Testing over 125 different boot models in order to pick out the very best for the our partners SKI and SKIING magazines' Buyers Guides and The America's Best Bootfitters website is a major project, requiring two different waves of boot testers made up of bootfitters, ski instructors, race coaches, patrollers and local rippers alike. It also takes the cooperation of every boot brand with over twenty manufacturers' representatives in attendance and a whole heck of a lot of room—over 300 pairs of boots need rack space! We turn Mt. Bachelor's mid-mountain Pine Marten lodge into our test center headquarters for over a week—it's the perfect late season test location, just steps away from the snow with immediate access to the entire mountain's terrain. In April in the northwest you never know whether you'll get storm skiing or sun, and this year it was both! We were treated to blue skies, a classic Bachie corn cycle and a chance to test boots in Mt. Bachelor's new Low East zone, which opened up an additional 500 acres and 600  vertical feet of rolling, natural-skate-park terrain that we'd never laid eyes on before—and then we finished the last days of testing in knee-deep blower. Typical Mt. Bachelor Spring skiing!


Mt. Bachelor is still in full operation during the mid-April boot test, so from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. testers work through their targeted test boots. Most testers focus on a particular category and last width at a time and may test six to nine models in a day. At the day's end a tester might hit the hot tub at our lodging HQ, Mount Bachelor Village Resort, before heading off to any number of Bend, Oregon'sspringtime activity options. Or they might just park it downtown at the Deschutes Brewery, our official après ski headquarters, in preparation for another day (and then another…).

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