Why the Pacific-Northwest should be on your MUST-RIDE list!
When those groomers and backcountry runs become all too familiar and you’re looking for your next snowboard destination, you can’t go past the Pacific-Northwest! Combining the mountains and valleys of Oregon and Washington states, this part of the USA has become one of our favourite destinations to shred, drawing us back year after year. Close to Seattle and Portland, and with Vancouver just across the border, the Pacific-Northwest is one of the most easily accessible snowboard destinations in the USA. Being bounded by the Pacific Ocean in the West and the Rocky Mountains in the East means this zone gets hammered with light and dry powdery snow, perfect for any snowboarder wanting to ride big mountain terrain like Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Baker and Mt. Hood. Team that up with a great live music scene, awesome beer and food, and all round good vibes, the Pacific-Northwest is the perfect spot for the ultimate shred-fest!
Need a few more reasons to shred this part of the world?
1. There’s something for everyone
Whether you’re a freerider or a powderhound, the Pacific-Northwest has just what you seek. Nestled among the infamous Central Cascades, Mt. Hood Meadows and Mt. Bachelor ski resorts are a freerider’s ultimate playground. These volcanic mountain ranges offer some of the best natural terrain in North America, from huge alpine bowls, to steep pitches, and stacks of natural features scattered across the resorts. Mt. Hood Meadows also boasts the ‘best cruising intermediate terrain’ in the state (as voted by Oregonians!). For those looking to get ‘steep and deep’, Mt. Baker answers the call, with numerous canyons and bowls, guaranteed to serve up some of the best powder riding you’ve ever seen.
2. The best terrain parks, West of the Rocky Mountains
If you’re after playful terrain, Mt. Hood Meadows is THE place to ride. Designed by the legendary Snow Park Technologies, there are six terrain parks (and one epic superpipe) to pick and choose from and dial in those tricks. Not to mention, Mt. Hood Meadows is home to North America’s only year-round terrain park. That’s right…365 days of shred! The newly updated park configuration has been crafted with a slopestyle influence, which means you can easily transition from one park to another. Add that to a new park-only tow… bring on those endless park laps!
3. Light, dry, powdery goodness
And lots of it! Mt. Baker is legendary for many reasons; one being that it averages the most annual snowfall (over 16 metres!) of anywhere in the world, and holds the record for the most snowfall in a single season (an incredible 28 metres!). Those West Coast storms deliver copious amounts of snow to Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor, like four feet in two days kind of snow storms, so get yourself pumped for many days of first tracks. There are definitely no friends on these powder days!
4. Endless backcountry
With the highest skiable elevations in all of Oregon and Washington, Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hood serve up endless opportunities for incredible backcountry riding. Ride 360 degrees off the summit at Mt. Bachelor and shred steep pitches of powder, or drop into the pulse-pounding double blacks. Or take it easy and hit some deep powder bowls and untouched canyon runs that surround Mt. Hood. Definitely worth the hike out!
Snowboarding and beer are a perfect partnership, and what’s a shred-fest without après ski! Officially named the ‘best city for Happy Hour in the USA, Portland is a beer-connoisseurs’ heaven. Home to the most breweries and independent microbreweries of any city in the world, it is impossible to pass up a beer (or two) when you pass through. Portland is also renown for their street food scene, with food cart ‘pods’ found on nearly every block in the city, and their coffee that would rival any inner-city café in Melbourne (it is Oregonians next favourite drink after microbrew!).
What are you waiting for? Make the Pacific-Northwest your next snowboard trip now!
Join us as we hit Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor this March on our inaugural Pacific-Northwest Shred-Fest. Kick back with us in Portland, Bend, and Mt Hood as we try the local craft brews, and enjoy the all round good vibes that draw us back to the USA every year.
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