day. The resort scheduled opening is Friday, November 27, 2020.
- Mt. Hood Skibowl is offering the Fusion Pass good at both Skibowl and Timberline, available through Nov. 8, 2020. Or a standalone Skibowl pass at reduced Tier 2 prices through Nov. 26, 2020. The Fusion Pass also includes Powder Alliance benefits including 51 free days at 17 other ski resorts.
- Mt. Ashland season passes are on sale with a range of prices for adults, seniors, junior, youth, child, adaptive and college. Pass holders also receive discounts at Anthony Lakes, Bogus Basin, Mt. Shasta, Diamond Peak & Bluewood ski areas as well. Due to COVID-19, the resort will only be operating the Lodge for rentals and ski school. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and use their vehicle as their personal lodge.
- Hoodoo Ski Area is offering a 2020/21 season pass good for skiing, snowboarding, tubing hill or snowbiking all you want (equipment not included). Hoodoo is also part of the Indy Ski Pass with access to 50+ resorts across the U.S., this pass is on sale now for $199. Hoodoo AnyCards (five lift tickets you can use any day of the season and share with friends and family) are now available for only $219 at the Hoodoo eStore. That’s $30 off the regular price and up to $111 savings on five marathon lift tickets! These prices are only valid through Nov. 30.