Bend Oregon Ski training camp summary

June 2000

Bend Oregon is one of the few places in the country that one can go to ski in the May - June (and sometimes July time period). Mount Bachelor located just 20 miles from the town of Bend is where the great cross-country and downhill skiing is (if you're into that). Bend is located about a three hour drive southeast of Portland Oregon and can be reached by flying to Redmond, OR or Portland. I suggest flying into Portland because the plane tickets cost less and the rental cars are about a hundred dollars cheaper a week. You also get to do a really pretty darn nice drive past mount Hood (about three hours).

Deb., Jon and I went out for a 12-day training camp with the National Guard from the 22nd of May through the 2nd of June. There was plenty of snow on the ground even though it was melting fast. A 7.5 K to 10 K loop was groomed every day so it worked out very well. It is a very beautiful place and there is a large amount of snow for us Easterners. Once you get over the fact that you are skiing on a VOLCANO you can really enjoy yourself (remember Mount Saint Helens - not too far away). It would be well advised if you ever plan to travel to Bend to ski, to find out if the trail system is being groomed or not (they are not always groomed at that time of the year). The snow usually freezes at night and you can have some pretty good skiing for a couple of hours in the morning. After that is gets slushy and slow. If you are unlucky it won't freeze at all and it's slow for the whole darn workout. Afternoon skiing there just isn't worth it unless you're a masochist. There are plenty of things to do in town and surrounding areas (don't miss Smith Rocks).

We skied a total of nine days and 4 were really good, 3 were okay and 2 were miserable. The weather conditions can be very funky in the month of May. Expect rain, snow and sun. June is usually a lot nicer weather but the snow gets slushy faster. The neat thing about Bend is that you live in town and the weather conditions are a whole lot different there than on the mountain. You can pretty much expect it to be sunny and nice in town. We would leave for the mountain about 6:45 in the morning and would arrive for skiing around about 7:30. You can pretty much tell what kind of a ski day that you are going to have by just looking for the mountain. If you can see it, chances are the snow will be hard and fast - if you can't, there is no saying what it's going to be like.

If anyone is interested in going to Bend next spring let me know and I can find out when most of the teams will be showing up. This will ensure that the trails are groomed and cut down on costs. Town is reasonably priced and there are plenty of places to eat. Bend is one of those really nice places that people are finding out about and moving to so it is growing very fast.