OREGON | UNITED STATES
Backcountry skiing Oregon is all about skiing year round. The Volcaninc Cascades that run through the vertical center form Mount Hood to the north all the way down to Mount Ashland to the south. The Cascades often get hammered with abundant amounts of heavy maritime snow. On the eastern side of the state, the Wallowa Mountains and Anthony Lakes region offer a drier, lighter snow that rivals that off Colorado and Utah.
The main issue for Oregon backcountry skiing is access. Especially in the Cascades, to access the high Peaks, a snowmobile helps a lot!
While a lot of the backcountry skiing in oregon can offer up long descents and ascents on the volcanoes, their are some shorter options for quick access when time is short. These areas, like Tumalo, offer short steep pitches of backcountry skiing and are best found above 6000 ft.
Part of the Oregon Cascades this area encompasses Willamette Pass, Mt. Bachelor, The Three Sisters, Broken Top, Three Fingered Jack, And Mount Washington.
This part of the Oregon Cascades encopasses Diamond Peak to the north to Mount McLoughlin in the south. Crater Lake has been left out as it is quite deserving of its own section. Other gems you will find in the Southern Cascades include Mount Thielsen, Pelican Butte, and Mount Bailey. These Volcanoes hold snow well into summer and offer some of Oregon's best ski descents.
Once Mount Mazama, Crater Lake is now the remains of a massive eruption that happened 7700 years ago, leaving us with the deepest lake in North America(2000ft deep), and some awesome ski terrain.
Unfortunately Crater Lake has been ruined by the government by placing it under National Park status. What this means for skiers, is that you are not allowed to ski into the rim, which is a shame because there is some rowdy terrain!
Nevertheless areas like Mount Scott, Hillman Peak, Llao Rock, Garfield Peak, among others still provide some great skiing.
The Elkhorn Mountains are a small subrange of the Blue Mountains in eastern Oregon. The Elkhorns, a north-south range, are a collection of glacial lakes and valleys that surround dissected mid-elevation peaks. The peaks top out around 8600' and are quite rocky so skiing really is not ideal until a 40" base develops. Most of the easily accessible peaks are on the fringe of treeline, so skiing is reminiscent of higher peaks in the Rockies.
Northern Klamath range, so elevation limited to 7500' at Mt. Ashland. Nice E-W ridge though. Winds tend to howl from the south, so big cornices can be concern for avalanches on north slopes, especially if steep. Skiable slopes are rarely more than 1000', snow pack limited at 5500' in general. North slopes can have nice powder, retain for a day or two. South slopes can warm up and give nice corn.
The Wallowa Mountains are a mountain range located in the Columbia Plateau of northeastern Oregon in the United States. The range runs approximately 40 mi (64 km) northwest to southeast in southwestern Wallowa County between the Blue Mountains to the west and the Snake River to the east. The range is sometimes considered to be an eastern spur of the Blue Mountains.
Much of the range is designated as the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area, part of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The range is drained by the Wallowa River, which flows from the north side of the mountains, and its tributary the Minam River, which flows through the west side of the range. The Imnaha River flows from the east side of the range. Many geologists believe the Wallowa Mountains in northeastern Oregon are a displaced fragment of the Insular Belt.
The highest point in the range is Sacajawea Peak, at an elevation of 9,838 feet (2,999 m) above sea level. Sacajawea is the sixth tallest mountain in Oregon and the tallest mountain in Oregon outside of the Cascade Range. Headquarters/Wallowa Mountains Visitor Center in Enterprise. From left to right the peaks are: East Peak, Aneroid Mountain, Bonneville Mountain, Chief Joseph Mountain, Sacajawea Peak, Twin Peaks and Ruby Peak.
The Mountains were formed from granite from a magma upwelling in Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous time (between 160 million and 120 million years ago).
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