Mount Bachelor delivered the goods on my annual spring Bend,OR trip south from Seattle to extend the ski season.
Wednesday provided mid-winter conditions with 2 inches of windblown powder. If you stayed on the north exposures the pow was nice and creamy. I bailed on Thursday due to freezing rain and a promising Friday forecast.
On Friday the mountain website noted that Summit chair wouldn't open until mid-morning due to freezing rain. Stayed low on the mountain and had fun in the rolling natural terrain on soft snow. Saw the summit chair running and hit it. The skiing looked a bit scary as the lift moved up the hill, a shiny glazed surface interdispersed with frozen coral. The skiers were moving cautiously. At the top I noticed that I was moving on level terrain, the run was so slick. Somehow made it down with the Volkl Mantras, surprised how well they handled on ice. Back to the base to rip the intermediate groomers.
Headed back to the summit at 10:30 and poked around and determined that any snow that was in direct sunlight was nice and creamy. You had to traverse across what probably the worst snow I've skied in 27 days this season-frozen ice cubes with these weird shark tooth-shaped chunks of clear ice that were sometimes loose, sometimes attached. The most interesting part was when you hit this stuff and broke it free, it made this musical clinking noise (or maybe that was my teeth getting rattled!). But it still sucked. However, I got to hit what is one of my favorite runs anywhere-Cow's Face. 1500 feet of sweet corn snow with wide open above timberline skiing. The closest thing to flying in my book-super fast sweeping turns wherever the whim took you. Did a run in the cirque but the traverse was so awful that I bailed and went back to Cow's Face. Left at 12:30 sad that the season was over but I have great memories to get me through to November. And it was an injury free season! Hope to do Bachelor again in May 2010!
On another note, it was interesting to see how hard the recession has hit Bend. Named the most overpriced real estate location in the nation for two years, we saw many, many commercial buildings up for lease or sale, many shuttered retail stores. We even saw a 2bd/2ba house advertised for sale at $88,000. Sorry to see homeless people for the first time, Deschutes County now has a 12.5% unemployment rate.