A Brave Ski Mom Interview with Photo Mom Linda, a Brave Ski Mom and blogger from Oregon
If you could only ski at one resort this season with your family, which resort would you choose?
Mt. Bachelor, located near Bend, Oregon. Both of my kids learned to ski at this resort, and I have many fond memories of watching them progress. This resort is hands-down my favorite place to ski in Oregon.
Oh, where do I start? First of all, great snow. Mt. Bachelor is located on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain range. The Cascades split Oregon in half, with the west side being warmer and wetter, and the east side, cold and dry. This means that Mt. Bachelor’s snow is the lightest and driest in the region. On a clear day, Mt. Bachelor has wonderful views of the adjacent mountains from its slopes, especially from the summit. The Three Sisters and Broken Top Mountain dominate the skyline.
Mt. Bachelor is a huge ski area, It has over 3,600 skiable acres accessible by lift, which encompasses a good portion of the mountain. There are 71 runs, with the longest run being 1.5 miles. On good powder days, the ski patrol will open up the “back side” which is not lift-served, for those who enjoy a backcountry experience. You can also hike up “the Cone,” a small cinder cone on the mountain’s northern flank.
There are 14 total lifts, 7 of which are high-speed quads. With so many fast lifts and places to ski, Mt. Bachelor can quickly spread out a large crowd of people, and lift lines are usually short or nonexistent (except during holiday periods).
The terrain is great. The ski area claims 35% advanced runs, and 25% expert. My favorite places to ski are under the Outback and Northwest Express chairs. Lots of nice long runs, mixed up with steeps and bumps. There are good opportunities for tree skiing by Northwest Express. I also like skiing the Summit, and dropping into the mountain’s crater.
And, last of all, the employees are very helpful and friendly. There are volunteer “mountain hosts” stationed by the ticket windows in the morning, to answer skier’s questions, and later in the day, these hosts can be found on the slopes, assisting and directing skiers.
What are the best amenities at this resort for family skiing?
The resort has three day lodges, Sunrise, West Village and Pine Marten. The Sunrise lodge is the most family-friendly. It is situated adjacent to the green and easy blue runs on the mountain. Many of the children’s ski school classes meet here and use the Carrousel and Sunrise Express lifts. The Carrousel lift is a small chair adjacent to one of the “bunny hills.” This lift is free Thursday-Sunday to any guest. It’s perfect for Mom or Dad to take a few runs with a small child to try out skiing without dropping a load of cash on lift tickets. The most popular “unofficial” run off of the Sunrise chair is “Dilly Dally Alley.” This run goes through the trees in between the Marshmallow and Rooster Tail runs, and is full of banking turns, bumps and small jumps. Kids love it! My kids used to ski “Dilly Dally Alley” over and over again. Sled dog rides are also offered near the Sunrise lodge, and my kids loved going over and checking out the dogs.
The West Village Lodge also has family-friendly amenities. This lodge is larger than Sunrise, and has a daycare facility situated in the bottom floor. There is also a beginner lift (a high speed quad!) and new this year, a magic carpet lift. Kids’ ski school meets here also, from beginner to advanced. For those kids who don’t want to ski, there is a tubing park nearby, with two lifts to pull the tubes to the top of the hill.
There are lots of lesson choices for kids for all levels. I see a lot of kids in ski school and a lot of little kids that are really, really good.
What needs to be improved at this resort to make it even better for family skiing?
There is no on-site lodging. The closest lodging is near the town of Bend, approximately 20 miles away.
It would also be nice if night skiing was offered.
What are your favorite places to eat at this resort?
My favorite place to eat is Scapolo’s, located on the main floor of the Pine Marten Lodge. It has great Italian food and features a homemade lasagna bar. There is so much food! I always split it with someone.
What is your favorite place to stay at this resort?
Well, one of my brothers moved to Bend about five years ago, so I stay with him when I visit!
However, before my brother moved to town, the following were my favorite places to stay:
1. Sunriver Resort. Located 15 miles south of Bend, this is a planned residential resort community. Families can rent beautiful homes, condos, or stay at Sunriver Lodge. The resort features swimming pools, tennis courts, a sledding hill, golf courses, and 35 miles of pathways to walk or ride your bike. This is the most popular place to stay.
2. Seventh Mountain Resort. The closest lodging to Mt. Bachelor, this resort offers condos and townhomes. There is a golf course, outdoor ice rink, and three pools.
3. The Riverhouse. Located in the town of Bend, my family has stayed here many times. It is a beautiful hotel located on the Deschutes River. The on-site restaurant serves good food and has a complimentary breakfast bar that is great.
The town of Bend is a great place to visit. It’s an outdoor recreation mecca. There are great restaurants and brewpubs. Bend has a charming downtown. The High Desert Museum, 10 miles south of Bend is a great place to take the kids. The Deschutes River winds through town, and locals like hiking or biking along its banks.
What is your favorite thing about family skiing?
It’s a good way to spend quality time with my kids.
The Brave Ski Mom Adds…….
Mt. Bachelor is now another entry on my list of “must-ski” resorts. We in Colorado think that we have some beautiful ski areas and mountains, but Linda’s photos are breathtaking.
You can find information regarding tickets, ski school and all things Mt. Bachelor at the resort website.
VisitBend.com has a lot of information about lodging, dining and other activities in the area.
The nearest airports to Bend are Portland (210 miles NW) and Redmond (20 miles) north. Once you are in Bend, there is a shuttle to Mt. Bachelor. More information on transportation is found at the Mt. Bachelor website.
Linda is the mother of two college-age kids in their early 20s. She moved to Oregon 20+ years ago and lives in the Portland Metro area. Her home hill is Mt. Hood. When she first started skiing, she wiped out a lot, so one of her friends nicknamed her “Biff.” Even though she doesn’t fall near as much as she used to, she has a reputation for finding the “snow snakes” on the mountain. Her full-time “real” job interferes with skiing, but she save up my vacation days and skis mid-week as much as she can! When she’s not skiing, she dabbles in photography, hiking, and running. You can read more about Linda and see more of her photography at PhotoMomLinda.
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