WILLAMETTE PASS, Ore. — The colder weather and snow is a welcome sight for those in higher elevations.
At the Willamette Pass Ski Resort, flakes started falling around 2 p.m. Tuesday and continued Wednesday, although light. But every little bit counts to get the park open.
“This morning we are moving some snow around, putting it from the parking lot up on the hill. We’ve got to build up the ramps and everything for our lifts and then just packing the snow down. We did get about four or five inches from last night, so on top of another five to six inches in the base area,” said Israel Fuller, Willamette Pass Mountain Manager.
But unfortunately Fuller says it’s still not enough snow to open the ski park.
“The ideal amount is three feet, so we will get a small storm and pack it down and then get another foot on top of that. It makes a pretty good ski surface. We need a good base layer to pack all the snow on top of it though,” Fuller said.
There is additional snow in the forecast and Israel says they’re hoping it will be enough to open this weekend.
“We are hoping we can open this Saturday, but we still need another foot to do that,” Fuller said.
It’s going to be close, but Israel says if they don’t meet the mark Saturday, they’ll try again next Wednesday.
“If not, we will shoot for Christmas break, which will start next Wednesday and we’ll go seven days a week through the sixth,” Fuller said.
Also, Willamette Pass is doing something new this year.
“This year we are going to add a Wednesday, a mid-week day, so we will operate Wednesday through Sunday,” Fuller said.
This is the first of a series of storms that will bring additional snow to the Willamette Pass Ski Resort. The good news is the freezing level will also remain below 3,000 feet. So the snow that has already fallen will not melt and the resort will open sometime soon.