National Geographic (Adventure version!), a publication which has a pretty good handle on these things, recently named Bend as one of the "World's 25 Best Ski Towns." Yep, right up there with Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland. You can read out editor's grumpy take on the piece in the blog below.
At first we were all, "Wha...?" And then we thought about it. And after that, we actually read the short intro to the article (after having only flipped through the pictures and the attached names of exotic ski towns). Now it makes sense. Bend is in fact, a damn fine place to live. And ride snow, regardless of what our trusty (and hyper-critical) editor thinks.
NG's basis for its picks:
"It starts, naturally, with skiing and snowboarding ... Then add an inviting mountain burg steeped in ski heritage, amenities, and culture."
We have that. Decades of ski history and plenty of snow? Check. Music, dining, shopping (Jesus, did I just say that?), higher education, craft beer, other cool local shit? Check. So, thanks, NG. We'll take it, especially given some of other smaller U.S. hills and towns listed in the article.
Extra points for tapping surf legend, Conan the Barbarian co-star, Bend's Hottest Yoga Instructor (as voted by Source readers), and all around awesome person, Gerry Lopez, for local recommendations.
P.S. It's fitting that the picture for Bend's listing is a dude shooting between two trees covered in rime ice. Way to be accurate.
(Photograph by Chase Jarvis, Corbis, via National Geographic)