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Oregon the New Boring Colorado?

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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?

Thoughts:

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?
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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Bozeman and Whitefish are gonna pop too..also Leavenworth WA...
SHHHHHH... But no exactly this. This was my point places like Bozeman and Whitefish are currently dream locations but that'll change. On the bright side both of those areas are HUGE and you want terrain, holy hell. The bad part for Whitefish is that Glacier has blown up in popularity too so now summers are even going to start getting crowded. But you got a few years to get it now.

Levenworth is already almost played out. Stevens isn't built for crowds and its starting to get packed. It won't take long sadly

The thing that saves Sandpoint is all the Nazi's. Little too radical up there for a lot of people. Victor is just awful. I mean fucking horrible. So you own a 7 bedroom 4 bath house, there's literally nothing there.
The Navis don't get on the slopes though :) Don't talk to the locals and Sandpoint is a dream, that whole area is stupidly pretty. Not to mention Turtle racing in Coeur De Lane.
 

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As bad as you say Oregon is I think Washington may be worse. Living in Seattle there are several areas within reach but all are extremely crowded on the weekends. I used to get a seasons pass for Stevens Pass because the weekday/weekends-evening pass was pretty reasonable and the crowds weren't horrific. Now I hit Stevens maybe once a year, the terrain is MEH and the crowds bad even mid-week if there is fresh snow. Crystal is a no go on weekends if you don't like crowds and the terrain is not to my liking, great if you like steep but the moderate stuff has a lot of flats. Can't even imagine going to Snoqualmie, short runs, crowds and mediocre snow. Baker is too far for day trips, at least more than the occasionally. Really the only places I want to go on the weekends are Mission and White Pass which pretty much require a weekend commitment.

As far as dream locations or retirement options for me I still think about Bend despite the crazy growth just because I really like
Bachelor and there are tons of other year round outdoor activities and it's a scenic location. Boise and SLC aren't that scenic IMO. McCall is scenic but Brundage and Tamarack are small hills with limited terrain. Sandpoint with Schweitzer would be nice, seems like prices are high there too and not a lot of job opportunities. There are certainly some nice locations with smaller local hills but certainly not what the original poster is looking for.
 

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I don't see Whitefish blowing up. Mostly because of the jobs thing. maybe Kalispell will kick it into high gear. Bozeman on the other hand is definitely blowing up, jobs are still an obstacle everywhere in Montana, but there is more opportunity in Bozeman for sure.
 

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Oregon has no "resorts" which are built to handle crowds, we're still trying to pretend we're Baker but we now have triple the population and 1/3rd the level of terrain.
Baker is pretty much at capacity on the weekends...certainly with in the past 2 years, if you haven't gotten the goods in the first 3 runs, you ain't getting it. And by 11am BC is getting tracked. This past year on mid week pow days, the parking lot fills up much more than in the past. The past being maybe 2 rows of cars and easy goods all day. The only thing saving bakes is the lack of services, the drive and local weather...keeps the touristas from over-running the hill...but damm Seattle needs to stick to crystal and stevens; and Canooks to north of the boarder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I don't see Whitefish blowing up. Mostly because of the jobs thing. maybe Kalispell will kick it into high gear. Bozeman on the other hand is definitely blowing up, jobs are still an obstacle everywhere in Montana, but there is more opportunity in Bozeman for sure.
True, although I was putting Kalispell and Whitefish together as they're practically one town. Was talking to a real estate agent there recently and the amount of properties switching to full time vacation properties is insane. With the boom in tourism in the area in both summer and winter it's a year round destination which is gonna create jobs. But Whitefish is easily on my list of best places to live for riding and enjoying the outdoors. Bozeman is gonna be overrun long before Whitefish. That area's growth is explosive, but the thing Montana has going for it is how big everything is and that means room to accommodate growth.

PS if any of you haven't ridden Whitefish, don't it sucks stay away. Go to Colorado where there's snow and real terrain.
 

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Yeah, I consider Kalispell and Whitefish basically the same area. It is super nice up there. I wanted to look at that area but the wife put the kebosh on that one. Hence Ridgway. Which the terrain around here sucks, you definitely want to go to Vail...
 

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I don't see Whitefish blowing up. Mostly because of the jobs thing. maybe Kalispell will kick it into high gear. Bozeman on the other hand is definitely blowing up, jobs are still an obstacle everywhere in Montana, but there is more opportunity in Bozeman for sure.
True, although I was putting Kalispell and Whitefish together as they're practically one town. Was talking to a real estate agent there recently and the amount of properties switching to full time vacation properties is insane. With the boom in tourism in the area in both summer and winter it's a year round destination which is gonna create jobs. But Whitefish is easily on my list of best places to live for riding and enjoying the outdoors. Bozeman is gonna be overrun long before Whitefish. That area's growth is explosive, but the thing Montana has going for it is how big everything is and that means room to accommodate growth.

PS if any of you haven't ridden Whitefish, don't it sucks stay away. Go to Colorado where there's snow and real terrain.
I definitely agree with the CO theme. The terrain is soooo much bigger and better there. And more snow to boot. Definitely think the western side of the state has alot of untapped potential. Especially that one town Ridgway... ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Colorado is crowded with Californians. Go to New England! Warmer winters with better snow.

Unless you've experienced 35k people on the hill, your lines aren't that bad.
HAHA tis true. Although for Oregon I'm not talking about lift lines, or even crowds in general it's more even being able to get to the mountain to sit in a lift line. And then about terrain/facilities/views vs crowd.

