Spout Springs Ski Area is scheduled to open once again. This is the first year operation will resume after being shut down for the past two seasons.
Located in Weston, Oregon, the resort is located in the northeast corner of the state, about halfway between Seattle, WA, and Boise, ID. Favored by beginners and families looking for a day on the snow, the area includes four lifts serving 11 downhill trails and 21 Nordic tracks on 250 skiable acres.
The resort was initially shut down due to safety concerns, primarily regarding the parking lot. The resort operates under a special use permit with the Umatilla National Forest. Subsequently, the parking lot also served as National Forest access point where snowmobilers may launch sleds. A notice from the original shutdown read:
“As always, the staff at Spout Springs Ski Area is concerned about the safety of our customers above all else. Policy that has been set by the USFS regarding snow removal in the parking area and the use of high speed snowmobiles around the general public has created a hazardous situation. This situation has materially interfered with the operation of the ski area. Members of the USFS have even gone as far as to dictate ski area policy within the permit area.
This type of activity does not mix with a learn to ski area and does not make economic sense for the day to day operation. Without a parking area we do not have a ski area. Without the ability to make judgement calls regarding safety we cannot provide a safe environment for the families that use the facility.”
An updated parking map on their website shows how Spout Springs has worked with the Forest Service to resolve the concerns for the upcoming 2018/2019 season.
During the winter of 17/18, lift equipment also suffered damage, further impeding the resort’s ability to resume operation. According to an on-the-ground report completed by Liftblog, two of the four lifts including one double chair and the t-bar were disabled and partly disassembled.
The resort may have been closed for operation, but that didn’t keep everyone away. The hill was visited and skied by locals willing to earn their turns, some of which look like they were pretty good!
Spout Springs is currently taking applications for employment this upcoming weekend. An open house will be held on Dec. 14 from noon to 4 p.m., Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon. Available positions include lift operator, general labor, restaurant positions, and rental shop technicians.
Opening day has yet to be announced, however with recent snowfall, it shouldn’t be long before these lifts start serving up smiles once again!