Ski Industry News

Ski Areas On The Verge of Becoming Extinct

by Drew Bower | November 24, 2015

 You already know how bad the water drought in California is, which has directly impacted many ski resorts in California. I’ve witnessed just how bad the ski conditions were in Tahoe the past couple years and had to ask myself the dreaded question, “is it worth getting a pass this year”… my answer was to pick up and move to Colorado! For those of you who cannot swing a move for better skiing, check out the ski resorts that are on the verge of extinction.

So many resorts have closed early due to lack of snow, mostly in California & Oregon. If things don’t change, we can assume they’ll have to shut down permanently. Here is the list of Ski Areas on the Verge of Becoming Extinct.

Mt. Shasta

1. Mt. Shasta, CA

Mt. Shasta has been known to attract an international crowd, until last season, where it only opened nearly 50% of their skiable terrain. Forcing their intermediate and advanced runs to close down incredibly early last season. Unless this season brings more snow to the resort, you’ll be stuck on the magic carpet and bunny hill. Shasta was backed into a tight corner when they only received 33% of their average snowfall.

Badger Pass Ski Area

2. Badger Pass Ski Area

Known for having great skiing for beginners & intermediate skiers as well as long runs (everybody’s favorite resort quality), Badger Mountain shut down early last year. With only a hand full of days with 6”+ snowfall and the largest being 12”, nobody was stoked about heading to Badger in 2014/2015. I guess you’ll have to settle for their infamous sundeck and grab some cocktails in the sun…in mid-January.

Willamette Pass Resort 2

3. Willamette Pass Resort

Even resorts further north than California were hit hard last hear due to lack of snow. Willamette has some awesome terrain and features! Offering over 60 acres of night skiing & over a quarter of their terrain are diamond runs; it didn’t show much promise last year. Willamette is known for it’s extreme skiing, what can be more extreme than exposed rock and a sub 30” snow base. Ha! Willamette is an icon expert ski area; here’s to more snow in 2015!

Mt. Washington Ski Resort

4. Mt. Washington Ski Resort

Some Canadian resorts have been suffered recently without snow as well. Mt. Washington, for example, had less than 30% of their annual mid-mountain snowfall in January. When it’s reported that, “We will reopen when we have enough snowfall”, leaves hundreds of workers in a great ski town with little work through most of the season, less transient traffic and income for the resort and employees. It’s gut-wrenching when Christmas was so great for Mt. Washington and just weeks later, they shut down; these are usually conditions that this resort doesn’t see until late April.

Eaglecrest Ski Area

5. Eaglecrest Ski Area

Follow me here, even ALASKA has a resort that has been forced to shut down early. Eaglecrest Ski area in Juneau, Alaska didn’t have a day of snow over 10” since January 2015. Twitter followers posted “June-uary” conditions with pictures that are depressing. Short of visiting Antarctica, you’d assume Alaska would be your failsafe for resorts that always have snow. In the words of Dwight Schrute, False. Patrons called last year a “joke” when they found that only the beginner chair was running in February, not the vert that skiers were expecting.

Let’s hope these treasured resorts have a great 2015/2016 seasons. Let’s not have another “June-uary” year!

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