▶️ Mt. Bachelor Busy With Upgrades Before the Snow Flies

By Brooke Snavely
Central Oregon Daily

If you’ve driven past or been up to Mt. Bachelor later, you’ve probably noticed construction work taking place around the Sunrise Lodge.

The now four-season recreation area is in the midst of several major upgrades – one opened this summer, others are expected by winter and a zip line will be ready for visitors next summer.

‘As we go down the chairlift, this is the new Red Line Trail, the light-colored dirt and the smooth surface. That’s our really nice new advanced trail that we’ve spent two summers working on and now it’s finally open,” said Drew Jackson, Mt. Bachelor marketing director.

“Our bike park debuted six years ago and it’s been growing every summer. The Red Line Trail is the one signature trail our riders have been asking for. It’s a really ‘flowy’ trail that allows riders to seamlessly weave their way through the forest. It’s open now and our advanced and expert riders are really loving it,” he said.

Construction of the zip line support towers is visible near the Pine Marten Lodge. Unlike most zip line adventure that travel through treetops, this one will carry riders high over alpine terrain with wide-open views of the surrounding mountains.

“The new zip line experience is going to be pretty unlike anything else in the Pacific Northwest,” Jackson said. “Most zip line tours are canopy experiences through the trees. This is going to be way up the volcano. You’ll take a chairlift ride to get there and you’ll be out in the wide open space on a dual span, three-stage zip line 1,400 vertical feet down the mountain.”

A new parking lot is being added at Sunrise Lodge. The lodge itself is undergoing an extensive renovation that will include a new chairlift and two covered carpet conveyors that access new beginner slopes.

“This will be a whole new way for people from throughout the entire ability spectrum to progress their skills of skiing and snowboarding,” Jackson said. “We are introducing new, fun, creative ways for people to have fun through this Woodward Mountain Park.”

The upgrades are the single largest investment in the resort’s history.

The expert-only Red Line mountain bike trail opened two weeks ago. The remodeled Sunrise Lodge, new chairlift, moving carpets and terrain features open this winter. The as-yet unnamed zip line will open next summer.

 

 

Source on the Scene: Dirksen Derby

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for “Source on the Scene”, sponsored by Indian Head Casino. This weekend in the annual Dirksen Derby at Mt. Bachelor where snowboarders and sit-skiers will hit the slopes for a good cause. Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker has more in this week’s Source on the Scene.

For all the latest arts and cultural listings, pick up the latest issue of The Source Weekly or go to their website at www.bendsource.com
And thanks to our “Source on the Scene” sponsor, Indian Head Casino, for giving us the time and resources to show you some of the best events and entertainment that our region has to offer every Friday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Mt. Bachelor Gets its First Powder Day of the Season

If you found more coworkers than usual calling out sick today, it might be because Mt Bachelor got almost a foot of snow overnight. Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom was at the bottom of the slopes checking in with the lucky skiers and snowboarders who hit the mountain today.

Delayed Opening Means a Change in Holiday Plans for Visitors

With snow in the forecast for Friday, Mt Bachelor had to delay opening any of the lifts until after Thanksgiving, which meant a change in plans for those coming to Central Oregon to ski this Thanksgiving. Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker looks at the economic impact of Mt. Bachelor on the region, no matter which day they open for the season.

Pray for Snow

Mt Bachelor generally tries to schedule its opening day on the Thanksgiving weekend, but this year Mother Nature isn’t cooperating. However the ski area employees and local skiers remain hopeful that colder tempuratures could bring snow sooner rather than later.

Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker went up to the mountain today to check out the current conditions.

Source on the Scene: Board, Bike & Brew at Mt. Bachelor

This weekend, Mt. Bachelor will offer skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking all on the same day.

For this week’s Source on the Scene,  Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker headed up to the mountain as staffers prepared for the big holiday weekend.

For all the latest arts and culture listings, pickup the latest issue of The Source Weekly or go to their website at www.bendsource.com.

Thanks to our Source on the Scene sponsor, Indian Head Casino, for giving us the time and resources to show you some of the best events and entertainment that our region has to offer, every Friday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Surviving a Tree Well

A Central Oregonian Shares His Story of Escaping a Harrowing Fall Into a Tree Well

Since the death of two Oregonians at Mt. Bachelor last week, officials there have put a priority on warning visitors about the dangers of tree wells. That’s why La Pine resident and longtime skier Jack Reynolds wanted to share his story with Central Oregon Daily’s Brian Jennings about the time he almost died in a tree well, because he hopes to help prevent future tragedies.

