If you’ve read some of our past articles about how to get the most out of Spring skiing/boarding, you should know that we’re addicts for finding the best snow in any season. Rather than call it quits, we head to the King of this time of year, Mt Bachelor spring skiing to close it out the right way.
The Summit Calls…
The mountain is the epitome of a volcano. Standing head and shoulders above any other mountain near it, it’s awe inspiring. Driving up on a Spring bluebird day, the first thing you’ll notice is that you’re looking at a gigantic snow covered volcano in front of you. The second thing is the Summit lift rising out of the tree line and ascending to the top. In a way it seems out of place on such a majestic peak but that’s what makes the chairlift ride up so memorable.
Spring Is For The Summit Lift
Mt Bachelor shares with you its massive bowls and snowfields. It seems more like a backcountry adventure rather than in-bounds at a ski resort. Without a single tree to be found, the Summit chair is exposed to all the weather that hits Mt Bachelor. And that’s A LOT of weather. Nearly 30% of the ENTIRE season it’s closed due to it. Luckily, by spring this lift is rarely closed due to the storm track beginning to slow down. If a storm does show up, they aren’t as ferocious which means there’s a higher probability of getting to ride this epic chairlift. In fact, Mt Bachelor is known for its fantastically long Spring skiing season. Nearly every season they keep the lifts turning into late May with even a few powder days sprinkled throughout.
What Makes Bachelor Perfect For Late Season
There are three major factors that help make sure Mt Bachelor is a guarantee for excellent late season skiing. First, the consistency of having a deep snowpack is legendary. Even in one of the worst historically recorded snowfalls, they still received over 200 inches, enough to ride through late May.
Second, the weather is the perfect catalyst to create the most perfect corn snow. By May, air temps may hit the upper 50’s each day but at night it drops below freezing. This consistent weather cycle is what you need to enjoy the most perfect corn snow you’ll find anywhere. Finally, most other ski resorts face one direction. Not Mt Bachelor spring skiing. The mountain is a cone which means you can literally chase the perfect softness of snow based on the time of day. Instead of softening all at once like other resorts, Bachelor’s different aspects give you a chance to enjoy corn for a longer window. It was a mountain made for spring skiing.
Where To Start The Day – South Side
Depending on how early or late you visit in Spring, the best bet is to start on the south-facing exposures. Specifically those that are lower in altitude. This means heading over to the Sunrise Chairlift. Examples of south facing runs are Rooster Tail and I-5. These runs get the first bit of direct sunlight and turn soft SUPER early in the day. In May, we start the day around 9:45 am and hit the runs off of Skyliner Express. DSQ and Olympian were simply perfect with corn snow. Just soft enough to allow you to get an edge but not too soft that it would make it difficult to make turns.
It’s Time To Go Up!
After your legs are warmed up, it’s time to head up to the Summit lift and beeline to a trail called Cow’s Face. The massive south-facing snow field will be ripe for harvest. Making a few turns, the chairlift will disappear from sight. And suddenly a view of the surrounding lowlands appears, literally taking your breath away. You’ll feel as if you teleported into the middle of nowhere. No man-made structures are visible or obstructing the raw feel of its expansiveness. Large easy turns come natural on this huge face, letting you float down the mountain with as much speed as you want.
Finish Strong – Pine Marten
If you visit in late April, there’s a good chance Northwest or Outback chair is running. This will be where you want to end the day. Otherwise, head over to Pine Marten and hit runs like Old Skyliner or Coffee. The Pine Marten runs don’t get direct sunlight until about 12:30 – 1:00 pm. This means you can squeeze out a few more epic corn runs before the entire mountain turns to mashed potatoes. After the day is done, it’s time to head down to Bend and enjoy the sun and a barley pop.
If you’re wishing you could’ve gotten a few more runs in this season, don’t worry! Mt Bachelor is staying open through Memorial Day! There is more than enough snow on the cone to get some epic runs in before your season is over. And like any great spring skiing mecca, there’s a ton of stuff to do after you’re finished skiing like mountain biking, surfing, or just good old fashioned apres with award winning brews.