Well for those that ski, weather shouldn’t make a difference, right? Well it can especially when you are new to a mountain. Flat light, snow, not knowing runs or which chair lift are pretty important things to figure out.
Being a newbie to Bend, I purchased a 12-day Winter Pass, not the full mid-week or completely full pass. Why? Well I don’t know the mountain well enough yet, I’m not sure of the continuing winter conditions where it may be white out most of the time, or wind hold on the chairs. Plus I’m not going to hurt myself by not knowing where I’m going, so wanted a chance to check it out this year and next – well probably a full mid-week pass!
BUT, that said, I had my first trip up to the mountain today via another Meet-Up group with the Bend Ski Club (more info on that at the end). It was awesome, definitely NOT prime conditions by any means, but the snow was soft, dry and heaven to ski/board through. Plus no lift lines (aka children were back in school today after the Holiday break!)
Yes, there was a lot of wind, so 3 main chairs were on wind hold, plus it was snowing and pretty flat light everywhere, but imagining that in the Spring, with the sun shining, this mountain is going to be amazing – friendly staff, great amenities (like restrooms right inside the lodge doors from the slopes – no stairs, direction etc) and easy parking.
It’s only a 30-40 minute drive from Bend, wide open like Mammoth – and there’s something for everyone. Next week I have a friend visiting and she’s going to spend time tubing at the main lodge while I get some runs in. Tree skiing, bowls, terrain parks, groomers – just like any other ski resort except this one feels different, maybe it’s because it’s privately owned, feels like a small local ski area rather than the 6th largest in the US.
There’s a few snow areas for fun, sledding, snow shoeing, and along the Cascade Highway on the way to Mt Bachelor, just 30 minutes out of town, chain up areas for those without snow tires, and although it’s a super easy drive (wide open road) you are gradually climbing so if it is sunny in Bend, it could definitely be snowing on the Mountain.
The Bend Ski Club is a group that sponsors visits to the mountain pretty much daily (via https://www.meetup.com/bendskiclub) and have talks, presentations, happy hours throughout the winter season plus trips to other resorts here in the US and worldwide, You’re not obligated to anything until you’ve attended twice, but another great way to meet people with like interests.