SnoCast: Stormy Pattern Continues Out West

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A busy weather week continues nation-wide with a fast storm pattern. We'll see multiple waves of snow out West, and changeable conditions in the East heading into the first weekend of December. Let's dig into this week's SnoCast.

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Sign A Liability Waiver, Get A Discount Day Ticket At Mt. Bachelor

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Oregon's Mt. Bachelor has become the first U.S. ski and snowboard resort to give a price break on day tickets to anyone who signs a form that releases the resort from liability in case of injury.

The move appears to help protect the Powdr-owned resort further if it has to defend itself from lawsuits involving injury accidents within the ski terrain boundaries of the 4,300-acre mountain. Resort officials did not say how deep the discount would be for a day ticket. The 2021-2022 day tickets cost $159 for adult weekend, $119 for adult weekdays, and a top price $169 for holidays.

This change is a result of the current legal landscape in Oregon,” said Bachelor's John McLeod in an email to season passholders. “In recent years large lawsuits against outdoor recreation providers in Oregon, including many related to the inherent risks of skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking, have started to significantly threaten the outdoor recreation industry.”

Physically signing such a liability waiver has long been a standard practice when season passes are bought at U.S. ski and snowboard resorts, but Mt. Bachelor appears to be the first to give day-ticket purchasers the option to sign or not.

Coincidence or not, the announcement of the discount program comes as Mt. Bachelor and owner Powdr are in court contesting a $49 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a 9-year-old boy who died on the upper slopes of the mountain in January 2021.

All U.S. resorts have small print on the back of the ticket that essentially say purchasing a ticket is a waiver of liability because of the sport's "inherent risks." However, the power of that statement has been repeatedly challenged in courts -- and sometimes overturned.

Both Colorado and New York have passed laws that further protect ski and snowboard resorts from lawsuits arising out of alleged negligence within the resort boundaries. However, the force and breadth of those laws continue to face legal challenges.

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Oregon Resorts Beckon With Late Summer Attractions

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The summer season has a month or so remaining in Oregon, where a quintet of ski and snowboard resorts attract outdoor enthusiasts of all skills and ages.

Plenty to do at Mt. Bachelor, highlighted by an extensive zipline setup at the top of Pine Marten chairlift. Starting at more than 7,800 feet elevation (right at timberline), a side-by-side cable drops a total of 1,400 feet in a three-stage tour. It's touted as the highest, steepest and fast zip tour in the Northwest.

In addition to the zipline, Mt. Bachelor serves up disc golf, MTB and hiking trails, and chairlift rides up into the spectacular volcanic landscape in southern Oregon.

With the highest elevations in the state, eastern Oregon's Anthony Lakes has fine-tuned a network of mountain biking trails on the mountain and in nearby terrain. No lifts run, so MTB-ers should expect uphill, downhill and level tracks -- all laid out on nordic trails.

Toughest climb has a 1,000-foot elevation gain, and the renowned Broadway Flow Trail covers three miles of banks and berms. A leisurely level ride circles Anthony Lake itself. Trail system open Thursdays through Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Just northwest of Mt. Hood, Cooper Spur has both road and mountain biking routes. Road bikers hit the pavement for the 18-mile circuit down into the valley and back. It's a long and easy MTB route around the mountain itself. All enjoy clear views of Mt. Hood.

On the southeast shoulder of the extinct volcano, Mt. Hood Meadows cranks up the Stadium Chair to get folks to a high ridge, where a web of hiking trails for stroller to trail runner await. The resort also offer a slew of kids camps and music series.

Off the southwest of the mountain, you'll find Mt. Hood SkiBowl that offers up a smorgasbord of classic summer activities. Go-karts, batting cages, free-fall bungee jump tower and aerial park, climbing wall, and Aqua Rollers (human hamster cages) nestle up to the East base area. On the west side, scenic chairlift rides and interpretive hikes complete SkiBowl's summer menu.

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No Surprises Among Western Resorts Staying Open Late

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The usual suspects will extend the 2021-2022 ski and snowboard season through May and beyond, as a flurry of late-season storms has reinforced the snowpack throughout the West.

