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Bachelor and Bend; you ski on the volcano. Your off-slope base is 22 miles away.

Oregon's Mount Bachelor offers first-rate skiing at a big, modern resort, but with a difference in an era when ski areas are building huge villages" at their lift bases, Bachelor doesn't have a single room on the mountain. (Bachelor is situated in Deschutes National Forest and is restricted from building any lodging.) Skiers face a car or shuttle-bus ride to and from the slopes of 20 minutes to an hour each way. At the mountain are high-speed chair lifts, day lodges, rentals, lessons, and day-care facilities. Nearby, a wide choice of off-the-slopes winter recreation is available in the central Oregon Cascades. And in Bend (where most people stay), shops, restaurants, and nightlife provide the diversions that visitors have come to expect from large resorts. Residents of the Pacific Northwest have long flocked to this area. And now-with improved air service from California and economical ski week packages making it more accessible this season other Westerners might find Mount Bachelor a satisfying alternative to better-known resorts in Utah or Colorado. On the volcano-snow and scenery Despite last year's dry winter, skiers discovered surprisingly abundant snow. They also found a volcano (extinct) to explore. December and January can bring winds, heavy snowfall, and fog. Spring is when you can more dependably find sun, an abundant base, and all lifts operating. Bachelor boasts 6,000 skiable acres (nearly 10 square miles), more than half accessible by nine chair lifts. The more protected front side is groomed and most heavily skied. The back side, served by the Summit Express lift to the volcano's 9,065foot top, offers bumps and steep descents in all directions. Rental skis and lessons. A five-day rental package costs $55. The resort guarantees it can teach beginners to ski in 2 hours for $35. Two-hour group lessons are $26, private $35; advanced clinics, $23 per hour. Getting up the mountain. Lift tickets are $29 for ages 13 and older, $16.50 ages 7 through 12, free for ages 6 and under. Weather. In an average year, nearly 300 inches of snow falls here with a base of 175 inches. Snow reports are updated five times daily: (503) 382-7888. Day lodges. Five scattered day lodges serve different areas; all welcome brown-baggers. At the handsome new Pine Marten Lodge, you can try a restaurant called The Skiers' Palate. West Village day lodge offers live music between I and 6 P.M. Saturdays and Sundays. Child care. Day-care facilities welcome children six weeks old through seven years (cost is $22 to $25 a day). Superb nordic skiing Bachelor Cross Country Center, open 8 to dusk daily, is across the West Village parking lot from the downhill resort. Some 60 kilometers of machine-set tracks invite you through forest glades, past icebound lakes, and across meadows that open to views of rugged peaks and spires like Broken Top, the Sisters, and Mount Jefferson. A daily trail pass costs $8.50, $4 for ages 12 and under. A small day lodge offers rentals and lessons, a snack bar, and skiers' workbench. Sunriver Lodge and Resort, 18 miles southeast (see below), and Black Butte Ranch, 44 miles north, offer additional midwinter cross-country skiing. And adventuresome skiers will find hundreds of miles of marked but untracked routes in the mountains. One choice is a guided 4mile ski-in for dinner at Paulina Lake Lodge; call 536-2240 for details. Trail maps are available from the Forest Service ranger, station in Bend (3885664), but only experienced trekkers should head off without a guide. Lodging and off-mountain activities The nearest accommodations are at Inn of the Seventh Mountain, 14 miles east of Mount Bachelor on Century Drive, and at Sunriver. Both organize activities. Sunriver offers plenty of family-oriented choices, from sleigh rides to cross-country skiing, swimming, and tennis. Children and teen programs and parties, and adult nightlife, give everyone something to do. For details, call (800) 547-3922. Bend, 22 miles from the mountain, has accommodations for 15,000 people. At 3,628 feet, the town is about 2,000 feet lower than Bachelor's base. Even in December, temperatures reach into the 50s. It may snow, but don't count on it-Bend receives less rain than Los Angeles. In Bend, you can ride a bike, amble through Drake Park by the rushing Deschutes River, or browse in shops along Wall and Bond streets. Dress warmly. River House, a hotel in town, also schedules various activities. Bend's 135 restaurants serve cuisine ranging from classic French to saucy Italian, sushi to several styles of Chinese. Night spots offer diversion. For details, call the Bend Chamber of Commerce at 382-3221. You can also fly-fish the Metolius or Deschutes River, shop in the frontier-style town of Sisters, 21 miles northwest of Bend, or drop by the High Desert Museum, 6 miles south of Bend on US. Highway 97 (open 9 to 5 daily). The best overall source of planning help is the Central Oregon Recreation Association, Box 230, Bend 97709; (503) 3828334 in Oregon, (800) 547-6858 elsewhere. It can help you plan anything from a scenic bus tour to rock climbing, mountain biking, or horseback riding. Better air service this winter This season, Alaska Airlines is expanding flights to Oregon from all major Southern California airports; it also flies from San Francisco, as does United Express. Various airlines have daily flights from Seattle and more than a dozen from Portland. All arrive in Redmond, 1/2 hour from Bend. Round-trip fares are surprisingly low if booked as part of a ski week package. A typical package (based on double occupancy) covers round-trip air fare, five nights' lodging, five days' lift tickets, and transit to and from the airport. Cost is about $550 per person from Los Angeles or San Francisco, less than $400 from Seattle. Central Oregon Recreation Association (number at left), with access to the best air and room rate packages, can help you book. Or call your travel agent. By car, Bend is 165 miles from Portland (3 hours), 340 from Seattle (6 hours), 500 from San Francisco (10 hours).
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Title Annotation:Oregon's Mount Bachelor
Date:Dec 1, 1990
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