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The Best Spring Party in The World is At Mt. Bachelor

The Best Spring Party in The World is At Mt. Bachelor

Things are heating up at Bachelor. What if you could spend your days under the sun sipping beer, watching skiers and rider launch hella big air, dancing to good music, and making some turns all at the same time? Well, in Oregon, you can. Enter–Mt. Bachelor’s Sunchaser Spring. Starting in just a couple weeks, the list of events that make up the best spring party in skiing is getting underway. For the skiing, Bachelor has a specific Sunchaser Spring Pass that allows for unlimited skiing and riding from March 30th-May 26th. Nobody does it quite like Bachelor. Saturday March 30th : 10 Barrel Hella Big Air To kick things off the Bend, Oregon-based brewery, 10 Barrel Brewing, sponsors the Hella Big Air event–an epic high-flying (and high-paying) competition to see which rider or skier can send it to the absolute moon. If you’re lucky the sun will be out and, since it’s sponsored by a brewery, you know the beer will be flowing. Saturday April 6th : VertFest 2019 A week later the Central Oregon Avalanche Center, Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, and HydroFlask all come together to put on the country’s ultimate celebration of backcountry skiing and riding. The day includes riding, demos, clinics, food, and a party (obviously), to increase avalanche awareness & training and to get people excited about the back country. Friday April 12 – Sunday April 14th : Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge In mid-April it’s time to wax up the board. Though they might not be slashing waves on Oahu, in honor of surfer and Mount Bachelor legend, Gerry Lopez, you can watch snowboarders...
Western Snowfall Going Deep Into Record Books

Western Snowfall Going Deep Into Record Books

If you think this has been a particularly dark, dreary and dank winter, you’re not imagining things. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released its observations for the past winter season (December through February) and numbers confirmed it: The total winter precipitation (i.e., rain) average across the entire contiguous United States was 9.01 inches, which is a record 2.22 inches above average for that period. What that means for skiers and snowboarders is that the mountains across the West have been pummeled with powder, with many resorts, particularly in the Sierra Nevada range, reporting obscene — and in some cases record — amounts of snow.  Above Average Snowfall Try these numbers on for size: Mammoth Mountain, which averages about 400 inches of snow per season, is sitting at 635 inches and has a good shot of breaking the all-time mark of 668.5 from the 2010-11 season. Squaw Valley has had 618 inches of snow, which is just five inches shy of its all-time mark set two years ago. Northstar, which averages a paltry, for the Lake Tahoe region, 350 inches of snow annually, has been buried under 555 inches of snow this season. Brighton and Snowbird, which each average around 500 inches of lake-effect Wasatch powder annually, are sitting at 513 and 505 inches, respectively, and counting. Jackson Hole, which averages 459 inches a season, had tallied 486 inches by March 12. The various ranges of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are seriously above their average water equivalent, with Steamboat, which got 282 inches of snow this season, having received 124 percent already, Aspen (329 inches of snow) having received...
How to Slay Pow Like a Pro

How to Slay Pow Like a Pro

In case you haven’t been paying attention… NOAA, our overlord of weather data, just reported that this winter has been the wettest on record. Ever. People, do you understand? Colorado has avalanches dumping out on the Interstate, California is setting records and staying open until forever, and Wyoming and Montana are worried about radiation from the relentless nuking that’s been taking place on the daily. So with all this pow, how do you slay like a pro? Step 1: Find the Pow. Great. Easy. This year that means walking out the front door step. You don’t even have to break a sweat. If you don’t live close to snow, though, may buy a plane ticket or saddle up the station wagon, but make sure you buy your lift tickets online before you go unless you want to pay full price at the window (yikes). Otherwise you can put your face over a topless blender with ice in it and turn it on. It’s kind of like skiing. Step 2: Grab the Fatties Skis for the Pow Translation: grab the widest skis you can. Skiers and riders have different preferences here, but the word of the day is float — think like a rubber ducky, it’s what you want. The goal here is to, as best as possible, stay on top of the surface of the snow and float effortlessly down the hill. In order to float, though, you need real estate wide enough to keep you on top. So how do you do that? Glad you asked. Fatty Pow Skis — A Crash Course Like I said, this is...
Ski Resorts You Can Experience Under A Moonlit Sky

