Mt. Bachelor (Oregon Cascades; 9,065')

Mt. Bachelor's historical (and proper) name is Bachelor Butte. The name change occured for PR reasons when the mountain acquired the dubious distinction of being the only summit in the Oregon Cascades that can be reached by ski lift. This limits worthwhile ascents of the cinder cone to a brief window right after Memorial Day Weekend, after the lifts close and before it all melts out. The ascent is short (only 2,700 vertical feet), the descent on the deserted slopes is fun, although hardly a wilderness experience, and the views are cool. In the summer a trail leads up from the ski area, but hardly anybody ever bothers; there are better hikes around.

Mt. Bachelor from the southern slopes of South Sister in early July (photo credit: Jörg Rollbühler)
Topo Map
Routes: NE Ridge (I, easy snow, moderate ski descent)
NE Bowl (I, steep snow, steep ski descent))

References: N.A. Dodge, A Climbing Guide to Oregon , Touchstone Press (Beaverton, OR 1975)

Date: June 12, 2010

Party: DB solo

Route: NE Bowl, ski descent

Equipment: AT skis

Time: Highway - Summit 2 hrs 50 mins
Summit - Highway 20 mins
Roundtrip from Highway 4 1/2 hrs

Comments: Still a lot of snow. Snow good at high elevations, sticky low.

Photo Gallery: Click the thumbnails to see a higher resolution image

Mt. Bachelor from the ski area parking lot.

View of Broken Top during the ascent.

At the base of the bowl.

View of the Three Sisters and Broken Top from near the summit.

Sparks Lake, the Three Sisters, and Broken Top from the summit.

View of the Cascades Lakes and Diamond Peak from the summit.

View of Mt. Bachelor across Lava Lake.

Date: May 30, 2008

Party: DB solo

Route: NE Bowl, ski descent

Equipment: AT skis

Time: Highway - Summit 2 hrs 20 mins, roundtrip from Highway 3 1/2 hrs

Trip report: I was going to miss most of the skiing season in the first decent now year in a decade, due to a long trip to Europe, and I desperately wanted to get out one more time before I left. I did not have much time, and the weather had been bad, so I opted for Bachelor over Diamond Peak. I drove through low clouds and drizzle, but just east of Santiam Pass the weather cleared, it was sunny, and the mountains were all visible. I parked below Sunrise Lodge and bootpacked straight up the NE Bowl, which is quite steep near the top. (I measured it in 2010; the steepest section is 30 to 35 degrees.) The snow was near perfect for kicking steps, not too hard and not too soft.

While I was going up, three telemarkers came skiing down, and after a while on the summit I was joined by a guy who came skinning up the groomed slopes, but otherwise I had the mountain to myself.

I skied the line I had climbed, going from jump turns to weaving through the cinder ridges to cruising down the deserted runs back to my car. Very nice descent, but much too short! I was back down at my car by 12:30pm, and home by 3pm. Very nice trip!

For earlier ascents, click here .