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What's a good ski for Mt. Bachelor in May?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi-

 

I'm planning a trip to Mt. Bachelor this spring, during the first week or two of May.  It will be the first time I've skied out West (I live in New England), and I'm pretty sure my current gear isn't optimal for the conditions I'm likely to encounter.  Also, I'd like to avoid checking my skis thru on the plane.  As a final bonus, it would be nice to have an excuse to add a second set of skis to my quiver for future use in New England.

 

I'm 6', 150 lbs., 53 years old.  I'm an "advanced" skier, but no expert.  I can get down pretty much anything in New England, other than Tucks, but I prefer carving on blue and single-black cruisers, or tree skiing on those rare days where we get some powder.  I tend to favor short-radius, carved turns (rather than the skidded windshield-wiper turns that seem so prevalent at New England resorts).  I'm lucky if I get 20-25 days per season on snow, and I tend to prefer spring skiing to mid-winter, as I'd rather deal with big piles of slush than big patches of ice.  

 

At Bachelor, it looks like I'll spend most of my time on the front side, and only venture onto the back-side (but inbounds) runs on  "hero-snow" days.  I assume there won't be any true powder days, and that I'll mostly be on corn (with maybe some crusty, wind-packed crud in the mornings).

 

My current skis are 167cm K2 Apache V's, a pretty narrow-waisted ski (111/70/101).  They're great on hardpack groomers, but in full-on spring conditions I tend to get thrown around a bit.  Just to clarify, we hardly ever get the kind of silky-smooth corn conditions that I've heard about out West:  Our spring conditions tend to involve large piles of mashed potatoes and other crud, particularly by the end of the day.  My boots are Lange Comp 120's.

 

I'm assuming that I might be better served at Bachelor with a slightly fatter ski, perhaps with a bit more rocker in the tip.  (My Apaches are 8+ years old, so they are old-style cambered (but shaped) skis, with no rocker other than the traditional upturn at the tip).  I'm hoping to find something suitable for less than $700, as I'm primarily picking up these skis for this specific trip.  Having said that, it might be nice to have a slightly fatter ski in my quiver for future spring seasons in New England, so I definitely don't want to buy a big-mountain specialist ski that would only be usable out West (and probably wouldn't fit my style of skiing).

 

It looks like the on-mountain ski shop at Bachelor has the following brands available for demo:

 

   -K2

   -Rossignol

   -Atomic

   -Salomon

   -Volkl

   -Head

   -Blizzard

 

I'm assuming that there are some ski shops in Bend, as well, although the demo logistics might be a bit awkward.  Finally, if there's a clear-cut first choice, I might be willing to buy here at home (or via mail-order), without a demo, and have the skis shipped to Oregon before I arrive.

 

I'd be interested in hearing any advice that any of you can offer, either on specific skis or -- probably more usefully -- what kinds of general characteristics I should be looking for in a ski for this purpose.

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

post #2 of 10
This late in the season I would check with the Bachelor demo center to see what they have left. There are a number of ski shops in Bend that have demo skis available check Powder House and Skjersaa Ski Shop. The advantage of the Bachelor demo center is you can try up to 3 different skis in a day. Though for spring skiing I think the skis you have should work fine.

Also unless you hit a late spring storm, expect firm conditions until about 10am, corn until about noon and slush after that, especially on the lower mountain.
post #3 of 10

Contact  forum member DAWGCATCHING. He has a shop in Sun River which is Right next to Bend.

 

Rentals:

 

http://www.villagebikeandski.com/index.php?id=18

 

Store:

 

http://www.dawgcatching.com/

 

Forum post for end of season sale:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/118423/end-of-season-sale-25-70-off-all-skis-plus-extra-10-discount-for-epicski-members
 

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Though for spring skiing I think the skis you have should work fine.

Also unless you hit a late spring storm, expect firm conditions until about 10am, corn until about noon and slush after that, especially on the lower mountain.

So, if I follow, it sounds like my current (70mm) skis would be superior to fatter skis until mid-morning, just as good as fatter skis until lunch, and only really a win in the afternoon?

 

If so, that's a no-brainer, as Bachelor closes its lifts at 2pm in May.  I was concerned that the slushy, mashed-potato conditions might be present much earlier in the day.

 

Thanks for the advice.  There's no substitute for someone who has first-hand experience of the local conditions!

post #5 of 10
For me once the snow gets slushy and grabby I pack it in for the day. I don't think there are any magic skis for those conditions. Pretty obvious, but later in the morning the summit will have the best conditions. Rereading your post didn't catch that you don't want bring your skis. In that case for something different try something in the 85mm-100mm range. Check the StartHaus shoot outs, reviews and reviews by Dawcatching for something that looks appealing. You will only be limited by what is available at the mountain and local shops to demo this late in the season.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainy512Day View Post

You will only be limited by what is available at the mountain and local shops to demo this late in the season.

 

Can you give me a rough sense of to what degree the local and/or on-mountain ski shops will have "moved on" by May?  Around here (New England), most ski shops have fully switched over to selling bikes (or patio furniture!) by May, but we don't have as long a ski season, either...

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsb1 View Post


My current skis are 167cm K2 Apache V's, a pretty narrow-waisted ski (111/70/101).  They're great on hardpack groomers, but in full-on spring conditions I tend to get thrown around a bit.  Just to clarify, we hardly ever get the kind of silky-smooth corn conditions that I've heard about out West:  Our spring conditions tend to involve large piles of mashed potatoes and other crud, particularly by the end of the day. 

 

Keep your feet closer together & commit your balance to the outside ski.     (Flamingo turns are good practice for this)

 

Oversteering or feet too far apart or  too much pressure on the inside -> thrown around even on fat waisted skis.

 

Unless you're first on that particular aspect of the mountain,  piles of mashies will occur out west too.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainy512Day View Post

This late in the season I would check with the Bachelor demo center to see what they have left. There are a number of ski shops in Bend that have demo skis available check Powder House and Skjersaa Ski Shop.

 

+1 for Skjersaa's

post #8 of 10

I have skied  Bachelor in May/July last year

 

Ran 2011  elan apex in 176 88 width I am 5-10 165 50+

 

Note that one day we got dumped on and I went even fatter biggrin.gif

 

Smooth snow off the groomed on summit, almost like it was groomed

 

Biggest thing ya gotta watch for is submerged lava rocks they leave scars on new skis

 

And yeah a good ski in the 88 - 98 will work great in these conditions

 

get the springtacular pass and enjoy.

 

Ohh... don't forget to hit the Deschutes  brewery in Bend

post #9 of 10
Sorry can't help much. Best just to call around before you go to see what's available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsb1 View Post

Can you give me a rough sense of to what degree the local and/or on-mountain ski shops will have "moved on" by May?  Around here (New England), most ski shops have fully switched over to selling bikes (or patio furniture!) by May, but we don't have as long a ski season, either...
post #10 of 10

I'd use one of the models that has at least a tip on one end, and a P-tex gliding surface.

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