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Mount Bachelor 4/25-4/27/2021

machski

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
2,589
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63
Location
Northwood, NH (Sunday River, ME)
Resort or Ski Area
Other / Not Listed
Date
Apr 25, 2021
Snow Conditions
  1. Powder
  2. Packed Powder
  3. Slush or Spring Snow
Even out west, spring ski trips and timing play hand in hand. I have been very fortunate my two previous April trips to Bachelor were well timed. This third trip proved to be just as well. Our first day was Sunday, April 25th and arrived to midwinter temps, a couple of inches of fresh snow ontop of spring frozen crud base. It snowshowered/squalled through the day with the summit in the clouds resulting in no summit access. It wound up being the last day of full lift ops and normal season hours, so we stayed mostly on the east side off Cloudchaser. The groomed runs were soft, mostly packed powder. Off grooms, Pine Martin and Skyliner was fairly powdery and just enough to make it fun, though you knew what the base was beneath. The further East you went, the lower the new snow amounts and the more it felt like a heavy dust on crust. Around 130ish, the sun broke out for a good 45 minutes and shot the temps up at least 10 degrees (probably pushed 40 on the east side). This quickly softened all the off trail on the east and made for some fun runs. It also softened up the East catchline, making that a bit of a slog with the amount of uphill section on that back to cloudchaser. All in all a solid cool spring skiing day.PXL_20210425_194819105.jpgPXL_20210426_154845771.jpg

Monday 4/26
While not a super big dump, Monday brought on a full on Powder day. Resort report 4 inches overnight but they measure at the bottom of West Village. The NW side (where all the good sustained steepness exists outside of the pinnacles off the Summit) tends o get more and did it deliever. I would say more like 8" over there that coupled with Sunday's snow, made the upper half of the NW side ski 100% midwinter. All of the trails skied great between Outback and NW Express and traversing out to the far west bowls and trees yielded fresh lines all morning. Lapped that all morning. Summit opened midday with some clearing though a persistent NW cloud/fog bank held tight limiting terrain patrol was allowing access to due to visibility. Skied the Pinnacles line off the top, nice snow on top but you could feel the frozen crud beneath. East Cow Flats skied decent, but with Cloudchaser done for the season, could go too low before the point of no lift return. This day also marked the start of their spring hours, 830a-130p.
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Tuesday 4/27
The sun was finally out on full display from bell to bell. Opening bell saw a temp in the teens and caused the lower half of the frontside to firm up overnight. The NW side didn't see the same firm up, and plenty of untracked powder lines awaited through mid morning. By then it was time to head up the Summit and all 360 degrees were in play. The backside had already softened in the bright April sun, with the fresh snow it skied like cream cheese frosting. The backside of Bachelor is so much fun, terrain rolls and twists, wide open lines pinch into trees then open up again, with skier's right having big drift ridges you can launch off of time and again on your way down. You do hit the west catch line, though this catch has much better pitch than the east and is a much easier run down to the NW express. Also made the hike to the top to drop into the NW side. This yields the max vertical runs at 3300' vertical or so. Fun until the last 500' vert of so, as by then it had warmed enough the snow was becoming gluey, even in the shaded trees. Coupled this day with some Mountain Biking out of town in Bend. Fantastic trail network and by this point in the spring, totally dry and snowless down at those elevations. If you are looking for a late season ski trip to couple with Mountain Biking, you cannot go wrong with Bachelor and Bend!
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I should add we rented our bikes through Pine MTN Sports in Bend. We got hardtail Trek Roscoe's with dropposts for $35/24 hours or $25/4 hours. Great deal IMHO as bikes were in great shape and fairly (a year old at most). If you want more aggressive, they offer a couple of levels of full suspension frame bikes for a bit more.
 

Tonyr

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Looks like an incredible late season trip, did you visit the last Blockbuster in Bend?
 

jimk

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Location
Wash DC area
Nice! I've skied a lot of US ski areas, about 90, and Bachelor is one of the most unusual. Being able to ski 360 degs off the top is very cool and the backside can be otherworldy. 8" is a nice/hero depth. Deep enough to be fun and creamy, shallow enough not to bust your a$$. o_O
 

Tonyr

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Nice! I've skied a lot of US ski areas, about 90, and Bachelor is one of the most unusual. Being able to ski 360 degs off the top is very cool and the backside can be otherworldy. 8" is a nice/hero depth. Deep enough to be fun and creamy, shallow enough not to bust your a$$. o_O
That's cool you've see alot of ski areas. I know it may be a tough question but what would you say are your top 3 resorts?
 

jimk

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That's cool you've see alot of ski areas. I know it may be a tough question but what would you say are your top 3 resorts?
Short answer: the top one is the one you're skiing today :)

I used to ski a 1000' vert mtn 50 times a winter and loved it (Blue Knob, PA), so I can have a great time on any mtn. But some are pretty special. In the East I love Wildcat on a nice day. I have a fondness for Stowe, Killington, Whiteface and Saddleback too.


In the West the Aspen group is pretty awesome for a vacationer. Of those I like Highlands the most. I've had some great times at Breckenridge too. I really like the high alpine there including some of the hike-to stuff. I like Kirkwood in CA. I like the ski areas and scenery around Banff. I've skied only a few places in Austria and would love to get back to the alps. The scenery, culture and food blows away N. America. I've gotten quite familiar with Snowbird in recent years while visiting my son nearby. Heck of a mtn. I'm sure all the big resorts, East or West, are tremendous if you have the time to get to know them well.
 

Tonyr

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Short answer: the top one is the one you're skiing today :)

I used to ski a 1000' vert mtn 50 times a winter and loved it (Blue Knob, PA), so I can have a great time on any mtn. But some are pretty special. In the East I love Wildcat on a nice day. I have a fondness for Stowe, Killington, Whiteface and Saddleback too.


