After about 8 years I'm wondering if it's time to call Oregon riding played out and done. Sure there's LOTS of snow, Cascade concrete but snow is snow I guess? But with crowds, prices, and for the most part terrible terrain I think it's no longer worth its value... Maybe I'm coming down with a hard case of the grass is always greener?
Timberline: Awesome to see and visit, the terrain though, well what terrain? There's a reason Timberline is known Flatline and its ridable terrain is actually minimal. Timberline is so flat I've started dreading powder days there. The only redeeming aspect of the resort outside the picturesque lodge is if you wait to talk the snow cat up to the top of Palmer and do a full top to bottom run, thats cool but not crazy and only available on weekends when snow and visibility are perfect and its unlikely you can even get two of those runs in in a day. Crowds can get painful at Flood and expect the road to even get to the hill closed before the lifts even start turning due to full lots.
Mt Hood Meadows: For me this resort has DIED in recent years sadly. Forget all the new passes with new rules about not showing up until 3 and no holiday riding for normal season pass holders. For some extra money you can get around that. But The crowds have gotten HORRENDOUS. Normal weekday and your not there before 8:45 turn the car around, the resort is full and you're not getting in. Powder day, better be there by 8:15. Then even if you manage to get in to the lot and up the hill, any real snow is gone within an hour outside some small staches in Private Reserve or with come intense hiking all the way out to Clark Canyon if they're even open. And have fun with the lift lines in the mean time. Terrain is OK, There's some fun areas and some steeps a couple of cliffs but they're not like cliff bands or cliff areas outside one specific spot. It's more a couple places to drop of a rock. If it weren't for the crowds, difficulty getting even in to a lot I'd enjoy it, I did use to like it for my local mountain
Ski Bowl: Ok the most redeeming place in the state probably. I have zero problem with the fact that the only have old 2 person slow lifts, I kind of like it. Dirt cheap, crowds are very manageable and there's some AWESOME terrain. Problem: the terrain worth riding is limited to one lift, upper bowl, and the runs are RIDICULOUSLY short. As in the chair has a whopping elevation gain of 777 feet but a ride time of 7 minutes. Don't get me wrong I've never had more fun dropping cliffs here than any resort because it can nuke and theres so few crowds you can get fresh drops all the time. And all this keep in mind is if it's even cold enough to not be raining. At only 5,000 feet top elevation of the upper chair it rains as often as it snows here.
Mt Bachelor: Probably the best area to ride in the state. There's some fun stuff to skin or hike to unlike on Hood where there's really a very minimal backcountry scene. The inbounds terrain is large and variable Crowds can get bad although I'll be honest haven't been with the new cloud chaser chair, not sure if it helps. But man powder days on the weekend, good luck getting in many runs. There are two major issues with Bachelor though.
One: Season Pass cost. At a whopping $1,000 your one of the most expensive season passes in the country. But hey every pass has perks so what are theres? As of this season, NONE! No bonus resort lift tickets or anything like that, for a grand you get to ride one mountain all winter and nothing else. Possibly the biggest rip off currently in the industry.
Two: Location. Bachelor is largely a destination mountain unless you live in Bend. And Bend isn't exactly easy to live in. Industry is minimal, it's more a resort town for the wealthy and people who work remotely. Cost of living has SKYROCKETED, it's population is sharply increasing but there's really not the room for it. Just look at trying to hike around that area in summers even. Sisters backpacking is practically Disneyland these days.
Every time I visit the Montanas, Idahos, Bakers, etc of NA I keep finding myself going, is Oregon worth it?