The last few weeks have been painful, suffering in anticipation, waiting for the snow to fall. Finally, some good storms brought plenty of snow to the Cascades, and we had several choices for the first weekend of the season.
Mt Bachelor won, partly because of the attractions of Bend, as well as a snow base that sounded as good as anywhere. And it turned out to be an excellent choice. Saturday started cold and clear, with firm conditions. Thunderbird, Chipper and Old Skyliner were the picks of the groomers, all smooth, very carveable and with full coverage. By noon, the cover was softening up nicely, and there was fun to be had on all the front side groomers as well as in the trees around Sunrise. The tree skiing is one of Bachelor’s great strengths, and I took the opportunity to poke around in areas I’d not explored before. When the snow is 2 metres deeper, some of the lines I spotted will be awesome.
Sunday was warm, and it started drizzling mid-morning. It wasn’t too unpleasant though, and the soft, slow snow was excellent for practicing turns and getting back our legs. We packed in about 2pm, giving 6000m vertical on Saturday, and 4900m Sunday. A respectable season kick-off.
One great advantage of early season skiing is that the ski hills and towns and deserted. So on Friday night, we headed straight to the half-empty Deschutes Brewery to sample most of their fabulous beers. It was very relaxing and pleasant compared to the usual mid-season Friday night chaos. And Saturday night, Toomies served up the high quality Thai food we’d had there in the past. I love their jungle curries, and Jan’s duck-a-thon continued with a Chinese-style roast duck, which was very tasty and very huge!
Next time we’re in Bend we vowed to try and eat and drink somewhere other than Deschutes and Toomies. The town has some very enticing new restaurants, and 2 other brew pubs. I’m not certain we’ll succeed, but it’ll be fun trying :-}