Story by: Shona AMPED The Ski Adventure Travel Specialists & Travel Oregon
Published: Ski & Snow Magazine, New Zealand, July 2015
Ski Oregon USA
The world is a playground, and in Oregon, it is Pure Adventure!
Imagine, a place you can experience 12 unique ski areas offering more than 16,000 acres of skiing, 400 runs, 71 ski lifts, 13 terrain parks, snow cat skiing and around 460 inches of snowfall annually. Ranging from community ski hills to internationally renowned Ski Resorts, Oregon boasts several quality mountains just awaiting your exploration, and a Territory filled with passionate vintners, sustainable farmers, and all-star chefs who bring their farms to your fork!
Mt. Hood Meadows offers spectacular skiing and snowboarding amidst the Northwest. Located just 90 minutes from Portland, it delivers a big mountain experience, which sprawls across Mt. Hood’s southeast flank, the sunny/wind-protected side of Mt. Hood.
Meadows’ playful terrain welcomes and challenges all levels of skiers and snowboarders alike. From the steeps of the front side bowls to the gentle slopes of the beginner runs, Mt. Hood Meadows terrain is renowned for its diversity and playfulness, offering more than 2,150 acres of fulfilled enjoyment. Rising to its highest lift-served elevation of 7,300 feet, you will feel like you are on the top of the world as you take in a panoramic view to the east and south.
Legendary Heather Canyon is like its own separate ski area, endlessly steep pitches of powder into the spectacular Canyon. With an additional 1,700 vertical feet for hikers to drop in the double blacks of Super Bowl above, bringing the total vertical in just one run to almost 4,500 feet. Access gates (experts only) into Private Reserve and S&R Cliffs provide extremely challenging, pulse-pounding gladded trails with cliff outcroppings.
For youngsters and beginners, Mt Hood is the perfect environment to commence your little ones quest to learning the sport. With its fully enclosed Conveyor lift the ‘Ballroom Carpet’, making things simple by taking the pain of trying to negotiate rope tows and lifts away. Complimented with its fully accredited Learning Centre, providing a place for your children to do art projects, play games, take lunch, and learn/develop new snow skills in a safe and secure environment, while you get to enjoy some ‘adult’ play time out on the mountain.
Just west of ‘Bend’, and named as one of the best ski towns in the world by National Geographic, sits Mt. Bachelor, the largest ski area in the Cascades.
What’s not to love with Mt Bachelor’s 360 degrees of skiable terrain spread over nearly 3,700 acres from its 9,065 foot Stratovolcano, this is home of the highest resort peak elevation in the Pacific Northwest!
Lined with high-speed quads, Bachelor sits on the drier, east side of the Cascades, and boasts lighter snow than the Pacific cement that coats many mountains along this coastline. Blessed with over 460″, beginner and intermediate runs are scattered throughout, and with 60 percent of its alpine terrain rated black, or double-black, experts will certainly get there fill. Thus, from the summit, adventuresome skiers and boarders can jump cornices into the blasted-open summit crater, or head for the mountain’s backside of wide-open, backcountry-style double-blacks; Bachelor’s total vertical drop is a satisfying 3,365 feet.
Typically open from Thanksgiving deep into May, Mt. Bachelor’s close proximity to Bend and Sunriver means there is no shortage of nightlife, lodging and other outdoor adventure. After a fun filled day on the slopes, head back to town to relax and recharge, or head back early late in the season and get in a round of golf, some mountain biking, hiking, or shopping! Furthermore, being on the eastern side of the Cascades means that you will likely have comfortable weather in town, when it is all perfect and winter like ‘on mountain’.
Families will of course love Mt Bachelor, and best news of course is Kids 12 years and under Ski for FREE!
Top 10 Reasons To Ski Bachelor:
- More skiable acres than anywhere in Oregon (3,683)
- The entire mountain is skiable – that’s 360-degrees of terrain.
- More than 460 inches of snow each year.
- That means skiing well into May – and sometimes on the 4th of July!
- 88 runs with 3,365 feet of vertical served by 10 lifts (7 high speed quads)
- Just 20 minutes from Bend and Sunriver which means just 20 minutes from 2 dozen breweries!
- Laid back atmosphere (It’s just a ski area – nothing else.)
- Named one of the top 25 ski resorts in the world by National Geographic
- One of the best ski area values around – daily lift tickets are under $80.
- You can say you skied a volcano – other than our beloved Mt Ruapehu!