As winter approaches, Central Oregonians are getting antsy for the ski season. Mount Bachelor Resort is the closest location for skiing, and when the snow comes it will be a haven for all winter sport enthusiasts. Last winter the season opened on November 24th, and with luck we will get enough snow by that date this year as well.
Mount Bachelor is 22 miles from Bend and 9,000 feet high. Formerly it was known as Bachelor Butte, the difference between a butte and a mountain being that a butte is an isolated mountain with steep sides and a flat summit. When Mt Bachelor Resort began operations in 1958 they thought the title “mountain” would lend credibility to their ski resort. By using the name Mount Bachelor, the Oregon board eventually took notice and officially changed the name.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of climbing Bachelor. In the summer a trail leads from the Skyliner chair or from the main lodge up to the summit. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day and you could see all the way to Mt. Thielsen in the South. There were very few people on the trail, but I did meet one diehard skier who was carrying his gear up then skiing down the patches of remaining snow. He would repeat the process--climbing back up in his ski boots! The morning after my climb Bachelor received a dusting of snow, reminding the locals that it will be time for skiing soon.