Pick, someone offers you a season pass to Timberline or a pass to Breck which you picking (based solely on the riding and crowds, not living area)
 

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Be happy you're not dealing with I-70. 4 hours to get to the mountains, 8 hours to return from them. People wonder why I don't leave my house on a Saturday anymore.

If we're talking walking distance, Breck would win as I can literally see the gondola from my chair right now. And I also know the mountain like the back of my hand.
 

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HAHA tis true. Although for Oregon I'm not talking about lift lines, or even crowds in general it's more even being able to get to the mountain to sit in a lift line. And then about terrain/facilities/views vs crowd.

Pick, someone offers you a season pass to Timberline or a pass to Breck which you picking (based solely on the riding and crowds, not living area)
Timberline would be WAY down on my list. I lived walking distance to the lifts in Vail, lionshead village side, yet chose to move and settle in bend.

The crowds have gotten intense in CO all year long. Bachelors busiest weekends are no where even close to what an average weekend is in the front range. Even when there is a long line at the base of Pine, skyliner or Sunrise, NWX will be empty.

But, having said that. Colorado is the best, everyone should pick Keystone over ALL....
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Yeah, I consider Kalispell and Whitefish basically the same area. It is super nice up there. I wanted to look at that area but the wife put the kebosh on that one. Hence Ridgway. Which the terrain around here sucks, you definitely want to go to Vail...
Wifey made a mistake :) Been vacationing a bunch in the area the last few years, although Glacier NP will be interesting to see since the wildfires. I was there about 2 weeks before they started. Beautiful area with all the outdoor activities year round. Fishing, hiking, mountain biking, everything, boating/wakeboarding, everything.

Kalispell having an international airport is pretty neat as well, although at only a day drive from PDX I'm usually roadtripping it. Not to mention it's actually cheaper there in winter than in summer....
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Timberline would be WAY down on my list. I lived walking distance to the lifts in Vail, lionshead village side, yet chose to move and settle in bend.

The crowds have gotten intense in CO all year long. Bachelors busiest weekends are no where even close to what an average weekend is in the front range. Even when there is a long line at the base of Pine, skyliner or Sunrise, NWX will be empty.

But, having said that. Colorado is the best, everyone should pick Keystone over ALL....
Again agreed, Timberline is a joke for terrain and that's the opoint of the "boring" in the title. Colorado is obviously busier and more crowded. But it's also bigger. Its not a 1-1 comparison I'm making. I think 5 years ago Id have chosen Bend no problem but with what's already happened and where it's going it's not going to have the value. Take summer, backpacking in Sisters area is now the outdoors version of Disney. I like the proposed permit idea to protect all the damage being done from excessive crowds. but I also don't like being in an area I have to get a permit to walk around in the woods. I remember reading this quote a while back and being like yup that about sums it up "I don't even consider it a wilderness experience," said Chris Sabo, trail crew supervisor for Deschutes National Forest. "It's almost more of an urban park. The use is very high, really beyond what this area can accommodate."
 

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Wifey made a mistake :) Been vacationing a bunch in the area the last few years, although Glacier NP will be interesting to see since the wildfires. I was there about 2 weeks before they started. Beautiful area with all the outdoor activities year round. Fishing, hiking, mountain biking, everything, boating/wakeboarding, everything.

Kalispell having an international airport is pretty neat as well, although at only a day drive from PDX I'm usually roadtripping it. Not to mention it's actually cheaper there in winter than in summer....

I just wish we had of looked. I would have loved to live that close to the Canadian border. Weekend trips to Rogers Pass would have been amazing. Fortunately the San Juans are one of the most bad assed ranges around. Pretty much everything here too. Though the lakes are not quite as good, the mountain biking is off the hook. Moab is about 2 1/2 hours away to boot.
 

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I guess maybe your version of rich and my version of rich are different. Living in vail for 5 years showed me what my version of rich is..... Bend is very far from that.

As for crowds going down from pass price, i just like that it stays about the same, they sold 1000 less passes this year than last. There is no more max pass or any conglomeratefor bachelor, that was 30%+ of the crowds over the last 2 seasons.

Im happy that people are not liking the price or the lack of amenities as you stated. Thats good for me and other people that live here and only ride bachelor, bad for people that dont live in town.
This is encouraging news
 

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I think all these small gems of a town are going to see massive growth for the fact that there are so many jobs that don't tie you down to a location. Living at a no longer means you need to make your money from the local economy, or lack there of.

More bad news is that a good number of these people who can now move are likely from CA and will not settle for just moving. They will bring CA life with them.

If you want to keep your quaint little mountain towns you should outlaw high speed internet.

Then again there is all that porn, so it's a toss up.
 

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Airport

I think all these small gems of a town are going to see massive growth for the fact that there are so many jobs that don't tie you down to a location. Living at a no longer means you need to make your money from the local economy, or lack there of.

More bad news is that a good number of these people who can now move are likely from CA and will not settle for just moving. They will bring CA life with them.

If you want to keep your quaint little mountain towns you should outlaw high speed internet.

Then again there is all that porn, so it's a toss up.
All the places within easy driving distance of a major airport, gotta have direct flights to big cities, they gonna get loaded up with people. So many telecommuters....
 

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You need to get this so bad. WAY nicer to hang out in the parking lot....
The stove is so small that the work to get enough small pieces of wood cut small enough to properly fit is a pain in the ass and doesn't have a long burn time.
 
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