The Craft Culture of Mt. Bachelor & Bend

The Craft Culture of Mt. Bachelor & Bend

Why pro skier Sage Cattabriga-Alosa settled down in Central Oregon

Featured image by Pete Alport

Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, 37, is an icon in the world of freeskiing. Since bursting onto the scene with his Metallica-infused segment in TGR’s 2003 film High Life, he’s been one of the main attractions for ski moviegoers each and every fall. He and his wife, Annie, spent five years bouncing between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon, but when they decided to start a family and had twin daughters Loey and Zara, there was only one blip on their radar: Bend.

Between the incredible, down-to-earth community and the proximity to Mt. Bachelor ski resort, it was a no-brainer. We caught up with Sage to discuss exactly why Bend and Bachelor were the perfect choices for the Cattabriga-Alosa clan.

What drew you to Bend?

Bend offered the perfect combination for my wife Annie, the kids and myself. We wanted to have a more rural home site, be close to an awesome town with a great community of people and have lots of recreation at our fingertips. We already had friends there, I knew how good the skiing at Bachelor was and my love for biking would be easily satisfied.

How did it live up to your expectations during the first couple of years?

It’s totally been beyond my expectations. We found a great spot outside of Bend in Tumalo, 10 minutes north from the edge of town and pretty much 20 or 25 minutes from anywhere we want to go downtown. The last two winters have been amazing. Between skiing Bachelor and exploring in the Three Sisters backcountry, just to the northwest of the resort, I’ve been so stoked to be finding so many gems. The community is full of outdoors people of all variety and I’ve barely tapped into the opportunities and events that are available.

Mt Bachelor local Sage Cattabriga-Alosa

Sage Cattabriga-Alosa in Jackson, Wyoming. Photo: Adam Clark

Was there anything that completely surprised you?

I expected to enjoy the skiing but, frankly, I’ve been blown away. Mt. Bachelor is so fun, and while there are minimal “gnarly” zones, the skate park-like terrain and vibe of the people there has been so refreshing. On top of that there is some serious ski mountaineering and big lines outside the resort on the Three Sisters and Broken Top—the hit list of goals and peaks to ski is pretty large.

When it’s dumping at Bachelor, where do you go?

I’ve already found my secret stashes and little zones around the mountain, but generally it’s a combination of the beautiful glades and bowls that harbor playful wind lips and lines off Pine Marten, Outback and Northwest Express.

People say that Bachelor is a mountain you “surf.” Do you tend to agree?

Well, I’m more of a mountain biker than a surfer and have skating in my roots, but I agree that the mountain is like a giant skate park. Words like surfy and wavy really describe the terrain well. It’s all about finding take-offs and landings in the crazy wind-blown features.

Mt Bachelor 2016-2017 statistics

People also refer to skiing Bachelor as a “craft” experience. That is fitting, given Bend is home to 20-plus craft beer operations. Can you speak to the craft nature of Bend and Bachelor?

It is a craft experience… from dealing with the wild weather, to learning to play with the detailed terrain, you learn to love the unique experiences and it’s not hard to find a way to have a blast. You get good at blasting in flat light, reading terrain while in a whiteout by following bands of trees and popping off wind drifts down the mountain. When it clears and the mountain is open from the summit it’s a whole different world. Where else can you ski 360 degrees off the top of a volcano?

Upgrade Your Inbox

Don't waste time seeking out the best skiing content; we'll send it all right to you.