Mt. Bachelor: Our Backyard Winter Playground

Expert Ski Tips and Ideas to Help You Explore All the Mountain Has to Offer

Josh Spoelstra

Josh Spoelstra grew up in the Northwest and has been skiing since the age of 2. After graduating from college with a theology degree, all he could think about was getting back on the slopes.

“It was the allure of the snow, and being able to explore and challenge myself at any time,” he says. “I started coaching and instructing right out of college.” Today, he is the Ski Services Director at Mt. Bachelor and couldn’t be happier.

Mt. Bachelor Ski Services Director

Josh’s Expert Ski Tips

·         Know your own ability. If you want to get outside your comfort zone a little bit, push one skill at a time. Don't push three, four or five different things.

·         Control your legs. Get your legs to move underneath your body instead of making full body movements, which creates huge effects that have to be corrected. That can be very challenging.

·         Take lessons. Head up to Mt. Bachelor for lessons, either private or group, or a ski clinic. It is going to pay off big dividends.  

·         Concentrate on your next few moves. Don't look at the one you're already doing, or what you will be doing 10 turns ahead. Focus on a couple of turns ahead and that will safely get you where you really want to go. Also, when you’re looking at things you're supposed to be avoiding, that will cause you to move towards those dangers. Look to where you want to go instead.

·         Wear a helmet. Research has shown that after hitting our head, what we used to think was just a headache was actually likely to be a minor concussion. Multiple concussions throughout the years are cumulative.

·         Dress appropriately and make sure your feet are happy. If your feet are happy, then you can be happy. Be comfortable and confident in your clothing and in your eyewear. You don’t want your goggles fogging up.

·         Have fun. People ski for many different reasons, and the only person doing it for the wrong reason is the one who isn't having fun.


Snowshoeing is another popular activity at the resort. “It doesn't take as much skill as skiing, and it’s a great way to get out there and get some physical activity,” says Spoelstra. “Being out in nature is so quiet and serene – it’s all just gorgeous.” Tours are also available with U.S. Forest Service Naturalists, where guests can learn about plants and animals that can be found in the area.  

Call 541.693.0999; All ages ticket: $12

Sled Dog Tours

Sled dog tours are a big hit with guests of all ages. “Within minutes of starting, you’re in middle the of the wilderness - just you, the dogs and the musher,” Spoelstra says. “It doesn't take any skill at all, and our dog sledding is world class. We work with an awesome lady who owns her own dog sledding company. The dogs are amazing, super friendly and excited to be out there. You can tell they’re in their happy place.”

Advance reservations required. Check out Mt. Bachelor’s website for details.

Cross Country Skiing

Nordic, or cross country, skiing, is available at the Nordic Center on the north side of the resort. “It's a world unto itself,” states Spoelstra . “The center is where the U.S. ski team trains and has produced some world-class ski team members. We have excellent coaches and teachers at the clinics we offer at the Nordic Center.” Nordic skiing, he explains, is self-propelled, so it’s easier for people to go at their own pace.

Single day, multi-day and season passes available.

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