Endless Winter


Dec 5, 2002
Outside Magazine

Livin' single: hucking big air off Mount Bachelor

Mount Bachelor, Oregon
THE WHITE, VOLCANIC DOME of Mount Bachelor sits high above its warm, semi-arid surroundings like a scoop of ice cream on a plate of green-brown sage. The jockaholics from nearby Bend might be biking, running, and rafting, but there'1s still about a 100-inch base up on the mountain in May for everyone who can't shake their winter-sport habit. For all of its conical symmetry from afar, Mount Bachelor is, in fact, full of subtle irregularities: lateral ridges, nubs of volcanic rock, short slots through the rocks, and all manner of swoops and rolls. Which is why new-school skiers and snowboarders flock to this natural-terrain park.
COOL DIGS: The Pine Ridge Inn (doubles, $130-$275, including breakfast; 800-600-4095, www.pineridgeinn.com) has romantic gas-flame fireplaces in each room, but it's the view from the balcony above the Deschutes River that will really warm your spirits.
MOUNTAIN STATS: summit, 9,065 feet; vertical drop, 3,365 feet; skiable acres, 3,683; annual snowfall, 350 inches
LIFT TICKET: $44 Contact: 800-829-2442, www.mtbachelor.com

Alyeska Resort, Alaska
WHEN IT COMES TO SKIING in Alaska, heli-skiing tends to hoard the attention. And in a state with so many mountains, so much snow, and so few lifts, one can see why. But Alyeska's five-minute tram gets you to the goods on the North Face, a chillingly steep fall-line pitch of about 2,000 vertical feet. On a powder day (when helicopters can't fly anyway), this is the place to be, and huge winter dumps assure a season running well into May. Long northern days, warm temperatures, plenty of snow, and scintillating views of the Turnagain Arm make this a late-season winner.
COOL DIGS: With a three-story lobby of cherry wood and a river-rock fireplace, the Alyeska Prince Hotel (doubles, $145-$200, including breakfast and lift tickets; 800-880-3880, www.alyeskaresort.com) and its sushi bar look and feel like they were shipped in from downtown Tokyo.
MOUNTAIN STATS: summit, 3,939 feet; vertical drop, 2,500 feet; skiable acres, 1,000; annual snowfall, 789 inches
LIFT TICKET: $45 Contact: 800-880-3880, www.alyeskaresort.com