A cold front was moving through the Oregon Cascades, and Dan and I wanted to ski. Our original plans to ski another peak and hopefully find corn were foiled by the weather, so we figured we’d head to Bachelor and probably find mashed potatoes. Nevertheless, we set out early in the morning, and after a pleasant drive up Highway 58 and Cascades Lakes Highway, stopped briefly at Sparks Lake to snap a couple of pics of the mountain. To our surprise, the mountain was cloaked in fresh snow and we could see snow on the trees.
We quickly drove up to the Sunrise gate and loaded our gear and headed out. Only a couple of folks were ahead of us as we started up, and there was a couple inches of fresh around mid-mountain. By the time we were skinning under the Summit chair, the snow had increased to around 4-5 inches. I stopped briefly to capture Broken Top with a fresh coat of white…
After about an hour and a half of skinning, we reached the summit, and prepared to drop into the Cirque bowl. To our surprise, the few folks who were ahead of us skied back down under the lift, which meant first tracks for us….
I dropped in first, and left Dan with my camera to snap a few photos. I ski cut the slope on the upper bowl, and it was stable, so I ripped the wind buffed pow on the steeper slopes of the Cirque bowl…..
We rode the entire length of the bowl, and it was sweet soft snow all the way down. Riding the bowl in fresh snow with nobody around was quite a treat, considering during the season the place is a circus.
We left a couple of beers buried in the snow, and headed back up to enjoy another lap as the sun started to warm the slopes. A quick skin put us back on top, and shortly thereafter we headed down again for more fresh June snow.
I dropped in first, and made fast, smooth turns down the steep part of the bowl, earning fresh snow on my face with each steep turn. The snow had morphed from powder to heavier snow, but was still excellent. Halfway down, I setup to snap a few pictures of Dan as he came down….
We skied down to the bottom of the bowl once more, enjoying big, sweeping turns all the way back to our waiting beers. Kicking back in the sun, we reflected on a great day over our now ice cold beers, before heading down to the car to call it a day.
Lower down, we were able to link turns back down Avalanche run and then most of the way back to the Sunrise lift. We did have to walk a couple hundred feet, and then milked the last patch right back to the base.
At the car, we loaded gear and headed down the road to get off the hill and eat lunch. Sitting there with a view of the mountain as I enjoyed a fresh salad from the garden, Dan and I both agreed this would be a day we would not soon forget — late June powder days are about as rare as it gets!