Winter Ski Season Kick-Off Events

September 14, 2018

While winter is still a ways out, the crisp fall air has winter sports enthusiasts across Oregon ready to gear up as excitement builds ahead of the season. There are plenty of gatherings to join in on from season kickoff parties, to ski movie premieres and, of course, the ubiquitous and budget-friendly ski swaps. Get excited for the 2018/19 ski season with this fall roundup of Oregon events.

A skier descends a steep slope with a helicopter in the background.
Skier Forrest Jillson descends an Alaskan slope in the new Warren Miller release “Face Of Winter.” (Photo credit: Cam McLeod)

Warren Miller Film Premiere

Portland has the prestigious honor of hosting the world premiere of the Warren Miller Film Touron Friday, October 12, 2018 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. “Face of Winter” is the 69th installment in the celebrated Warren Miller feature film library. This year’s film celebrates the unadulterated joys of winter with new and veteran athletes paying tribute to the late Warren Miller. More than a film screening, this world premiere will feature a strong athlete presence, amped up giveaways and sponsor booths.

Tickets for the annual tradition go on sale on the Warren Miller Film Tour site starting Monday, September 17, 2018. Following the premiere, the film tour will include several stops across Oregon including Eugene, Corvallis, Bend, Ashland and Hood River. Check out the full Oregon tour schedule here.

Pre-Season Festivals & Gear Sales

An excited crowd peruses the winter-themed booths.
Snowvana returns to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Snowvana returns to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland October 19-20, 2018. This winter pre-season party is a two-day celebration featuring a gear sale, a winter film festival, season pass sales, live music, a family fun zone and more. The US Outdoor Snowrageous Gear Sale will feature over 100 brands at a discount. Attendees will also have the opportunity to win one of seven Snowvana Passes allowing the holder unlimited riding at Mt. Hood Meadows, Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood Skibowl and Timberline Lodge & Ski Area. These resorts will also be in attendance to sell or renew season passes for the 2018/19 season.

The show will feature athlete signing and selfie opportunities with Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Red Gerard and skier Maddie Bowman, as well as freestyle skier Sammy Carlson and snowboarder Erika Vikander, plus superstar downhill skier AJ Kitt. Tickets priced at $12 are available at the Snowvana website.

An audience poses for the camera.
Don’t be surprised to see all smiles at the Portland Alpine Festival. (Photo credit: Nicole Wasko)

The annual Portland Alpine Festival runs from November 13-18, 2018 at Portland’s Mazamas headquarters. This homegrown event brings the mountain community together for six days of inspiring experiences. The 2018 event will feature attendance by top mountaineering and climbing athletes making waves on the national and international scene, with educational clinics and seminars, movie nights and a speaker series.

The festival also includes the Portland Ice Comp at Planet Granite Portland and the premiere event, The Summit at the Melody Center, featuring a night of inspirational tales of adventure.

This annual event is a great opportunity to make connections in the local climbing and mountaineering community ahead of the winter. Tickets go on sale September 15 on the Portland Alpine Festival website with a range of prices.

It’s SkiFever at the Portland Expo Center.

Portland SkiFever & Snowboard Show runs from November 2–4, 2018 at the Portland Expo Center. This winter kick-off event, now in its 35th year, features a massive ski and snowboard gear sale covering almost two football fields with heavily discounted equipment and merchandise for all ages. In addition, SkiFever features plenty of entertainment including an indoor big air show and rail jam, the SkiFever BrewskiFest and the premier of Level 1 Production’s new ski movie.

Exhibitors will be on hand showcasing next year’s gear and offering free giveaways. Resorts from around the region will also be in attendance offering discounted season passes and travel packages. Adult tickets range from $14–18, juniors (ages 6-12) are $3, and kids 6 and under are free.

The Lake Oswego Ski Swap at Lakeridge High School.

Ski Swaps

October is ski swap season. Ski swaps are a great way to upgrade your ski or snowboard gear, accessories and outerwear at discounted prices with proceeds going to great causes.

The annual Skyliners Ski Swap in Bend will be held Saturday, October 13, 2018 at the Bend Ice Pavilion. This free, one-day ski swap features both new and used equipment including last season’s rollover merchandise from local retailers and gear from Bend locals. All proceeds benefit the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation.

The Lake Oswego Ski Swap will be held Saturday, October 13, 2018 at Lakeridge High School. Offerings will include a variety of “gently used” and new ski and snowboard gear. Prices are $5 per person or $10 per family. All proceeds benefit the Lake Oswego and Lakeridge High School ski teams.

The 51st Corvallis Ski Swap will be held October 18–21, 2018 at Benton County Fairgrounds featuring deals on cross country skis, downhill skis, snowboards, snowshoes, bindings, outdoor clothes, helmets, and much more. The event is a fundraiser for Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit and Santiam Pass Ski Patrol. Entry is $1 or $20 for early VIP access.