Ski Resorts You Can Experience Under A Moonlit Sky

These Ski Resorts Offer the Unique Experience of Skiing at Night Night skiing and snowboarding is not for everyone. After all, after you’ve spent all day racking up vertical, busting pow or bashing bumps during the sunlight hours, you can hardly be blamed for sitting out the night session. Plus, it can be darn cold. Still, there is a certain aesthetic for taking to the hill when the sun goes down. The glow of the artificial lights on the snow — especially falling snow — lend an other-worldliness aspect to the rather mundane nature of making turns down the mountain. Features that are readily recognizable during the day take on more curious looks in the semi-darkness. And because of diminished light, the runs seem a whole lot steeper. So if you have a hankering to see what it’s like to ride under a dark star filled night , grab a pair of clear-lensed goggles, put on some extra extra-layering and check out these interesting night-skiing hot spots:   Brighton With 200-plus acres and more than a dozen runs lit up, Brighton is the place to be if you happen to be looking for some evening excitement in the Salt Lake City area. The Big Cottonwood Canyon resort spins three lifts until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Buy Brighton Resort Night Skiing Tickets   Alyeska Situated way up there near Anchorage, Alaska, it gets dark awfully early at Alyeska in the dead of winter. But the resort lights up 375 acres when the sun goes down, with three lifts, including the tram, providing access to 2,000 vertical feet of terrain until 9 p.m.   ...
Colorado’s Steepest Run that Will Make You Pucker

Colorado’s Steepest Run that Will Make You Pucker

Yeah, you read that right. No it’s not Vail, not Breck, not Keystone…in fact, the run didn’t even exist until last season. Enter Arapahoe Basin — The Legend Built out in the summer of 2017, Arapahoe Basin’s Steep Gullies are the culprit behind those butt clinching, mind tingling, chest tightening sensations . While in the history of mankind we experienced these sensations in order to focus and outrun a saber tooth tiger, times have changed–now we’re faced with double black diamond expert-only terrain that quickly rule out the faint of heart. If, however, you are willing to lean into your body’s natural response, your return on investment may be the biggest dumbest grin West of the Mississippi. The Steepest Terrain Arapahoe Basin (AKA A-Basin) began an enormous project to expand the existing terrain in the summer of 2017. The result? 468 acres, 34 new runs, and a new chair lift that opens skiers and riders up to the steepest runs of the entire ski area. Those steeps live in the properly named, Steep Gullies. You can access the terrain either by way of the legendary Pallavicini chair or the new Beavers quad that runs all the way to the top of the mountain, but exiting the Gullies is a different story. Earn Your Turns As the saying goes, you gotta earn your turns. The Gullies are steep and the snow is good but only if you’re willing to hike the 30 minutes or so to get out of it. If you’re up for the stroll, freshies can linger for days because most skiers avoid the walk. But don’t expect...
Would You Like a Side of Sidecountry With Your Ski Resort?

Would You Like a Side of Sidecountry With Your Ski Resort?

Today’s topic is side-country — or is it sidecountry? — skiing and snowboarding. First off, the term is a misnomer, cooked up some years ago by some well-meaning individual as a means to differentiate between way-out-there terrain accessible only by hours of skinning or hiking and that ever-so-enticing terrain that lies just beyond a ski area’s boundary. It should be called lift-accessed backcountry skiing and boarding. Because once you pass through the access, or to be more precise, exit gates, you are leaving the world of managed snow, i.e., the ski resort, and into the realm of wild and wooly, where avalanches, unmarked hazards and other terrain traps await the unprepared and/or unschooled  rider. The local ski patrol may not be readily available to rescue you if you get into a pickle. So it behooves a person who wishes to sample some lift-accessed backcountry to be fairly well-versed in the art of reading the snow and terrain. To be equipped with a pack containing the basic avalanche rescue tools (shovel, transceiver, probe). To be somewhat gregarious and ski with a friend or two. You know, the same rules of engagement you would follow in regular backcountry skiing. Having said all that, the following are five different side-country, oops, I mean lift-accessed backcountry experiences available at American resorts. Mt. Judah to Donner Lake Sugar Bowl has several access points to backcountry adventure — the California resort even sells one ride lift tickets — but one of the most popular is the so-called Lake Run. Starting from Mt. Judah, a skier or snowboarder is looking at a 2,200-foot vertical descent to...