It didn’t necessarily feel like summer this morning at Mt. Bachelor, with the winds buffeting skiers and snowboarders and the sun largely hiding behind a wall of clouds. But the blanket of green treetops in the valley below and ubiquitous lava rock patches on the slopes reminded us that we were in fact skiing Summit on June 29 and we didn’t have to hike to do it. By my count there was more than 100 cars in the lot by 9 a.m. for Bachelor’s three-day encore performance that kicked off at 7:30 a.m. this morning (with lifts running until 1p.m. today) and concludes Sunday afternoon. In addition to the lifts, Mt Bachelor has opened the West Village patio with BBQ and live music on Saturday and Sunday. Lifties are $30 and $20 for season and multi-day passholders.
Bachelor’s Marketing and Communications Manager Andy Goggins said the resort staff has been planning to reopen since snow started piling up in the spring, but waited to announce the dates until recently when they were positive that the snow coverage would be ample. It’s the second straight year that Bachelor has opened for a summer session, and Goggins said that it’s likely the mountain will continue to the tradition as long as snow and weather permits in coming years.
It’s a busy time for Bachelor even without the summer ski session. The resort is in the middle of an expansion plan review with the U.S. Forest Service (The comment period runs for another couple of weeks) and is already expanding its ticketing and locker room area. Crews from Knife River were pouring footings for the expansion on Friday morning as snow jacket bedecked riders shuffled by. Goggins said the expanded ticketing building will eventually become administration offices with ticketing windows moving over to the retail shop area, one of many changes that are likely to take place at the mountain over the new few years. The biggest of those upgrades is probably the construction of a new lodge in the Sunrise area and the addition of a new six-pack lift that will open up a huge amount of terrain on that side of mountain, possibly as soon as winter 2014, according to Goggins.
The new area will have a strong focus on family skiing and make the resort one of the premier destinations for that market. It will also offer another area with significant glade skiing that’s attractive during Bachelor’s many adverse (depending on your perspective) weather days.
“Having something on the opposite side of the mountain that’s similar to Northwest will be awesome on storm days,” Goggins said.