Skiing above tree line late into the season at Mount Bachelor.
Many consider this sort of unfettered schussing the ultimate in alpine skiing, but it's all too rare in the Northwest. Resorts here seldom push far enough above the mantle of forest to provide much bowl or open-slope skiing. Thus the summit chair lift that opened last November at Bachelor, 22 miles west of Bend, is welcome news for downhill skiers. It takes you within a hundred feet of Bachlor's 9,060-foot summit.
April brings an ideal combination of sunny weather and good snow; nights will remain cold enough for flurries of powder to freshen the snowpack. Summit skiing is expected to continue into August.
Much more vertical ski footage. The addition doubles the mountain's total vertical drop and triples the ski area. You don't have to be an expert: three runs beneath the lift are groomed for intermediates. A Sunset editor chalked up more than 20,000 vertical feet in only 4 hours--equal to a day of helicopter skiing, but at far less cost.
The new 4,900-foot-long triple lift operates at twice the speed of ordinary chair lifts, shortening lines and speeding the ride to the top to 6-1/2 minutes. At the summit, stop to enjoy sweeping clear-day views that include the nearby Three Sisters and more distant Cascade volcanoes.
The runs drop you 1,750 vertical feet down Bachelor's north face. Reboard for the ride back up, or continue down another thousand feet to lower chai lifts tht will return you to the summit lift. For more challenge, you can explore ungroomed summit slopes.
Lift tickets cost $17, $9 for children 12 and under, until May 1; then $12 and $7. A sightseeing ride to the top costs $5, $3 for children and seniors. You can rent ski equipment from $11.50 a day ($8 for children). Group lessons cost $16 a day.
New road. With 10 lifts and nearly 40 runs, four day lodges, and a nordic center, all that Bachelor lacks is lodging on the ski hill. But a new road completed last fall brings the mountain much closer to Sunriver Resort, reducing the drive to about 20 miles. Winter room rates there ($50 a night for double occupancy) continue through June 14. Two-day packages, including room, lift tickets, and resort recreation, cost $146 double from May 1 through June 14. Write or call Bachelor Mountain, Box 1031, Bend 97709; (503) 382-8334.
Bend is a 160-mile drive southeast of Portland via U.S. 26 and 97. Horizon Air has daily flights from Portland and Seattle to the Redmond/Bend airpot.
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|Date:||Apr 1, 1984|
|Next Article:||Big Basin's bouncing back.|