Ski guide to Mount Bachelor, Oregon
Deep powder is standard issue at Mount Bachelor, a West coast favorite that averages 400 inches of snow per season, just 20 miles from the outdoors haven of Bend, Oregon. Framed by towering ponderosas and crackling pines, Bend is home to world-class cyclists, triathletes, kayakers and rock climbers.
The local population has quadrupled in the past 20 years, but the town's core of 70,000 are friendly and eager to get outside and play.
Named one of the five best little ski towns in America by Travel + Leisure magazine's December issue, and one of Outside magazine's best towns last year, Bend is surrounded by 2 million acres of national forest, roaring rivers and of course, the Cascade Mountains.
A logging town that hasn't forgotten its roots, the earthy, laid-back community has Craftsman-style architecture, a buzzing downtown and an exceptional culinary scene.
More than half of the people here have a dog, and you're likely to see Subarus with roof racks crowding nearly every parking lot in town.
On the slopes, there are 10 lifts, several terrain parks, more than 31 miles of Nordic trails, and a tubing hill.
At a little over 9,000 feet, this is a mountain known for exceptionally long seasons that stretch into May. It's also a dormant volcano that regularly breathes steam through tiny cracks. The vents are so small, you ski right over them, but the heat melts snow around the crevices, which can be seen if you happen to look.
Lift tickets are $58 ($69 on Saturdays and on holidays) for adults and $14 to $17 for Nordic skiing.
On the mountain's cloudy days, skiers should try the Outback chair, on the northwest shoulder of the mountain, where conditions are often pristine and runs feature the best moguls.
Boarders will likely feel at home in the Superpipe, which has been home to the Chevy Truck US Snowboard Grand Prix and 2006 Olympic Qualifier.
Both boarders and skiers alike should hit up the Summit chair on clear days . Bombing down the longest run on the mountain is a 3,365-foot straight shot with breathtaking views that make the chilly ride to the top well worth it.
If you get hungry, try the mid-mountain Pine Marten Lodge's Scapolo's for lunch, and at the end of the day, the Clearing Rock Bar in the West Village Lodge.
Back in town, there are a lot of choices.
With more than six homegrown breweries, nightlife in this town is defined by grabbing a pint and warming up by the fire. Check out Deschutes Brewery, 1044 Bond St., which features more than 18 taps. Be sure to try Jubelale, a seasonal winter ale brewed for just a few months each year during the holiday season.
Photos: Getty Images
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