Oregon never ceases to amaze me. And I’m not talking about the luscious forests and rugged volcanoes, no, it’s the diversity of rotten weather on any given day that really stupefies me.
One normally associates spring skiing with cloudless skies and beating sun rays composed of nice, mid 50 degree weather slushing up all that previously slippery ice into a sticky mush pot of sludge. However gross that may sound, days like these are quite often the most laid back in terms of skiing. There’s no rush, no anxiety, and no worry of wasted time because why not enjoy the beautiful weather Spring blesses us with when the snow will only get softer with time?
Oregon’s Spring strives extraordinarily hard to be different. It is the most southern of it’s click of pacific northwestern climates, but it fits in quite nicely–throwing us a morning blizzard in mid May followed by whiteout conditions and an afternoon drizzle.
May 18th at Mt. Bachelor resort was planned to be a bright spring morning by most authorities: notably the ones who organized the Pole-Pedal-Paddle race which involves downhill skiing, cross country skiing, biking, paddling, and to top it off a sprint to the finish line in Bend, OR. This race was held at Bachelor on the morning of the 18th in the middle of a fleeting spring blizzard.
When we arrived, the chilly, frozen parking lot was packed with far more concerned cyclists than skiers. Shivering and pacing around the car, one of the racers from a neighboring vehicle was so distraught about the potentially dangerous cycling conditions he was considering not racing at all. It was a busy hectic scene for a short period, but the race went on, and the majority of skiers rode away over the ice on their inch wide, smooth rubber tires mounted to their ultra-light carbon fiber frames. The resort was empty.
The morning ice hastily thawed into patches of sloppy mud stained slush that were only faintly discernible from the surrounding whiteout. Medium sized mushy park jumps were the main attraction that day. In fact, so much so that even an incredibly brave woman on a sit-ski, wearing an Oregon Adaptive Sports jacket, boosted airs as big as any of the park-rats doing laps down the last remaining sets of jumps.
All things considered, the day was a success. You may just have to be a native Pacific Northwest skier to enjoy spring skiing in polar opposite conditions to the norm, but what the heck. Skiing’s skiing right?
4 thoughts on “Mt. Bachelor Conditions Report | Snowy, Sunny, Slushy, & Fun | Video & Photo Tour”
The following day was *epic* with above-the-clouds sunshine spring skiing, amazing summit runs, and even some stashes of wind loaded new snow to be found in the usual places, especially Cow’s Face.
Truly 180° weather-wise from the day before!
Nice. Thanks for the report Chuck. I learned to ski at Bachelor and I remember the weather being insane like this.
great weekend despite the weather. pnw style
pole pedal paddle is too fun