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Bachelor on the cheap or Utah for more?

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

Hoping to bank on some more experienced ski travelers to help me out with this decision. This year's trip is going to be 7 days in late January/early Feb. The cast of characters are: Myself (42, 4th season on skis Adv. Int. ready to get serious about off-piste), the wife (45, lifelong skier- Advanced primarily on piste) the 10 year old daughter (skiing since she was 4, fearless Adv Int at end of last season sure to be advanced by the end of this one).

We live in San Diego and will be using frequent flier miles to either dest., so no airfare, the key difference: we have free accomodations available in Bend so that makes Bachelor very attractive, however I would really like to hit Utah now that my skills have reached a level where I can appreciate more varied terrain.

That said, having never skiied either place is the trip to Utah worth the extra coin dropped on hotel and food, or should we put it off until the kidlet and I both have another season under our belts?

All thoughts appreciated!

BLD
post #2 of 50
There is a general consensus that PowderCorp is running Mt. Bachelor into the ground...

http://www.germane-software.com/~ser...0Bachelor.html

http://www.tsweekly.com/index.php?op...87&Item id=66
post #3 of 50
If your family is skiing primarily groomers, then you'll be happy with Bachelor. Bachelor is a great place for intermediates. However, although after a couple of days, you will have skied all the groomed trails Bachelor has to offer. And after about 4 or 5 days, you may be wishing for new terrain to explore.

If you believe that your family will be looking to ski off-piste advanced level terrain, then go to Utah. There isn't much at Bachelor for advanced or expert skiers. Bachelor has 2 chairs that service advanced terrain, the "Northwest" and "Summit" chairs.

While I'm told there is decent steep runs serviced by the "Northwest" chair, I've skied it quite a bit and wasn't able to find anything particularly challenging. The terrain serviced by the Northwest chair does make for some nice tree skiing, however.

I'm also told that the "Summit" chair has a lot of steep terrain, but I haven't been able to spend much time on that chair, so I really don't have an opinion of it. Because of the time you're taking your trip, the "Summit" chair may not be operating (I'll defer to Bachelor locals on this one).
post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Little Doggie View Post
This year's trip is going to be 7 days in late January/early Feb. The cast of characters are: Myself (42, 4th season on skis Adv. Int. ready to get serious about off-piste), the wife (45, lifelong skier- Advanced primarily on piste) the 10 year old daughter (skiing since she was 4, fearless Adv Int at end of last season sure to be advanced by the end of this one).
Given the stats above I'd guess that Bachelor would have plenty of terrain to keep you interested. The Summit chair allows access to some steep expert terrain as well as the backside of the mountain which is beautiful and lots of fun to ski. However, its exposed and will often be closed due to high winds and nasty weather. My friends refer to Bachelor as Mt Bad Weather.

Lots of great tree skiing at Bachelor.

The one thing Bachelor is lacking is bump runs (there are a couple but nothing like what I've see in Colorado).

The closest place to Bachelor is something like 17 miles from the mountain. Depending on where your lodging is it could be considerably longer. The good news is that its a fairly easy drive on good roads.

Powder (and therefore the off piste snow) tends to be on the heavier side so off piste skiing is more difficult than a location that has lighter snow.
post #5 of 50
Dave86 has Bachelor down. I wasn't able to discern a difference between the blue and black runs. A local told me that they painted the signs with black diamonds because they ran out of blue paint. It's a volcano so there is little variation in steepness. If that's what you want it would be a great place. Utah will give you more variety if that's what you like.
post #6 of 50
Bachelor is a fantastic mountain when you can go anywhere. There is more to good skiing than how steep it is. The back side is wild and beautiful and there is always some sort of uncut snow to be found. Practically all the trees on the mountain are skiable.

The summit is open about 15% of the time in December, 25% of the time in January, and 80% of the time in March and April.

For your time period Utah would be more reliable.
post #7 of 50
Also, the summit chair gets closed a lot for wind--particularly in the Jan/Feb months. The mountain skis fairly small when that happens. You really can't compare Bachelor to Utah. Bachelor is more of a local's hill while Utah offers true world class skiing. If you want a vacation with skiing, go to Bachelor. If you want a ski vacation, go to Utah.
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Little Doggie View Post
The cast of characters are: Myself (42, 4th season on skis Adv. Int. ready to get serious about off-piste), the wife (45, lifelong skier- Advanced primarily on piste) the 10 year old daughter (skiing since she was 4, fearless Adv Int at end of last season sure to be advanced by the end of this one).

BLD
For self-described advanced intermediates wanting to mix in a bit of off-piste, Bachelor is a great choice.

The Pine Martin, Outback, NW have some really great upper intermediate/low expert cruisers. Nice trees in between runs.

