That was a lot better than expected. In fact, it couldn’t get much better.
Before a CONC outing on Sunday, Jan. 14, group leader Susan Sullivan warned participants that the skiing conditions might be “challenging.” Six inches of snow fell at Mt. Bachelor Thursday, making for excellent back-country skiing on Friday and Saturday. But the temperatures also warmed enough Saturday that melting snow from the treetops sounded like rain – which meant water and portended potential ice spots beneath the trees on Sunday.
However, eight skiers largely avoided the ice and packed-down trails when Susan worked her GPS magic, leading the group cross-country and mostly away from the designated trails. This meant skiing open patches of snow away from the trees and thus away from any ice from snow bombs. Skiers started from the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center and set out cross-country shortly after crossing the Cascades Lakes Highway, eventually intersecting Pete’s Way trail and skiing on to Big Meadow.
Then, at the top of the Todd Ridge Trail, Susan had yet another treat for the skiers. She led them to the right and away from the main trail. After another three-fourths of a mile, the end point was an open high-country meadow with views of Broken Top in one direction and Mt. Bachelor in another. This made a perfect lunch spot on a warm, sunny day.
And by blazing their own trail, skiers felt like they had the woods all to themselves on a holiday weekend, meeting only one other small ski party all morning and afternoon.
“It was a fun day!” Susan says.
Couldn’t get much better.