Friday, April 23, 2010

Conquering The Cone

Mt. Bachelor ski area is located on a dormant volcano.  To the northwest side of the mountain is a large cinder cone, formed during a time when the mountain was more active.  This cone is not served by any lifts, but people like to hike "The Cone" to get fresh tracks.

The Cone rises up from the ski area below.

On powder days, I've always looked longinly at The Cone, wanting to hike up there any make some tracks of my own.  But I've never convinced anyone to climb up there with me.  Well - that is - until I made a spring break trip to Bend late last March. 

People climbing up the side of "The Cone."

The snow gods had  been good to us the night before, and graced Mt. Bachelor with six inches of fresh, fluffy powder.  My brother Dale and I had made a couple of runs, and delighted in the snowy goodness.  That's when I looked up at The Cone and mentioned to Dale that today would be a great day to ski its slopes.  Dale took a little bit of convincing, but finally decided he would join his crazy sister in her quest to conquer The Cone.

To access The Cone, you must ski down an adjacent ski run as fast as you can to try and get as much distance up the side of The Cone's slopes as possible.  When you run out of momentum, it's time to take the skis off and hike the rest of the way up.  Although it always looked daunting, I found the hike to take no more than 15 minutes.  Yes, it was a steep and strenuous climb, but not as bad as I thought I'd be.

Top of The Cone! Yahoo!

Once on top we took some time to admire the views.  On that day, I did not have my camera with me (can you believe it??) so Dale snapped a photo of me with his camera phone.  Proof of my historic climb!

Then we clicked into our skis, chose our lines, and had our best runs of the day down the knee-deep powder that graced the slopes of The Cone.  There was much whooping and woo-hooing as we carved through the fluffy stuff.  When we reached the treeline, we stopped to admire our tracks.

I was ready to climb up and do it again, but Dale was tuckered out.  Once was enough for him.  So we skiied to the lift, and went to check out the Northwest Express side of the mountain.

So now I'm an official "Cone-Head."  Next powder day I find myself at Bachelor, you can bet I'll be up there!

1 comment:

  1. The Cone sounds like a blast! I look forward to seeing your photos next time you go there! Happy Skiing!


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