Summit has some nice high-end cruisers and a 360 choice of mostly high intermediate/low expert choices. The backside is especially good for finding powder since it gets wider as you descend to the ropeline. Also, it's a really great choice for off-piste without moguls everywhere which usually intimidate skiers. Park City areas are almost all bumps off trail.

Caveat: The snow can be a little heavier - so fat skis would really be appreciated. However, it's not as bad as most Cascade areas due to its elevation/more inland location/dessert proximity.

Bend is MUCH more attractive than SLC suburbs. And a lot cheaper than Park City - especially with free lodging.
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisc View Post
Bend is MUCH more attractive than SLC suburbs.

That's debatable.
post #10 of 50
I go to SD a lot for business (I'm an Ice Coaster) and have a method that might work for you to get a deal you might not have considered in Utah.

For one, you take the 6am Delta flight to SLC. It gets in at 9:15, and with a Quick Start Pass, you get three tickets for the day for free. You can buy a lot of food with three free days worth of tickets.

The Quick start program is available during non-high season, and when you go to the web sites of Park City, The Canyons, or Deer Valley, you fill out the online form, bring your boarding pass from that day, and you get a freebie. Nice. $75 x 3 for free.

While I'm sure the other area is excellent, consider that in Utah you'll have the Cottonwoods (Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird and Alta), the aforementioned Park City areas, as well as Snowbasin and Powder Mountain 45 miles in the other direction.

And - you can fly back on an afternnon flight getting another day without lodging. Sweet.
post #11 of 50
I skied Bachelor for a few days - they got like 6 feet of snow while I was there. Oddly enough, it sucked. Everything above treeline was shut down and much of the terrain there is too flat to actually make turns in deep powder. We ended up driving to Mt. Hood Meadows after a few days.

Alta, Snowbird and Solitude don't have this problem.
post #12 of 50
I lived in Oregon for a while. There's nothing there that compares to the ski areas up the road from my house here in Utah.
post #13 of 50
Local Mt.Flachelor skier here. Go to Utah it kills this place. Only way Bachelor is better is if Utah doesn't have any Snow.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
I skied Bachelor for a few days - they got like 6 feet of snow while I was there. Oddly enough, it sucked. Everything above treeline was shut down and much of the terrain there is too flat to actually make turns in deep powder. We ended up driving to Mt. Hood Meadows after a few days.

Alta, Snowbird and Solitude don't have this problem.
..


Such a waste...I'm disappointed to hear that Powdr corp. isn't taking care of the mountain.They run PCMR and I have no complaints. The lifts here used to break down a lot, but it left some nice hike-to terrain untouched. That got fixed, and hopefully stranding 400 skiers on a chair lift is a thing of the past.
post #15 of 50
sounds like you need to take two trips...

i've been to both Utah (Soli, Alta, Brighty) and Bachelor.

but the trips were several seasons apart.

for Bachelor I went with pops and we went in March, I believe. we scored some sweet deal where we stayed at the golf course outside of Bend for dirt cheap (snow was still on the course so their condos and rooms for rent were empty except for the out-of-town skier or fisherman). i believe we stayed there for 3 days/4 nights, 3 full days of skiing. i recall having a blast, but i also seem to recall being kind of done with the mountain after 3 days. i honestly can't remember much other than they had a sweet comic book store in Bend and then of course the brilliant Mirror Pond Brewery.

Utah was sweet. cheap and sweet. the bonus for Utah is that you have more resorts within driving distance of one another as opposed to being stuck just at Bachelor.

personally, you should do both if you could swing it. Be a shame to let free lodging slip through your fingers.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
I skied Bachelor for a few days - they got like 6 feet of snow while I was there. Oddly enough, it sucked. Everything above treeline was shut down and much of the terrain there is too flat to actually make turns in deep powder. We ended up driving to Mt. Hood Meadows after a few days.

Alta, Snowbird and Solitude don't have this problem.
Yeah, that can happen. There are days at Bachelor when no ski is too long or fat enough to get down what is open without walking. I've only seen it a few times though, so I think the mountain had it in for Jer.

Bachelorites had more good powder days in any month last year than Utah had all year. Utah is due.

You take your chances.
post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by UtahPowderPig View Post
That's debatable.
Dude, where you live =/= the 'burbs I stay in when I'm in town. I think I'm correct in stating that most people stay a good bit northwest into the sprawling concrete jungle from where you live. At least most people as cheap as I am.

