Tulmalo Mountain is one of the most easily accessible peaks for backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Central Oregon. Bend Locals often eat breakfast at home, get in one or two laps in the bowl, and make it back to town for lunch. The ski to the summit rarely exceeds more than 15 degrees, making it easy to take a different route. Be sure to use this time to observe the snowpack for any instabilities. Also keep in mind that the upper bowl is a different aspect from the climb up to the summit. The snowpack here can vary greatly.
Once at the summit, a clear day can reveal all of the Oregon volcanoes. The most obvious are the Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Bachelor Butte. Once you've enjoyed the view, it is time to rip the skins and enjoy 500 feet of 30-degree descent in the east facing bowl. The middle of the bowl provides a number of cliffs to spice up one’s choice of a line. The safest and most common return ascent is on the northernmost ridge back up to the summit. People often choose to grab a couple of laps while here. Once your legs have received the desired burn, return to the southern summit and enjoy a nice long tree run to the parking lot. The route is fairly straightforward, but a map and compass are always recommended.
Remember, when playing in the backcountry, knowledge is your friend. If you are looking to increase your knowledge base for the backcountry, an AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Training class is highly recommended. This and other winter skills courses in the Northwest can be found at Rare Earth Adventures.
Note that dogs are prohibited from November 15 through April 30.
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.
Rare Earth Adventures (REA) was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2006 on the belief that we can provide everlasting experiences with top notch guide services. The goal is to find a custom way to experience the vivid life of the outdoors, and to be apart of those rare moments where the noise of everyday city is muted. We are a fully-insured, licensed, and registered Oregon Outfitter/Guide company, as well as a member of the Oregon Guides and Packers Association. We are permitted in several location including but not limited to; Mt. Hood National Forest, Gifford Pinchot National Forest (Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helen’s), the Columbia River Gorge, and the Olympics National Forest.