Pacific Northwest Ski blog (and a few other places!)

Lots or reports from skiing around the Pacific Northwest, with some East Coast excursions thrown in for good measure

Closing weekend at Mt Bachelor

Mid-May is a pretty civilized time for a mountain to close, I guess. It does seem a little incongruous when the snow base is about 120 inches, and there’s still more people on the slopes than roaming your average Walmart on a weekend afternoon.

It was a darn warm weekend at Mt Bachelor, especially Sunday when temperatures in the parking lot were well above 25C. The snow never really froze apart from in the shaded aspects up high. Some of the groomers in the trees remained pleasantly firm all weekend, giving surprisingly excellent skiing for this time of year. And with a generous application of warm weather wax each night, sliding through slushy glue like conditions was minimized to a very occasional experience. Jan is becoming the wax queen!

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The really choice stuff though was off the Summit chair. The short hike to the crater rim opened up a swathe of deep, steep riches. The shaded chutes that drop into the crater bowl offered magnificent turns all weekend in crisp, forgiving snow. Even by noon on Sunday the chutes hadn’t seriously shushed up, and we only moved on because the handful of us skiing this area had tracked out all the best lines.

View from top of Crater hike at Mt Bachelor
Kathy heading down the north-west side of Bachelor
Kathy in chutes in Mt Bachelor crater

Once into the main bowl below the chutes, the trick was to immediately traverse skier’s left and pop out on the north facing aspects of the volcano. From here, numerous gelato-coated options down old lava flow gullies provided superb spring skiing. These led to the cat track from the Northwest chair, from where you traverse back to the Summit, and repeat. About 11 times on each day. It was a hoot.

20090523_113614 20090523_130819

Bachelor has been great value and incredibly enjoyable this spring. The $129 Spring Season Pass is an absolute bargain. It got us and a bunch of friends down there for 3 weekends that ordinarily we’d probably have gone to Hood, Silver or Crystal. Hopefully this is the start of an annual trend.

2 days: 8200m, 8100m

Season Totals: 58 days, 475,700 vertical metres, 13 powder days

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