The 49th Annual Eugene Ski Swap will be held October 25–28, 2018 at Lane County Fairgrounds. This annual sale offering a variety of Nordic and downhill ski gear benefits the Santiam Pass Ski Patrol, Willamette Pass Ski Patrol and Willamette Backcountry Ski Patrol. Entry is $2 on Friday and free Saturday.

The annual Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol Ski Swap will be held Saturday October 20, 2018 at the Riviera Activity Center from noon to 3:00 pm. Proceeds benefit the Anthony Lakes volunteer ski patrol.

The rail jam at the 2017 Pray For Snow party in Bend. Photo: Mt. Bachelor

Ski Resort Season Kick-Off Celebrations & Pass Sales

Season pass sales are in full swing already at Oregon ski areas with the best prices offered in the fall before the lifts start spinning. Order your pass online directly through the ski area or get swept up in the fun at these events across Oregon.

Mt. Bachelor is throwing a series of parties in Bend ahead of the start of its 60th season including a pass pickup party at Deschutes Brewery on November 7, 2018 and a 10Barrel Pray for Snow Party at 10 Barrel Brewing Eastside on November 10, 2018, which will include a premiere of the brewery’s new winter ski and snowboard film. In honor of the 60th season of operations, Mt. Bachelor will kick off the season with a huge party on December 19, details will be announced on the resort website. 

Mt. Bachelor season passes are on sale for the lowest prices of the season through September 30, with a range of offerings for children through adults and seniors. Pass sales continue at increased prices after September 30, with the exception of the popular 4-day pass, which is only offered through the end of September.

•Timberline Lodge & Ski Area is offering early season pricing on season passes with a savings of up to $200 through November 4, 2018. The resort offers pricing for the unlimited pass based on six different age groups. Timberline is also offering a Fusion Pass, which includes lift access to Mt. Hood Skibowl plus 51 free days at 17 other ski areas. Timberline also offers a variety of passes for weekday skiers and snowboarders, beginners, a Parenthood pass allowing parents to trade off use of the pass, and a Complete Pass allowing access through both the winter and the 2019 summer ski season.

Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort starts the season off with a Pray for Snow Party the evening of Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Side A Brewing in La Grande. Season Pass holders will be able to pick up passes, there will also be a raffle for a season pass with proceeds benefiting the Wallowa Avalanche Center and Eastern Oregon University’s Outdoor Adventure Program. The fun continues Sunday afternoon with an on-hill party featuring live music, a chili feed, drinks and more.

ALMR 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 or in La Grande at the Mountain Works and in Baker City at Kicks Sportswear and The Trailhead.

Mt. Hood Meadows is celebrating the season ahead with two Pray For Snow parties. The Portland party will be held at 10 Barrel Portland Pub on September 29, 2018 starting at 5:00 pm. Mt. Hood Meadows will host the second party at the resort on November 24, 2018 with details to be announced.

Mt. Hood Meadows’ newly structured Value Season Passes are on sale now with the best prices of the season offered through November 4, 2018. The new passes offer mountain access during non-peak days with the option to upgrade to include peak access days.

Hoodoo Ski Area is hosting a series of season kick-off parties in conjunction with the Warren Miller film tour and Three Creeks Brewery. The events will take place throughout November in Salem (Oct. 12 at B2 Taphouse), Eugene (Oct. 17 Hot Mamas Kitchen and Bar), Corvallis (Oct. 18, TBD) and Bend (Oct. 25 Cabin 22). Kick off your ski season with a Warren Miller pre-season pre-funk party, a custom cut Warren Miller highlight movie and tons of prizes. Season pass sales at Hoodoo Ski Area will recommence ahead of the season on October 1, 2018.

Mt. Hood Skibowl is offering either a Fusion Pass or a standalone Skibowl pass at the lowest prices of the season through November 4, 2018. The Fusion Pass is offered at a $100 discount during this early sales window and includes lift access at nearby Mt. Hood Skibowl in Oregon as well as 51 free days at 17 other ski resorts.

•Mt. Ashland season passes are on sale now at a discounted early season rate through October 31. All passes are unlimited with a range of prices for adults, seniors, junior, youth, child, adaptive and college. Pass holders also receive discounts at Mt. Shasta, Anthony Lakes, & Bluewood ski areas as well.

About The

Annie Fast
Annie Fast is a lifelong snowboarder and traveler. She was the editor of TransWorld Snowboarding Magazine and prior to that worked at the summer snowboard camps on Mt. Hood. Annie writes about outdoor adventures from her home in Bend.

Ask Oregon

When does ski season on Mt Hood usually start? -Jon

Ski season on Mount Hood can open as early as Halloween but the Thanksgiving weekend is generally the target date for all the resorts. If you really have the bug like me, Timberline runs limited operation on weekends starting in early October through the official resort opening when all lifts are operational. It is weather…