With snow predicted to fall in Bend this weekend and temperatures dropping to the teens overnight, it’s time to start getting cautiously optimistic about ski season. If you’re planning your Bend ski / snowboard vacation, make sure to read this blog for your Mt. Bachelor updates. Mt Bachelor was able to pull off a successful summer of mountain biking, so there is no reason to think they can’t find away to get us safely on the slopes this winter.
It will certainly be an interesting season with limited capacity, extremely limited services, parking reservations required, and no “day of” lift tickets being sold. As they like to call it; they are going “Back to the Basics”. But no worries, we have faith that Mt. Bachelor can still provide an amazing mountain experience this winter. Lets dive in to some important details we know so far about the upcoming season:
The plan is to open the resort on December 7, provided there is enough snow to confidently open ALL base areas. This includes Sunrise and West Village, as well as the Skyliner parking lot. This will allow a lift and terrain footprint large enough for effective physical distancing.
The first 4 days the mountain is open (Monday 12/7 – Thursday 12/10) will likely be for passholders only. This includes Mt. Bachelor (Outplay 365, Full Season, Midweek, 12-Day, 4-Day) and Ikon passholders.
All guests will be expected to follow guidelines for COVID-19 operations. That means wearing face coverings at all times in and around the resort. This includes in:
- Parking lots
- All base areas
- Ticket and rental lines
- Lift mazes and while loading / exiting lifts
- Indoors (except while seated to eat and drink)
They have seen great compliance by guests throughout summer operations, and expect the same this winter. Please keep yourself and others, including staff, safe by wearing face coverings at all times.
As a member of our winter community, please become familiar with the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, and Deschutes County Health Department recommendations to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep yourself and our community safe.
This one is very important when planning your Bend ski / snowboard vacation. The number of people who visit Mt. Bachelor to ski, snowboard, uphill or Nordic, will have to be managed to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Fortunately, they offer a lot of terrain and lift capacity at Mt. Bachelor. This should allow them to safely accommodate guests on the vast majority of days — including the additional visits from Ikon passholders.
To ensure the wellbeing of all and protect the longevity of the season, there are a number of actions being taken to manage volume and enable physical distancing. The number of single-day dated tickets available will be significantly limited and they are not planning to sell undated tickets, like in years past. Blackout days on Ikon Base Pass visitation, 12-Day and 4-Day passes have been increased, and the sale of the 4-Day pass has been limited.
New this year will be an online car parking reservation system. Please note this is a “car” and not an individual passholder reservation system. This system means that whether you’re coming up for a Cone lap, a few powder runs, a morning Nordic ski, or a lesson, you will need a car reservation to let the mountain know you’re coming. Doing so will help track and manage overall resort visitation levels. The full details of the parking reservation system are forthcoming.
LIFT LOADING & MAZES
Physical distancing in lift queues normally occurs organically due to the length of skis and snowboards. Guests will notice additional spacing measures, including extended maze designs, more lateral spacing and increased signage, to further ensure a consistent flow of appropriately spaced traffic. Guests will self-group and load chairlifts with their traveling party. Lift attendants will not require guests to ride a chairlift with people they do not know.
LODGES & DINING
Mt. Bachelor’s 62nd season will include a “Back to Basics” approach. This means maximizing the on-snow experience, while minimizing ancillary services, especially those involving indoor congregation.
As such, and consistent in the early days of Mt. Bachelor, guests should be prepared to be based out of their vehicles. This includes booting up, warming up, and refueling up. While some food service will be offered in the lodges, services will be simplified and occupancy will be limited. The focus will be on preserving lodge capacity for quick warmups and/or restroom access. The mountain will supplement with outdoor food service, including the Egan’s Outpost food cart, and potentially some of your other favorite local food cart vendors.
RENTALS & RETAIL
Gravity Sports Retail shop will maintain normal operating hours throughout the winter season, offering a full range of products, however inside access will be limited. The shop will also be open on weekends only in late October and early November to allow guests to enjoy the best deals on gear for the coming season. Rentals will be limited this year, with pre-arrival reservations required.
CLEANING & SANITIZATION
Mt. Bachelor will continue to uphold the highest standards of sanitization and have in place a number of protocols to keep staff and guests safe. Staff will continue daily health screenings before work and follow a variety of new staff safety protocols.
From what we can tell, Mt. Bachelor is doing everything in their power to allow for an epic, albeit limited, winter season. Bend Vacations will continue to provide updates when possible, so you can plan your perfect Bend Ski / Snowboard Vacation! Of course, you can also get the most up to date information you can always check out the Mt. Bachelor website. Here are some links for other specific mountain information: