It would be an understatement to say we’ve had a great winter here in Bend Oregon. So I won’t say it. Instead I’ll say: I love snow and winter so goddamn much and this past winter in Bend has been like the best thing ever and, thankfully, it ain’t over yet. That’s because right now Oregon spring skiing is off the charts. Which charts I’m not sure, but it’s off them without a doubt.
Whether you grab a spring pass at Mt. Bachelor ($249), or opt for a day or two of lift service (currently $92/day, with discounted lift tickets starting May 1), or opt for some Oregon backcountry skiing, there’s plenty of snow, sun, and Summit days to be had. In fact, over this past weekend, Mt. Bachelor had sun, pow, and summit runs written all over it. Literally.
Plenty of folks move to Bend because, for one, the summers here are off the hook. But Central Oregon winters can be just as insanely satisfying. It all depends on what you prefer: sweating while paddling a SUP board in a bathing suit in 90-degree weather, or sweating in sub-30-degree temps while floating pillows in a puffy coat and balaclava.
Animals To Water – For The Love Of Snowboarding and Oregon Spring Skiing
Circa 1997, I fell head over heels for snowboarding and haven’t looked back since. I spent every wintery second I could perfecting ollies and nollies and riding switch and buttering frontsides across up-flat-down rails and wide, surface-area-flush rainbow boxes. Rock-n-roll to fakie or backside 180s or stiff airs off poppy hips were some of my favorite movements. And despite currently feeling somewhat, hmmm, rusty on the ol’ stick, they still are. After committing a few seasons to humbling myself in the beginner’s seat of backcountry skiing (Whew, two planks instead of one is a stunning exercise in proprioception and inventing new muscle memories. I highly recommend.), I still consider the sheer joy and play and puzzle of snowboarding one of my most favorite things. Like ever. I keep coming back to it, no matter what, like an animal to water.
East Coast Roots And Snowboarding in the PNW
Maybe it’s having done something for so long that it’s ingrained, maybe it’s what sliding sideways on snow has taught me, what I’ve learned from the mountains and the weather and my OG riding crew. Maybe it’s all of it that keeps me coming back with gusto. Whatever it is, there’s something amiss and something gone missing if I don’t put feet into boots into bindings, board onto snow and shove off. Like an animal without water, I get this parched sensation at the back of my throat. There’s this sense of incompletion and, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I inevitably feel a little lost.
And the tree runs—oh, the tree runs, we cannot forget the tree runs. Seven years on the west coast and I cannot forget the solace and the laughter and the fullness experienced in the tree runs at Mount Snow or Killington or Stratton. Yeah I’m a park rat, bred through a mean posse of mostly male riders at Mountain Creek (Actually, a crew of the sweetest boys ever.), and I’m not ashamed of it at all. Jersey Pride runs strong in this one, bitches. So yeah, park rat roots, but all the other elements of snowboarding call to me with just as much ferocity, including tree runs and the wonders of Oregon spring skiing and riding.
Mt. Bachelor Weather And Spring Events: Check One, Check Two
If you check Mt. Bachelor weather as obsessively as I do, you’ll get to watch the steady swap of spring snow dumps and thick sun (back and forth forever) occurring across the Cascades in this very moment. As of right now, there’s yet another storm cycle on the horizon. YES.
Keen on Oregon spring skiing until Memorial Day Weekend? Mt. Bachelor’s lift hours and operations will make certain that happens, albeit with slightly less but still entirely shreddable terrain. And par for the course at any mountain still running lifts through spring, there will also be a number of spring events at Mt. Bachelor, including:
- On-Snow BBQ on Sunday, April 30th @11am
- Sno Planks – Mt. Bachelor Prequel on Fri/Sat, May 5/6 @7:30am (an “old school” freestyle competition
- Laurenne Ross Shred Camps on Sat/Sun, May 6/7
- 10 Barrel Springtacular Concert on Saturday, May 6 @noon
- Great Skyliner Tailgate on Saturday, May 13
- Pole Pedal Paddle on Saturday, May 20
Closing weekend is May 27/28 and, of course, will have the prerequisite pond skimming event that every mountain everywhere has on closing weekend.