In the West the Aspen group is pretty awesome for a vacationer. Of those I like Highlands the most. I've had some great times at Breckenridge too. I really like the high alpine there including some of the hike-to stuff. I like Kirkwood in CA. I like the ski areas and scenery around Banff. I've skied only a few places in Austria and would love to get back to the alps. The scenery, culture and food blows away N. America. I've gotten quite familiar with Snowbird in recent years while visiting my son nearby. Heck of a mtn. I'm sure all the big resorts, East or West, are tremendous if you have the time to get to know them well.

Thanks for the info, it's good to get someone's perspective that has been all over the place. From the nearly 40 US ski resorts that I've been to I'd have to agree with you on Aspen being one of the top stops. I guess that's why it's so expensive! The Park City / SLC area would be up there too, it's nice for you to have family out there now.

When Canada opens up again we are going to add the powder highway to the list for a future trip. My tenatitive plan would be Calgary to Kicking Horse to Revelstoke to Lake Louise to Banff then back to Calgary for the return flight home. This can all be done over 12 to 14 days from they way I've tried to plan it.

Mt Bachelor looks like it would be a great trip one day too.
 

jimk

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Bachelor is kind of isolated, but I hit it for three days on a circular route from San Fran to Bach to Tahoe and back to San Fran. After Bach we then drove a lonely route down to Reno and spent another week and a half skiing some Tahoe resorts.

I forgot to mention that I also really like Mad River Glen. Probably the coolest old school vibe in the country.

Many of my visits have been one day and done or two-three days and done. In that short time it can sometimes be hard to get a really good appreciation of a large ski area. Some I need to get back to before passing full judgement on are Squalpine, Big Sky, W-B. I have never been to Mammoth, but something tells me I'd like it.
 

machski

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Northwood, NH (Sunday River, ME)
Bachelor is kind of isolated, but I hit it for three days on a circular route from San Fran to Bach to Tahoe and back to San Fran. After Bach we then drove a lonely route down to Reno and spent another week and a half skiing some Tahoe resorts.

I forgot to mention that I also really like Mad River Glen. Probably the coolest old school vibe in the country.

Many of my visits have been one day and done or two-three days and done. In that short time it can sometimes be hard to get a really good appreciation of a large ski area. Some I need to get back to before passing full judgement on are Squalpine, Big Sky, W-B. I have never been to Mammoth, but something tells me I'd like it.
Mammoth I would highly recommend as well. Should have trip reported that a few years ago, did it in April 2019 and liked that so much with a tremendous snow year, went back and skied it into July 4th! Mammoth has much more in the steep department than Bachelor, and much more room to move around. It's a Volcano Peak too, still have to get to Timberline. Probably should have done that on one of the Bachelor trips.

The one caveat to Bachelor, especially during midwinter is the Summit lift and storm cycles. You can hit Bachelor and the skiing will be great, but the Summit is often closed during storms. It is very possible you could be locked out of the summit all week. There is still a lot of fun to be had off the Northwest Lift, but missing out on the 360 summit experience would be a bummer. Mammoth can be similar with stage 2 of the Panorama Gondola and Chair 23 to the top in storm cycles. Chair 23's top is a bunker of sorts, the chair actually enters a bit of a tunnel as it rounds out into the top bullwheel and both exits you ski out of can clamshell shut for storms.
 

abc

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I've gotten quite familiar with Snowbird in recent years while visiting my son nearby. Heck of a mtn. I'm sure all the big resorts, East or West, are tremendous if you have the time to get to know them well.
Many of my visits have been one day and done or two-three days and done. In that short time it can sometimes be hard to get a really good appreciation of a large ski area. Some I need to get back to before passing full judgement on are Squalpine, Big Sky, W-B. I have never been to Mammoth, but something tells me I'd like it.
Some years back, I stopped "ticking off" as many mountains as possible and switched to spending many more days in one mountain, then another. I enjoyed the "hunting" for best lines in various conditions. Less travel too, for the same (or better) amount of skiing.

As much as people knock megapasses, I like the fact I can ski the same mountain many more days for the same amount of $$, yet not confined to a single mountain. So a nice balance of checking out a few different mountains and getting to know each a bit more. (as such, I don't really care "how many more" each megapass covers, anything more than 10 are more than enough FOR ME)
 

dblskifanatic

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Some years back, I stopped "ticking off" as many mountains as possible and switched to spending many more days in one mountain, then another. I enjoyed the "hunting" for best lines in various conditions. Less travel too, for the same (or better) amount of skiing.

As much as people knock megapasses, I like the fact I can ski the same mountain many more days for the same amount of $$, yet not confined to a single mountain. So a nice balance of checking out a few different mountains and getting to know each a bit more. (as such, I don't really care "how many more" each megapass covers, anything more than 10 are more than enough FOR ME)

I agree! Before moving to Colorado we had a single mountain pass at Cannon which we were happy with and did the Ride and Ski card tours. we would get about 25-30 days there and 20-25 days at other places.

When we moved to Colorado we got the Epic Local and we were blown away. That pass and adding Loveland offered us over 15,000 acres of skiing on Colorado with a huge variety of terrain. Equal to all of New England acreage wise. The first couple of years we were like kids in a candy store and wanted to visit it all. Then over the past few years started to focus on Breck, A Basin and Loveland with smatterings of days at other places. The idea that we could go anywhere (so it seemed) just felt really cool. But you are right - it is nice to be able to focus on a few and still have the ability to ski others once in a while. In the end either way we generally do 45-60 days in a season and want the variety of locations. A mega pass allows for variety with out spending money on additional lift tickets to get that. Oddly enough we still skied other places in CO outside of our passes.
 
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