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Is This The End Of The Trail Map?

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At ski resorts around the country, the familiar paper map is disappearing, as mountains push skiers to use apps and other digital resources. But some skiers are pushing back.

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Go Big, Go Deep On Ikon's Mountains In Pacific Northwest

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A trio of ski and snowboard resorts of the Pacific Northwest take the Ikon Pass, and each offers something different for those venturing into the Cascades.

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Pacific Northwest Ski Resorts Roll Out New Lifts, Terrain, Lodges For 2021-22 Season

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Following the challenging winter of 2020-2021 when ski areas implemented measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic - including limited seating capacity on chairlifts - this season's outdoor operations will look much like they did prior to the pandemic. Ski areas plan to return to full chair lift capacity for 2021-2022.

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E-bike, Stargaze, Rock Climb, Hike At Ski Resorts This Summer

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Chelsea Clapham and her family began snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain four years ago. They enjoyed it so much that they return to the resort year-round. “We like summer and fall up there almost as much as winter,” said Clapham, who lives in Santa Clarita with her husband, Shaun, and two kids. “We have family friends who let us use their condo, so we’re hooked.”

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Mt. Bachelor Plans New Summit Hiking, Biking Trail

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Mt. Bachelor ski resort is moving forward with plans to build a new 5.5-mile hiking and mountain biking trail that will loop from the mountain’s base to the summit.

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Still Plenty Of Turns As Season Extends Into May ... And Beyond

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The vast majority of U.S. ski and snowboard resorts have shuttered operations for the season -- many of them extending past announced closing dates -- but a hearty dozen will spin their lifts deep into the spring.

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Lava Laps: Spring Skiing And Riding On Northwest Volcanoes

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Now that spring has hit the West, the place to go this season is the Pacific Northwest with its nation-leading snowpack on the slopes of the high-elevation dormant volcanoes.

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Head To The Park: Wintertime At Woodward Expands Into New Venues

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Growth in mountain terrain parks, action "hubs" and programming define Woodward as the action sports company enters its 50th year in operation -- and the second decade on the snow.

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Early Season Snow Means Strong Start To Oregon Resorts

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Right from the git-go, the Pacific Northwest has gotten the lion's share on snowfall this season, and Oregon's nine mountains and resorts have opened with plenty of depth.

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Square and POWDR Bring New Commerce Tech to the Ski Slopes

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As the winter ski season gets underway, Square now powers payments, e-commerce, and point of sale at nearly a dozen renowned ski resorts across the U.S. and Canada in partnership with POWDR, owner of Killington Resort, Copper Mountain, Eldora and Mt. Bachelor.

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Oregon Resorts Lay Out Covid-19 Mixed Bag For 2020-2021 Season

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Oregon's ski and snowboard resorts have unveiled how they plan to deal with COVID-related concerns this winter, and the options are all over the lot -- depending upon seasonal variables and local habits.

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Which Resorts Have Re-Opened for Spring Skiing in 2020?

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The season is over for most of the continent, but these resorts are spinning their lifts—with some very important regulations. Here’s the deal.

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Pacific Northwest Resorts Bring Upgrades To New Season

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Pacific storms have begun to swing northward on the West Coast, prompting ski and snowboard resorts in the Northwest to spring life for the season.

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All On The Same Day: Bike And Ski At Timberline

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Summer mountain biking mimics many of the motions, techniques, thrills, and spills of skiing and snowboarding during the winter. Now they can be enjoyed on the same day.

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Mt. Bachelor Plans To Open Zip Line Next Spring

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Mt. Bachelor will add a zip line to its roster of summer activities, the latest in a series of plans the ski resort has set up for the mountain area.

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Best Of Both Worlds: Ski And Bike On The Same Day

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After harvesting the spring corn snow that’s still abundant this spring at many resorts around the country, you could just sit back and enjoy a frosty one on the deck. Or, you could kick up your outdoor game a notch with an afternoon bike ride that will make that end-of-day refreshment all the more rewarding.

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