Certification DetailsDate: 05/01/2017Evaluator: Pete BlanchardView Bio

PO Box 220 / 693 Washington St.
Ashland OR 97520
(541) 482-2897

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Mt. Ashland
Ashland, Oregon
Nonprofit ski area focused on community

Built in 1963, the Mt. Ashland Ski Area started with one chairlift, a T-bar, and a rope tow thanks to a grassroots effort by a group of passionate local skiers. After various private owners and amenity upgrades, the community banded together and created the Mt. Ashland Association to own and operate the ski area when it was on the verge of permanently closing in 1992.

The Tudor-style lodge along with the ski trails and chairlifts named after Shakespearean characters are an ode to the City of Ashland’s famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival. These and other idiosyncrasies subtly resemble characteristics of Ashland’s unique culture and bustling outdoor and arts community just 30 minutes down the hill. Southern Oregon University’s proximity to Mt. Ashland not only means students can sneak turns between classes, but they also use the ski area as a lab for their environmental restoration studies, hospitality management marketing projects, and environmental interpretation programs.

Nestled on the edge of one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, with views of Mt. Shasta to the south and Crater Lake to the north, Mt. Ashland is a jewel in the Siskiyou Crest. Known for having the best terrain for ‘steep and deep’ days, Ashland’s summit elevation of 7,533 feet gives the ski area a vertical drop of 1,150 vertical feet with 200 acres of varied skiing and riding terrain. Four chairlifts provide access to twenty-three trails, open bowl skiing, and forty acres of trails for night skiing. With discounted “Carload Mondays” and the “Ski Hopper” bus, local skiers and snowboarders have plenty of carpool incentives to get up to the mountain and enjoy not only the POW, but also the weekly concert series featuring local artists and Oregon craft beers on tap.

If you live in the Rogue Valley and would like to learn more about the ski area’s new initiatives or get involved, Mt. Ashland’s monthly board meetings are open to the public! Please email info@mtashland.com for more information.

Sustainability Management
Section Performance - 77%
Social and Economic Impacts Management
Section Performance - 79%
Cultural Heritage Impacts Management
Section Performance - 70%
Environmental Impacts Management
Section Performance - 78%
Stoked? Check out the terrain!
Commitment to a Sustainable Future

Mt. Ashland celebrated our 50th anniversary during the 2013/14 season and due to lack of snow, did not open for a single day. The following year happened to be the second lowest snowfall in 35 years and my first season as GM. That same winter, we were the first ski area to join the STOKE Snow program. It was clear to me that if Mt. Ashland was to survive, drastic changes were needed in how we view sustainability.

STOKE’s tools and templates and unique perspective on sustainable ski area management empowered our team to embrace sustainability and create a plan for the future and we haven’t looked back since. In the winters to come, and as we transition to summer operations, we would like to establish Mt. Ashland as a sustainability leader in the skiing industry. That said, even with our recognition from STOKE, we’re striving to make progress in the following areas as we look forward to recertification in two years:

  • Develop and implement an interpretive tour and signage gallery that educates our guests about the ski area’s sustainability initiatives as well as the mountain’s history and local flora and fauna.
  • Increase the energy efficiency of our lodge and rental shop facilities to reduce our carbon footprint and enhance the guest experience.
  • Transition our fleet of snowmobiles to four-stroke engines (one of four is currently 4-stroke) and test the use of locally produced biodiesel in our snowcat fleets.
  • Install and monitor all of the watershed restoration and erosion control projects identified in our Soil and Water Conservation Plan.
  • Increase our diversion rates to 40% through revised purchasing practices after we complete our supply chain audit.
  • Work with more local vendors to include their products in services into our F&B operations.
  • Add more sustainability training programs for seasonal and full-time staff.

As a community driven ski area committed to providing unforgettable alpine experiences for generations to come, I am immensely proud of my team for becoming the first STOKE Certified ski area and we are eager to improve from here.

Thank you for learning more about our home mountain and we hope to see you at Mt. Ashland—a certified sustainable ski area—this winter,

Hiram Towle – General Manager