It's been a good week for recreating.
Thanks to Mother Nature, volunteers, and race organizers (and racers and fans), such fortune should continue through the week. Here's what's up:
More ‘Cross Zaniness
As we predicted (see volume 16, issue 49, page 35), locals ruled at last weekend’s Trek U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Deschutes Brewery Cup. On both Saturday and Sunday Bend had two racers on the elite men’s podium. Ryan Trebon won Saturday’s race and on Sunday finished second to teammate Tim Johnson. Adam Craig, fresh off his Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championship win, was third both days. Serena Bishop Gordon was Bend’s best elite female racer and finished 17th and 16th, respectively.
Awesome Early-Season Snow
After a brief rainstorm battered Central Oregon last week and threatened to upend our pleasant early-winter conditions, Mother Nature took pity on us. A few inches of fresh followed and conditions have since been quite lovely for downhill, backcountry and cross-country users.
Mt. Bachelor was closed last Tuesday, due to torrential rains, but reopened Wednesday and can still boast a 45-inch base at West Village and 65 inches at mid mountain—the second deepest snow pack in the contiguous U.S. (Mt. Baker, our neighbor to the north, has the most snow). On Sunday Bachelor opened the Northwest Express chair and Andy Goggins, director of marketing and communications, said that they hope to open the Summit chair soon.
Shredding for a Cause
The sixth annual Dirksen Derby (December 15-16) is following on the heels of this positive snow report and event organizers are preparing for 300 competitors. The two-day snowboard parallel banked slalom competition acts as a fundraiser for Bend’s Tyler Eklund.
Racing is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Online registration closes Wednesday but you can still sign up on Friday or the day of the event.
Though not all 40 kilometers of community ski trails at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park are yet open, many are and they’re sweet. The trails, meticulously maintained by the Meissner Nordic Club, have been groomed for both classic and skate since December 2 and are reportedly skiing very well, despite last week’s rain. If you’re ever wondering about current conditions, check Meissner Nordic Club’s Facebook page as they provide almost daily updates.
Before you head up, don’t forget to pick up a Sno-Park Permit since the Forest Service WILL TICKET YOU if you go without. Permits are $15 and available at Sunnyside Sports, Great Outdoors and Pine Mountain Sports as well as a number of other local retailers. Also consider becoming a member of the Meissner Nordic Club, which oversees all grooming operations (now grooming four days per week: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday). Sign up and donate at meissnernordic.org/membership.
On Saturday our friends at the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) hosted a work party for the trail system at Maston, near Cline Butte. COTA and volunteers continue to improve the multi-use trail system north of Bend, which has proven to be exceptional terrain for winter riding. Saturday’s focus was to add trails to those that already exist at the trailhead on Newcomb Road. Directional signs and trail markers were also added.
To access the Maston Trails, follow Cline Falls Hwy. north for 4.4 miles; turn right on Newcomb Road; a trailhead sign denotes the parking area, which is on the left approximately one half mile down Newcomb.
Trout Creek Update
This weekend volunteers from the climbing community are rallying for a trail-building party at Trout Creek. The goal is to create a trail to the “Cool Wall,” so that the “Main Wall” and the Cool Wall can function as separate areas. The split should allow climbers access to the area, even if one zone temporarily closes for nesting golden eagles.
If you want to help out (free beer and camping!), bring a helmet and work gloves and any tools that seem useful. The Bureau of Land Management will provide the majority of the tools needed. The work party starts Friday, December 14 and runs through Sunday, December 16. If you’re going, give the Friends of Trout Creek a heads-up on their Facebook page.