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Mt. Bachelor — Mt. Mountain layout

Mountain Layout—Skiing

Between the Outback and Red chairs is an unusual geologic feature, a lone cinder cone. It’s not lift-served, so powder lasts there until it’s wind-packed. By getting up a head of steam from Leeway, skiers can swoop up nearly two-thirds of the way and climb the rest.

Expert, Advanced: Mt. Bachelor’s Northwest Express Quad serves 400 acres of tree skiing and open-bowl terrain in an area called the Northwest Territory. When the Summit Express is open, experts should head for it. The steepest descent is through The Pinnacles, a jagged rock formation reached by a 150-foot hike from the top of the lift, then across the broad ungroomed expanse of Cirque Bowl. Next might be Cow’s Face, far to the left of Summit Chair, steep but smooth. Because it’s unknown to many skiers, it doesn’t get carved into moguls, but wind packs it hard. You usually can find moguls on Grotto, Canyon and Coffee Run, all off the Pine Marten chair.

The longest continuous vertical on this mountain (3,365 feet) can be had by taking off from the Summit chair off the back side, occasionally traversing right and ending up at the bottom of the Northwest Express chair.

Intermediate: This mountain is best suited to intermediates. The Outback Express, with a 1,780-foot vertical rise, serves excellent intermediate runs. From this chair, Boomerang is the only run rated black, and it parallels the lift. One blue run, Down Under, often is left ungroomed for mogul enthusiasts. Other popular chairs for intermediates are the Pine Marten Express and the Skyliner Express. Old Skyliner, off the Pine Marten chair, has marvelous dips and rolls—far more fun than the usual freeway design of many intermediate trails.

Most of the lower mountain is sheltered by trees, especially in the Outback, but some runs, such as Flying Dutchman and Tippytoe, give the exuberance of upper-mountain skiing. Intermediates can experience the heady sensation of being on the summit and still get down safely using the broad Healy Heights and Beverly Hills, which are always groomed. In fact, intermediates can’t get into trouble at Mt. Bachelor because anything beyond their skill level requires a knowledgeable decision to get into it; for example, the hike to The Pinnacles.

Beginner: Green-circle trails descend from every lift except the Summit and Outback chairs. More difficult trails are on either side, funneling the faster skiers away from those still learning to control their turns.

First-timer: Novices have their own terrain at both base lodges. Adjacent to the West Village Day Lodge is a short high-speed quad chair, Sunshine Accelerator. The runs it serves are called Milky Way and Home Run, a clear giveaway of the terrain’s gentleness. At the Sunrise Lodge the Carrousel Triple chair gets riders to the Rooster Tail and Marshmallow runs.