Skiing the Cascade Volcanoes
        Amar Andalkar's Ski Mountaineering and Climbing Site
Ski Mountaineering Photos & Trip Reports Equipment & Info Cascade Volcanoes Ring of Fire Site Map

Table of Contents | Introduction | Ratings | WebCams | Bibliography | Highest Volcanoes | Snowfall & Snowdepth | Monthly Chart | Conifers | Compare | Distance | Sun Chart
  Lassen Peak
  Mount Shasta
  Medicine Lake Volcano
  Mount McLoughlin
  Pelican Butte
  Crater Lake
  Mount Bailey
  Mount Thielsen
  Diamond Peak
  Newberry Volcano
  Mount Bachelor
  Broken Top
  Three Sisters
  Mount Washington
  Three Fingered Jack
  Mount Jefferson
  Mount Hood
  Mount Saint Helens
  Mount Adams
  Goat Rocks
  Mount Rainier
  Glacier Peak
  Mount Baker
  Mount Garibaldi
  Mount Cayley
  Mount Meager

| Mount Bachelor from the east in June;
the glacial cirque lies just below the right skyline
(photo by Amar Andalkar)   <click to enlarge>

Mount Bachelor
    9065 ft (2763 m) .
Location: Cascade Range, central Oregon,
20 miles (30 km) W of Bend
Lat / Long: 44.0° N, 121.7° W
Volcanic Type: Stratovolcano / steep-sided shield volcano
Volcanic Status: Dormant, last eruptions about 8000 years ago
First Ascent: Unknown, probably Native American
First Ski Descent:
Skiable Vertical: 3400 ft (1050 m)
Lift Served Vertical:   3400 ft (1050 m)
Timberline: about 7500 ft (2300 m)
Administration: Deschutes National Forest
Protection Status:   none, although snowmobiles are banned
User Fees: Mount Bachelor Ski Area offers downhill skiing
typically from late November through May or June
and scenic chairlift rides in the summer

    Located in the shadow of the Three Sisters, Mount Bachelor is nonetheless one of the most famous volcanoes in the Cascade Range, not because of its size or beauty but because it is home to the largest ski area in the US Pacific Northwest. If any volcano in the range had to be given over completely to lift-served skiing, Bachelor is perhaps the finest choice. Its very symmetrical form, consisting of a steep-sided shield surmounted by a composite cone, results in slopes of near perfect pitch for skiing, which drop from the summit over the full 360-degree circle. Tree cover on the upper portions is quite sparse, but the few trees are distributed along radial erosion furrows, thus creating ready-made ski runs and also protecting the snowpack from the winds. In addition, Bachelor is much less glaciated than its neighbors, allowing skiers to venture safely about the mountain without fear of crevasses. The one major glacial feature is a large cirque on the northeast side, which is still occupied by an inactive glacial remnant. This cirque provides the steepest slopes on the mountain, with numerous gullies dropping from the summit between eroded lava pinnacles in the upper bowl, thus remedying Bachelor's only major terrain deficit. Despite its location a few miles east of the Cascade Crest, Bachelor still receives nearly 400 inches (10 m) of snowfall annually, and its snow retention is among the best of any ski area in North America, resulting in a ski season which stretches reliably from November to June, and often even into July.

Route Ratings Starting
Quality Effort Ascent Descent
Summit Ski Mountaineering Routes:  
Northside Glacier Remnant
  "The Cirque"

6300 ft
(1900 m)
2800 ft
(850 m)
7 miles
(11 km)
After the lift-served season is over, those willing to earn their turns can still find nearly top-to-bottom skiing for a few weeks. Large portions of "The Cirque" retain good-quality snow even into September, making this one of the easiest places (south of Mount Hood) to get in some quick late-summer skiing. The ascent route starts from the summer hiking trailhead, at the eastern (Sunrise) base area.

Upcoming additions: Topographic map showing ski routes.

Northwest view of Mount Bachelor from the summit of South Sister,
with the neighboring shield volcano of Tumalo Mountain at left;
the rocks in the foreground are the crater rim of South Sister
(photo by Amar Andalkar) <click to enlarge>

Useful Web Links:

Deschutes National Forest: Home Page
Deschutes National Forest: Recreation Report
National Weather Service Office: Portland, OR
Yahoo! Weather: Mt Bachelor, OR, Forecast
Mount Bachelor Ski Area
USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory: Mount Bachelor
Deschutes National Forest: Oregon Volcanoes: Mount Bachelor

List of Guidebooks:  (detailed references on the bibliography page)

Climbing the Cascade Volcanoes Summit trail (climbing info)

List of Maps:

Map Series Scale Topo? Map Names Year Notes
USGS 7.5-minute 1:24,000 Yes, 40 ft Mount Bachelor
Broken Top
You don't really need a map here, do you?
Geo-Graphics 1:84,480 Yes, 80 ft Three Sisters Wilderness 1994
Useful for a regional overview
US Forest Service 1:126,720 No Deschutes National Forest 1988 Forest road information not really needed

More photos, routes, links, references, etc. coming soon...
Please contact me with any suggestions, additions, or corrections.

Previous Page (Newberry Volcano) | Mount Bachelor | Next Page (Broken Top)
Table of Contents | Introduction | Ratings | WebCams | Bibliography | Highest Volcanoes | Snowfall & Snowdepth | Monthly Chart | Conifers | Compare | Distance | Sun Chart
Ski Mountaineering Photos & Trip Reports Equipment & Info Cascade Volcanoes Ring of Fire Site Map

Amar Andalkar   Seattle, WA, USA   <About the Author / Contact Me>
All material on this website is ©1997-2024 by Amar Andalkar unless otherwise noted.
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