Austin Smith Mt. Bachelor

We’re at Mt. Bachelor, and without doubt, it is a snowboarder’s mountain

At Mt. Bachelor, transition is king. The mountain is a perpetually shifting feature that is dictated by wind, and where sound intuition all but guarantees fresh tracks and the accompanying stoke of a great powder day. It’s where you can easily accomplish the surf-inspired turn you play over and over again in your mind.

As we touted in our latest story, we stand by our claim that Mt. Bachelor is a snowboarder’s mountain. While it may not have the steep terrain of Jackson Hole or Snowbird, Bachelor is an endless opportunity to catch air, slash a windlip, or bounce turns through tight trees with a cushion of fresh snow. And this season at Mt. Bachelor has been nothing but extraordinary, with over 300 inches of snow since October 1st.

For Austin Smith, the subject of the photo above, he made the decision to slow life down from the yearly tradition of endless road trips and world travel. To keep things simple. As I type, he is sitting next to a wood burning stove that he installed in a 1953 firetruck that is at the base Mt. Bachelor, and his home until the beginning of February. He sold his truck, and relies on Curtis Ciszek to bring his snowmobile to the mountain if they want to go into the backcountry. He wanted to feel 17 again, to ride the resort every day with a carefree attitude, because it’s the only thing to do when you don’t have a computer or transportation. Without a doubt, he chose the right season to do it.

Transition is what shaped riders like Austin Smith, talent we witnessed firsthand this afternoon. So as I write this at the McMenamins cigar bar, puking words out of my brain, I can’t help but think that something special is happening at this mountain. Something we will continue to experience until the lifts stop turning on the 14th.

Stay tuned to for two upcoming features, one that highlights the surfy terrain of the new, high-speed Cloudchaser Lift, and a profile of Austin Smith’s firetruck home.

Read also: A snowboarder’s mountain: Our guide to Mt. Bachelor and Bend, Oregon

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