I'm with dookey, I think the OP should swing two trips. Easier said, eh?
post #18 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the replies! I will definitely take it into account! I would love to swing two trips myself. Somehow I need to figure out how to get work to slide me and extra week of vaca!
post #19 of 50
Coming from another always on a family budget (and with all due respect to Utah) - no way I turn down free lodging, esp if hosted by friends or family that may help show me a good time. Also, other then variable weather, Bachelor is supposed to be one of the finest intermediate mtns in the country - a very good fit for your group. For an alternative, isn't nearby Hoodoo ski area supposed to be a gnarly little gem? Maybe you shouldn't seek another venue, just go to Bachelor in Spring/Easter time?
post #20 of 50
Bachelor, especially in January/early February, is very weather dependent. I'd only go if I saw the weather forecasts a couple of days before. I've been to Bachelor three times and never had a good trip (but some good days). Either they had little snow (unlikely in this coming La Niña year) or the wind was too fierce to ski in the interesting terrain.
post #21 of 50
I would hit up Bachelor, the base will be great by that time and the terrian will be more then you need. Plus, Bend is a great town with lot's to do after you get off the slopes.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Room View Post
Plus, Bend is a great town with lot's to do after you get off the slopes.
Be sure to take a pilgrimage to the Deschutes Brewery.
post #23 of 50

Where have you been Skiing in the past

Where do you normally ski?
And the free accommodations in Bend, a one time this year deal?
Bend is an interesting place, Mt. Bachelor is a long drive from Bend.
Mt. Bachelor is a big local ski hill that is turning into a Ski
Resort. You will be entertained there (I liked it)
Utah is one of the easiest best bang for the buck Ski destinations in the world.
Allot of the steep extreme terrain in LCC and other SLC resorts will be too extreme for you and most people, you can admire the Steep and Deep from the Snow Bird tram, but you aint gonna go there.
Alta is really two ski areas,
It’s a nice secluded family resort where a group of skiers with varying abilities can ride the same lifts but ski completely different lines.
At Alta, if you venture out into the inbounds side country you could get hurt by the terrain or some very aggressive skiers.
Hope this helps.
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT View Post
, Mt. Bachelor is a long drive from Bend.
.
Thirty-six minutes by bike (ok downhill) It is 22 miles without a switchback or steep spot, and there is a cheap bus from town which will dump you at the lift. Also one can drive to ski-in ski out parking places, which beats the heck out of some of the big resort shuttle bus-and-hike in your boots.

Four Brewpubs.
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
Thirty-six minutes by bike (ok downhill) It is 22 miles without a switchback or steep spot, and there is a cheap bus from town which will dump you at the lift. Also one can drive to ski-in ski out parking places, which beats the heck out of some of the big resort shuttle bus-and-hike in your boots.

Four Brewpubs.

You are describing the drive or distance from the last of many traffic circles in the newest and closest part of Bend.
I am not saying its an awful drive, but even when you know the way from (Old Bend) it’s a trek.
Local knowledge probably helps allot.
post #26 of 50
Hey MTT! It's not the aggro skiers off -piste that will hurt you- think about it- I've always found that to be the safest place in Utah. First of all, everyone's real spread out, and most good Alta skiers are noticeably better than almost anywhere else, around here anyway. They can turn anywhere on anything and stop on a dime if needed. Not so the knukleheads on the blues off the Sugerloaf chair. Or anybody at Deer Valley, for that matter. Now that's a dangerous place...
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT View Post
You are describing the drive or distance from the newest and closest part of Bend.
I am not saying its an awful drive, but even when you know the way from (Old Bend) it’s a trek.
.
Actually my house was a very old mill era house, the heart of old bend, right next to the bus pick up spot. 22.5 miles.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post
Hey MTT! It's not the aggro skiers off -piste that will hurt you- think about it- I've always found that to be the safest place in Utah. First of all, everyone's real spread out, and most good Alta skiers are noticeably better than almost anywhere els, around here anyway. They can turn anywhere on anything and stop on a dime if needed. Not so the knukleheads on the blues off the Sugerloaf chair. Or anybody at Deer Valley, for that matter. Now that's a dangerous place...
I think your ok once your at the end of the traverse or on the downslope, But I have seen some viscus stuff on the traverses especially the entry ways and the tight places just before an uphill.
I am OK, but OH MY GOD! if your stop in the wrong place. I have seen a tourist blown right into a wind fence and over rock, I have seen a kid get plowed from behind because they were in a traverse in a critical spot.
I am not even there that often and I have seen some stuff
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
Actually my house was a very old mill era house, the heart of old bend, right next to the bus pick up spot. 22.5 miles.
I spent 4 days skiing from Bend last year (Total Life time)

I liked the place.

This was just my perception of the two areas.
post #30 of 50
Thread Starter 
Wow, once again I appreciate the response, very cool that y'all respond so freely to a newbie. Anyhow, after more discussion with my wife, I think we are leaning toward Bachelor/Bend. The accomodations are with friends and as someone mentioned there is the Deschutes Brewery (I loves me some Black Butte Porter, and if I am lucky I still may be able to get Jubel Ale straight from the source!).
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