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Five Reasons to Ski Mt. Bachelor this Spring

When the spring sun shines in Bend, Ore., the whole town gets down.

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Spring, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Empty lift mazes, deck-side après, bluebird pow days, and parking lot barbecues—all permeated by the sweet smell of sunscreen. And no resort celebrates this magical season more than Mt. Bachelor, Ore.

Perhaps it’s the fact that Bachelor’s winter skies are often darkened by falling pow (462 inches of the stuff), or maybe it’s all that great local beer that begs to be quaffed in the sun. Whatever the case may be, when the warm rays and long days roll around, Bachelor revels in them from first chair to last call. With weekend-long Sunchaser Spring festivals through the end of May (yes, that’s almost June) and a special spring pass for only $219 (which, last we checked, is the cost of a single day ticket at Vail), springtime is Bachelor’s secret season. So pack up your sunnies and your fat skis—these are Bachelor’s best weekends of the year.

Hella Big Air Competition, March 28

Four people sit on a chairlift and watch a person flipping off a ski jump.
Think you’ve got what it takes to send it at Hella Big Air? Register to compete.

When Bachelor says “hella big air,” they mean it. This fourth annual event showcases the world’s best park skiers and riders throwing down and spinning off an 70+ foot gap jump, which you watch from the fecund soil of one of two base area beer gardens Bachelor tends just for the event. Bachelor also keeps the Pine Marten lift spinning until 7 p.m., so you can ski, eat, drink, and repeat until your quads give out. Or switch your boots into dance mode when Brother Ali takes the stage for a free concert while the event finals are broadcast on a huge screen at the base. If you don’t have a Sunchaser Spring pass, you can buy a discounted ticket that’s valid from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. It’s hella fun. 

Subaru Winterfest, April 3-5

People sit in adirondack chairs at the base of Mt Bachelor on a sunny day. Stages and event tents surround them.
2020 musical line up includes: The Infamous Stringdusters (4/3), Railroad Earth (4/4), and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (4/4 & 4/5). 

Yes, we know, Winterfest is technically a spring celebration, but is there ever a time we shouldn’t share our love for the season that brings us snow? This free weekend-long concert features live outdoor music at the base area, along with s’mores, hot beverages, and nearly $10,000 worth of prize giveaways. It’s a giant party—and be sure to drive your Subaru for free VIP parking. 

RendezVan, April 22-26

Because you’re not a true skier unless you’ve spent the night in a ski area parking lot, there’s no better celebration of our dirtbaggery anywhere in the world than RendezVan. A five-day campout for RVers, campers, and van-lifers in the West Village parking lot, the festival features live music and DJs (including headliner Trampled by Turtles on April 25), local brews and food trucks, Gaper Day, a skateboard mini ramp, and, of course, a continuous parking lot barbecue (and raging dog party) open to all. The festival also coincides with the Woodward Peace Park Championships, so you can add hanging with pros to your reel of nomad highlights. 

Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge, May 8-10 

Snowboarder in red jacket grabs their board at the top of a pipe while a crowd of people watches.
Big Wave brings the surf to the mountain each spring. 

The Gerry Lopez Big Wave snowboard competition honors Bachelor’s surf-inspired vibe. With wind lips and side hits that the volcano’s unique topography and weather create, this mountain attracts snow and water surfers who love its natural flow. Hosted by legendary surfer and Bachelor ambassador Lopez himself, the Big Wave event is similar to a surf comp, drawing pros to compete on a course with wave-like features that include huge banked corners, quarter pipes, and spines. Spectators can watch the action from the West Village and hang 10 with big-name board-shapers and surfers at a Hawaiian barbecue at the base. 

Finale Weekend: Board, Bike & Brew, May 23-24

Person on white outfit skims a bright blue pond at Mt Bachelor finale weekend while a crowd of people lines the slope.
Board, bike, and drink brews all in the same weekend to celebrate another great winter season in the books.

Closing weekend at Bachelor is legendary, with a pond skim, all-day parties, and epic costumes. Now in its second year, the Board, Bike & Brew festival features mountain biking off the Little Pine lift; skiing, beer garden and barbecue in West Village. New this year, the three Bs get a Z as Bachelor debuts a zipline that stretches from the Pine Marten Lodge all the way to the base, a 1,384 vertical-foot drop over 1.3 miles. Doing it all in one day (the beer is the easy part) and you’ll be living like a local – where the only thing that’s better than one activity is two, three or even four!