Backcountry Skiing


These morning staff meetings are exhausting.

You wanna make some turns, do you? Side Country, Slack Country, Back Country… The what ever name you call it by, it boils down to the same thing. Powder skiing is where it is at and if you spend all your time inside the resort you will run out of fresh turns quickly. The solution is having an alpine ski set up that you can also use to hike to the top. These days the backcountry gear is so advanced that you no longer have to sacrifice speed and power for uphill performance. On the other hand a super light weight set up will save your legs on the skin track.

Backcountry Brands We Love

Pine Mountain Sports is Bend’s original full-service backcountry and alpine touring ski shop. We feature quality alpine touring gear and accessories from companies like Black Diamond, G3, Rossignol, 22 Designs, and Arc’Teryx.

New to Backcountry? Take a ClassOutsideTheBoxBC101

If you’re new to the whole backcountry skiing thing, we’re here to help. Our popular Begin To Skin: BC101 presentations and guided outings are part of our Pine University series of winter clinics – and are a great way to learn the basics of the equipment and how to use it. Our BC101 classes are happening from Dec thru Feb each season – with the schedule posted by Oct/Nov.

Pine Mountain Sports rents it all too. So if you just want to try the latest AT skis or need to rent a full package with an avalanche beacon, boots, skis, climbing skins, and poles we can set you up to maximize your time on the snow.

Where to Ski?

Central Oregon has some amazing backcountry skiing opportunities. Ask us for some of our favorite backcountry destinations. When you’re in the store, invest the $20 and treat yourself to a copy of one of our favorite guide books: Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes – Oregon. It includes maps and details for every adventure from Lassen Peak, through Oregon, up to Mt. St. Helens.

Parking Passes For Sno-Parks?

Keep in mind that you must have a valid Sno-Park permit displayed in the windshield of your vehicle if you park at designated Sno-Parks between November 1 and April 30. We have these daily Sno-Park passes ($6) and the annual/winter Sno-Park passes ($28) at the store during the seasons they are required. Ask our staff for suggestions on planning and parking for your adventure.

Uphill Skiing at Mt. Bachelor?

Mt. Bachelor’s Uphill Travel Policy allows access for skinning uphill within the ski area but only along a designated route to the popular Cinder Cone, as well as an east side route to Mt. Bachelor’s summit, so long as conditions are safe. For a description, maps, and policies on these routes visit

Current Weather at Mt. Bachelor?

First off, check the current conditions report at That said, our favorite source for accurate weather at Mt. Bachelor is this NWS forecast. Keep in mind that the parking lot at Mt. Bachelor is at 6000 ft and the summit is 9000 ft.

Know Before You Go

We would like to echo the advice from the Deschutes National Forest regarding safety while traveling in the back country:

Backcountry users venturing into avalanche terrain should be aware of potential risk and should be skilled at recognizing potential avalanche areas and snowpack conditions and act accordingly. Be responsible for your own safety and that of others around you; perform careful snowpack evaluations, stability tests and make safe route decisions. Avalanche potential can increase with increasing slope angle, snowfall, rain, wind, changing temperatures, other factors and avalanche hazard can escalate in a short time. If you do not have avalanche training, consider sticking to low profile, non-avalanche prone terrain.

On-Line Avalanche Info:

Central Oregon Avalanche Association

Guide Services, Yurt Trips and Avy Education:

Three Sisters Backcountry

Oregon Ski Guides