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Cat ski Mount Bailey

If you want to ski Mount Bailey this time of year, there's only one way to go — by snow cat.

Anyone who's taken a breathless summer hike to the top of this 8,363-foot dormant volcano knows there's no way a skier can trudge uphill through an annual average of 600 inches of snow unless they wait until late spring.

Located on the western shore of Diamond Lake, about five miles north of Crater Lake National Park, Bailey offers deep, pristine powder for the technically advanced skier or snowboarder.

Twelve skiers or board riders can pay for a ride to the top and spend the day challenging avalanche chutes, technical timbered runs and open bowls.

With its sheer vertical drops, this backcountry experience is for experts, not beginners or the faint of heart.

Cat Ski Mt. Bailey is the only snow-cat service on the mountain, so customers know they won't find traffic jams on their runs.

The trip costs $350 per person and includes a shuttle ride from the Diamond Lake Resort to the Bailey Sno-Park and a noontime deli lunch at the top of the mountain.

For more information call 1-800-733-7593 ext. SKI (754), or visit www.CatSkiMtBailey.com.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.