The Mt. Ashland Ski Area has added four days to its schedule after heavy wind and snow limited access during spring break last week.

The Mt. Ashland Ski Area has added four days to its schedule after heavy wind and snow limited access during spring break last week.

The extra days come on top of five that were added to the schedule in February, meaning that snow enthusiasts will have nine bonus days to hit the slopes this season.

Normally, the ski area moves to a Friday-through-Sunday schedule after spring break in Oregon, ski managers said.

The bonus days mean that the ski area will be open every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays through April 17, the last day of the season.

"We're trying to open the door so that people can get up on the mountain," said Mt. Ashland Marketing Director Rick Saul.

On Monday, the ski area reported prime skiing conditions, with patches of sunshine and light wind.

Conditions were far different at the start of spring break, when 50 to 60 mph winds closed the ski area on March 20. With winds hitting 65 mph, the ski area closed again on Thursday, Saul said.

"You felt like you were up there on Mount Everest," he said.

Saul said Mt. Ashland managers don't separate out spring break attendance numbers to compare to previous spring breaks, but the two days of closures did take their toll.

Heavy snow also limited access to the mountain. The Oregon Department of Transportation, which prioritizes the plowing of Interstate 5, was able to plow the ski access road, but sometimes not until late morning. Wind also created drifts at the entrance to the parking area, Saul said.

The ski area has received 117 inches of snow so far this month, compared to an average March snowfall of 44 inches in the previous seven years, Saul said.

The snow depth is almost 11 feet at the ski area's base, and tops 15 feet high on the mountain, according to information about current conditions on the ski area's website on Monday.

For people looking for ways to go skiing or snowboarding at a reduced price, the ski area is in the midst of its Skiesta Season, when lift tickets and equipment rental prices are 25 percent lower.

For example, an adult all-mountain lift ticket that normally sells for $39 on weekends is now $31, and the same ticket on a weekday that previously cost $33 is now $26.

Ski lesson packages, which include lift tickets and equipment rentals, are also being offered at reduced prices.

For more information about Mt. Ashland Ski Area's schedule, visit www.mtashland.com.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.