The Cinder Cone is located on the north side of Mount Bachelor and roughly 30 minutes from Bend. This is one of the two areas where uphill travel is allowed at the resort. It gives skiers, splitboarders, and snowshoers over 700-foot descents with slopes over 30 degrees. Most descents are enjoyed on north, northwest, northeast, and east aspects, and frequently the north and northeast facing slopes offer the best snow. These aspects offer skiing both above and below treeline. The open slope above the trees can be quite enjoyable. Descents to the northwest can provide cliffs, wind lips, trees, and small bowls.
There are multiple ways to ascend the Cinder Cone. A route through the hemlock-filled forest on the northwest side of the cone can provide a much more secluded feel, but one must have moderate navigation skills. Often there is no set skin track, so route finding can be tricky through the tree-filled bowls. The easier option is to go uphill just to the west of the Red Chair lift. Upon reaching the easternmost part of the cone, the route switchbacks up the eastern flank to the summit.
The close proximity to Mount Bachelor means you'll have the ability to utilize the many amenities of the resort. However, be sure not to become complacent with the terrain and snowpack. The Cinder Cone has been known to avalanche from time to time, and it is important to treat this terrain as though it is still within a backcountry setting.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.