Winter Ski Season Kick-Off Events

September 14, 2018 (Updated November 9, 2019)

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 ski season with this fall roundup of Oregon events.

Pre-Season Festivals & Gear Sales

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

Snowvana returns this year at a new location at the remodeled Oregon Convention Center in Portland on Friday and Saturday, November 22-23, 2019This winter pre-season party is a two-day celebration featuring a gear sale; a winter film festival featuring the Portland premieres of Matchstick Productions, Teton Gravity Research, and Level 1 Productions; season pass sales, live music; a family fun zone and more. The Snowrageous Gear Sale will feature over 100 brands at a discount. Attendees will also have the opportunity to win a Snowvana All Mountain Season Pass allowing the holder unlimited riding at Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood Meadows, Mt. Hood Skibowl and Mt. Bachelor resorts. These resorts will also be in attendance to sell or renew season passes for the 2019/20 season.

Tickets priced at an early bird rate of $5 (kids 12 and under are free), tickets 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 11-17, 2019 at Portland’s Mazamas headquarters. This homegrown event brings the mountain community together for six days of inspiring experiences. The 2019 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 November 15, 2019 at Planet Granite Portland and the premiere event, The Summit at the Redd on Salmon Street November 16, 2019, featuring an evening with Lynn Hill.

This annual event is a great opportunity to make connections in the local climbing and mountaineering community ahead of the winter. Tickets are available now 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 1–3, 2019 at the Portland Expo Center. This winter kick-off event, now in its 37th 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 as well as the SkiFever BrewskiFest.

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.

The Lake Oswego Ski Swap at Lakeridge High School.

Ski Swaps

Fall 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 12, 2019 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 12, 2019 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 52nd Annual Corvallis Ski Swap will be held Friday, October 18–19, 2019 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 50th Annual Eugene Ski Swap will be held October 24–27, 2019 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 Southern Oregon Ski & Snowboard Swap will be held November 8-9 at the Expo Jackson County Fairgrounds. Entry is $5, kids 12 and under are free. Sponsored by the Medford Ski education Foundation, all proceeds benefit local youth programs.

The Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol Swap is November 16, 2019 at the Riviera Activity Center in La Grande.


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.

Hoodoo Ski Area is hosting a series of Pray for Snow season kick-off parties in Eugene and Bend, starting Oct. 17, 2019 in Eugene. Pick up a season pass and ski, snowboard, tube or snowbike all you want (equipment not included). New for 2019-20, Hoodoo has joined the Indy Ski Pass with access to 36 resorts across the U.S., this pass is also on sale now for $199!

Mt. Bachelor has season passes on sale for the lowest prices of the season through September 30, 2019, with a range of offerings for children through adults and seniors. Pass sales then continue at increased prices with the exception of the popular 4-day pass, which is only offered through the end of September.

•Timberline Lodge & Ski Area is offering earlybird pricing on season passes with a savings of up to $200 through November 3, 2019. 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 54 free days at 18 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 Discover Pass allowing limited  beginner access for only $159.

Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort starts the season off with a Pray for Snow Party the evening of Saturday, November 17, 2019. Anthony Lakes 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 a Pray for Snow party at 10 Barrel Portland Pub on Oct. 5, 2019. Meadows’  Value Passes are on sale now with the best prices of the season offered through November 5, 2019. The passes offer mountain access during non-peak days with the option to upgrade to include peak access days.

Mt. Hood Skibowl is offering either a Fusion Pass or a standalone Skibowl pass at the lowest prices of the season through November 5, 2019. 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 55 free days at 18 other ski resorts.

•Mt. Ashland season passes are on sale at a discounted early season rate through October 31, 2019. 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…