Why Mt Bachelor?
Located on the eastern flanks of the Cascade Mountains in central Oregon, Mt Bachelor's 9,000 ft volcanic cone stands proud above the surrounding wilderness - a beautiful sight.
The skiing is big (the sixth largest in the US we've heard, but certainly the largest in the Cascade Range) and unusual in that you can ski in all directions from the summit. The top section is wide open go-anywhere terrain. Then about a third of the way down the trees start. Sparse to begin with (great for easy tree-skiing) they get thicker as you go down..and at the bottom the runs wind through the forest. There is a good, but not steep, pitch most of the way down, flattening off towards the bottom.
Intermediates are very well catered for. There are a few steep chutes for experts, but the main attractions for good skiers are the plentiful off-piste terrain, regular powder days and the tree-skiing.
There are the usual base area facilities, but as the mountain is within the Deschutes National Forest, there is no accommodation at the ski area. You stay in the funky town of Bend, or at Sunriver Resort a little further south, both are approximately 20 minutes drive from the hill.
Beer is a big feature of Bend! There are quite a few micro-breweries with a selection of highly quaffable ales ranging from the light to the very dark. As Bend is a town, rather than a resort, it does not have apres-ski, but it has an attractive centre with plenty of cafes and restaurants and a nice, laid-back vibe.
Sunriver is a resort community with a rural setting about 10 or 15 minutes drive south of Bend. It has a golf course (opens in spring), spa complex, pools, restaurant and a few shops. It's a good place to stay if you are looking for a relaxing chilled-out option.
The Oregon Trail
The way to ski Bachelor is on a Ski Safari combining it with Mt Hood, a few hours to the north - click here for details of The Oregon Trail.