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Old 02-18-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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At the risk of sounding "backwoodish", (I am from rural midwest though), what is the process of snowboarding like? Let me explain this question a little... Here in Iowa, if I wanted to snowboard, I'd just find the steepest hill, climb up it and board down. Iowa is very flat, so you won't find any mountains or anything that would make snowboarding exciting. But the crux of my question is in regards to snowboard/ski locations in Oregon and how they relate to thrifty people such as myself. As I said, I'd be keen to just find a hill and climb up it... I don't need a special ski area with a lift, as those cost extra money. Will I be able to snowboard Iowa style out in Oregon, or will I have to suck it up and buy a pass to a ski resort? And if I do have to suck it up, what are some of the cheapest rates you know of? After reading some of the replies to my earlier thread, I'm totally stoked about Oregon so Thanks again!

Last edited by barefoot_iowa_hippie; 02-18-2010 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Portland Metro
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First off, I'm not a snowboarder. There may be others who have a snowboarder's perspective, and they should chime in.

Low elevations in Oregon do not have persistent snow in the winter. Eugene will have a couple of snowfalls per year that usually melt within 24-72 hours. You have to go up into the mountains to reach the snow for skiing, snowboarding, and sledding.

We have very few ski "resorts" here in Oregon. It's not like what you find in Colorado or Utah--mostly we have ski areas with lifts. In Eugene, the closest is Willamette Pass Resort which they call a resort, but people used to Aspen or Vail would probably disagree. There's also Hoodoo (www.hoodoo.com) which they also call a resort. I guess we use the term resort sort of loosely here in Oregon! Those two are your best bet close to Eugene. Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort - Mt Bachelor is much more like a Rockies-style resort, but it's further away, near Bend.

Hope that helps. I think you'll find Eugene to your liking, but the unemployment thing is no laughing matter. There's some serious hurt going on out here.
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Well, here in Oregon, unlike Iowa, the steepest hill would be difficult to just "climb up" and snowboard down. Yes, there is the option of backcountry skiing/boarding but you really do need to know what you're doing, unlike Iowa. There is a real risk of avalanche danger, deep, unpredictible snow, etc. in the backcountry. You are probably better off purchasing a lift ticket to a few of the smaller ski hills in Oregon, until you can really learn how to ski the backcountry (unless of course you do have backcountry skills). A person who ventures in the backcountry should know how to read the snow, understand avalanche danger, and always carry a beacon, as well as never go alone.

There might be a few days in the year where you can go out to the nearest hill (still will be a ways to travel in Eugene since it typically doesn't get much snow) and snowboard down, but those will be rarities indeed.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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We take our kids to Crater Lake - even in summer - and they "snowboard" on the snow there. There was three feet of Snow still at Crater Lake a few years ago - even in August! No joke. I have pictures! It's flat, and snowy, and the kids have fun. True snowboarders would probably laugh at us... but it sounds like what you're doing in Iowa, so maybe you could check that out?

The Willamette Valley (from Portland down to Eugene, in-between the Coastal mountain range and the Cascades) doesn't really get snow. We get flurries once in awhile, and once in a blue moon we do get it... but for real snow that's good for any real snow sports like others have said you need to go to higher elevations. Which, thankfully, are not very far away. There's even a bus you can catch in Eugene that will take you out to the pass for the day to ski or snowboard or whatever you want to do, then bring you home. How sweet is that?
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:23 PM
 
19 posts, read 82,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
We take our kids to Crater Lake - even in summer - and they "snowboard" on the snow there. There was three feet of Snow still at Crater Lake a few years ago - even in August! No joke. I have pictures! It's flat, and snowy, and the kids have fun. True snowboarders would probably laugh at us... but it sounds like what you're doing in Iowa, so maybe you could check that out?

The Willamette Valley (from Portland down to Eugene, in-between the Coastal mountain range and the Cascades) doesn't really get snow. We get flurries once in awhile, and once in a blue moon we do get it... but for real snow that's good for any real snow sports like others have said you need to go to higher elevations. Which, thankfully, are not very far away. There's even a bus you can catch in Eugene that will take you out to the pass for the day to ski or snowboard or whatever you want to do, then bring you home. How sweet is that?
Hi houseelf

For the "higher elevations" for which I can catch a bus.... when I get there will I have to pay to snowboard? Also, what is the bus service called, and do you know how much it costs? thank you for this valuable information.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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Here you go: Ski Bus Schedule
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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thank you much mr houseelf
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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I'm a backcountry skier, meaning I eschew the lifts and ski (often using skins) up the peaks here to ski down again. I occasionally see a splitboarder in the backcountry around here (Willamette Pass and Santiam Pass areas) but Bend is the area in Oregon for snowboarding. Otherwise, if you live in Eugene and don't want to make the 3.5 hour drive to Bend you're either at Willamette Pass or Hoodoo. W Pass is closer (approx. 150 mile round-trip from the west side of Eugene) and steeper, Hoodoo gets more dependable snow. You have to have a decent vehicle and spend the bucks for gas, sno-park pass, food, equipment, etc. It's not cheap and it's generally an all day commitment to go skiing. But that's the reality in all the West. In the 10 years I've lived here, I estimate I've racked up something like 40,000 miles on the truck just to go skiing.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lymelyte View Post
You have to have a decent vehicle and spend the bucks for gas, sno-park pass, food, equipment, etc. It's not cheap and it's generally an all day commitment to go skiing. But that's the reality in all the West.
This is a really good point and something I'd forgotten about. Even if you choose to go the backcountry route, you still have to pay. In Oregon and WA (I believe) you must purchase a pass to access most trails. In the summer it's the NW Forest Pass Recreation Passes of the Northwest, in the winter it's the sno-park pass Oregon DMV Sno-Park Parking Permits. The NW Forest Pass is a $30 annual fee, but keep in mind it doesn't work for winter trails. You must purchase a separate sno-park pass, for a $20 annual fee, to access the backcountry from many trails.

It's still much cheaper than a lift ticket, but if you get lost or need rescue (and unfortunately this is a reality for many inexperienced backcountry users) you could also be responsible for the cost of the search and rescue.

By no means am I discouraging you from getting out there and experiencing Oregon! But, I also want you to be prepared for the costs associated with it. I know many friends who have moved out west from the east and midwest and they are unpleasantly surprised by the costs of such adventures!
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:47 AM
 
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Thanks so much delta and lyme! I guess I'll be looking at those options for the winter of '10, as the snow is probably already melting up there based on your recent weather.
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