Mt. Bachelor - March 2011
March 2011 - Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
On Wednesday, we arrived at Mt. Bachelor after a 30 minute shuttle ride to a raging blizzard. Fortunately, our personal group of Mountain Ambassadors greeted us at our bus and quickly took us under their wings. They showed us to the rental facilities and day lodge where we got prepared for our first experience skiing a volcano.
There were groomed slopes (that were quickly becoming un-groomed), lots of tree skiing if you wanted it and above tree line skiing that we could neither see nor get to because the upper lift was closed due to winds up to 95 mph. We divided up into several skier ability groups with two ambassadors each…one to lead the way and one to make sure nobody got left behind.
During the day Wednesday, about a foot of snow dropped with 40+ MPH winds whipping it around. Some of us found shelter from the winds on the east side of the mountain and others braved the deep powder and trees on the north and west sides. But none of us could go above mid-mountain as the storm raged on.
On Thursday, the snow continued but the winds died down a bit and we ended up with 32” of powder over the two days as our Mountain Ambassadors kept up their DSC vigilance. I think we all made some good friends over those couple of days. On Friday, the winds died down, the snow stopped and we could finally see the top of the mountain which to this point had only been a legend. It was a spectacular view and many ventured to the top of the cone! Saturday started out sunny with practically no wind and it was fantastic until around 2pm when the snow moved in again. We then headed for the tubing hills and had a great time tubing individually and coming down in groups spinning around and hollering all the way down.
A variety of activities kept us busy outside of skiing, including snowshoeing, sightseeing, enjoying the spa services at Sunriver Resort and of course shopping in Bend and lots of great food. We all went into Bend on Thursday night for an introduction to the town by the Director of the Merchant’s Association and then we headed off into several directions to enjoy the cuisine. We all met up for a nightcap gathering around a large outdoor fire pit at a famous local brewery. On Friday, we had our group luncheon at the Pine Martin Lodge at mid-mountain enjoying a feast of lasagna, salad, bread and drinks. On Saturday night, we ventured back into Bend for our final group dinner with a specially organized wine tasting beforehand.
Overall, the trip was a great success, we had no injuries and the service at the resort and on the mountain was unparalleled for a DSC ski trip based on my experiences and the feedback received from others. It was the difference between just another ski trip and a truly unique experience that will be remembered for a long time to come.
Chuck Gibbs…Trip Leader…Mt. Bachelor, Oregon