Five Feet, Five Days: The snow continues to fall at Mt. Bachelor
December 24, 2012—
After a week of superb conditions, Bend’s core skiers are ready for a day off. But it’s just too good for that. I grew up here, and maybe it’s because I now live in a currently snow starved Colorado, but I don’t remember a better storm cycle at Mt. Bachelor. It snowed five feet in five days, eight inches yesterday and last night and NOAA is predicting up to 23 inches by Thursday. It’s snowed 195 inches so far this season. The mid-mountain base is a healthy 124 inches and coverage is mid-winter.
The smiles started on Thursday, December 13, when Mt. Bachelor fired up Summit Express for the first time this season, opening 100 percent of its 3,683 acres on the earliest date in its 54-year history. It was a bluebird, windless day and the backside was open, meaning 360-degree volcano skiing from Bachelor’s 9,065-foot summit to the base of Northwest Express at 5,700 feet. That’s right, 3,365 feet vertical feet of high-speed powder in untracked bowls and boot-deep tree skiing. It was the last of the sun we’d see for more than a week.
The day was Tuesday, December 18, which was one of the deepest, highest quality powder days I’ve ever had. From Rainbow Chair to Northwest, the sounds of extreme appreciation were omnipresent. Bachelor’s endless supply of magical evergreen alleyways means there’s no fighting for the ultimate stash. There’s always plenty to go around, which translates to mellow locals and civilized lift lines.
All week, it’s been storm skiing at its finest—wind loading, few crowds, refills and cold temps. One forecaster called it one of the most significant storms in 20 years. And it’s still not over. With up to 13 inches predicted on Christmas day and eight inches Wednesday, this storm is the gift that keeps on giving.
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