Tree Well Warnings After Deaths on Mt Bachelor

How to Avoid Dangerous Situations on the Mountain

Mt. Bachelor officials say they are putting a priority on warning skiers and snowboarders about the dangers of tree wells after the deaths of two people in separate incidents on the mountain last Friday. 
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan takes a closer look at the accidents that claimed the lives of two young Oregonians.

Mt. Bachelor officials, as well as those who have experienced being trapped in a tree well, say that one of the safest things that you can do to avoid dangerous situations on the mountain is to have someone skiing or snowboarding with you, especially is you are making a run near the trees.

Tree Wells Cause Two Deaths at Mt. Bachelor

MT. BACHELOR OFFICIALS CONFIRM TWO DEATHS IN ONE DAY

On Friday a female skier was found in tree well just hours after the death of male snowboarder, also found in a tree well. Mt Bachelor officials issued this press release at 12:23am on Saturday morning:

“Following the death of an adult male snowboarder on Friday, a second guest fatality has occurred at Mt. Bachelor.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. Friday, Mt. Bachelor ski patrol received a report of a missing adult female skier who had become separated from her friends.

Mt. Bachelor ski patrol launched a search with Deschutes County Search and Rescue (SAR) and after several hours of searching, crews located the missing skier at approximately 8:30 p.m. Friday evening in a tree well near the more-difficult White Bark run in the vicinity of the Cloudchaser lift. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a separate incident earlier Friday, at approximately 12:00 p.m., an adult male snowboarder was discovered in a tree well in the West Bowls, an experts-only area near the Northwest lift.

Ski patrol members arrived and performed CPR while transporting the snowboarder to the West Village base area. He was transferred to the care of local emergency response personnel, who pronounced him dead at 1:14 p.m.

Members of the Mt. Bachelor ski patrol and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office are investigating both incidents.” 

“Our entire mountain community is shocked and saddened,” said John McLeod, Mt. Bachelor’s president and general manager, in the press release. “To have two unrelated incidents in the same day is unthinkable. We are heartbroken and our deepest condolences go out to the affected families and friends.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed the identities of both the skier and snowboarder. The snowboarder was identified as 24-year-old Bend resident Alfonso Braun.

Search and Rescue personnel said Braun was found buried in about six feet of snow around noon on Friday in the West Bowls, an expert-only area off of the Northwest chairlift. After repeated attempts at CPR, emergency medical personnel pronounced Braun dead at the West Village parking lot.

The full release from the Sheriff’s Office, released at 12:47am is below:

“At approximately 12:00pm today, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue personnel were dispatched to Mt. Bachelor for a report of a snowboarder found buried in the snow. Other skiers in the area began working to uncover the snowboarder, who was found to be unconscious and not breathing. Mt Bachelor Ski Patrol members arrived and began performing CPR while transporting the snowboarder to the West Village parking lot. The snowboarder, 24 year old Alfonso Braun of Bend, was pronounced deceased once being transferred into the care of awaiting emergency medical personnel.

Alfonso was found in the West Bowls, which is an expert-only area off of the Northwest chairlift. Weather at the time was reported to be mostly cloudy with light snow showers. Snow conditions at the time consisted of “unconsolidated powder”.

An investigation at the scene determined Braun had separated from his friends, snowboarding into a treed area. Braun snowboarded into a tree well, becoming buried in approximately six feet of snow, head first, where he was later found. Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Detectives with the assistance of the Medical Examiner’s Office are further investigating this accident.”

The Sheriff’s Office also released the name of the skier found Friday. The skier was identified as 19-year-old Eugene resident Nicole Panet-Raymond.

Search and Rescue personnel said Panet-Raymond became separated from her friends around 3:30pm on Friday afternoon, and five hours later around 8:30pm, she was found in a tree well in the more-difficult White Bark run near the Cloudchaser lift. Panet-Raymond was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The full press release from the Sheriff’s Office, which was released at 1:02am on Saturday, is below:

“On March 2nd, 2018, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Mt. Bachelor ski patrol received a report of a missing adult female skier who had become separated from her friends.

Mt. Bachelor ski patrol launched a search with Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue and after several hours of searching, crews located the missing skier, 19 year old Nicole Panet-Raymond, at approximately 8:30 p.m. Nicole was located in a tree well near the more-difficult White Bark run in the vicinity of the Cloudchaser lift. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cell phone forensics were utilized in assisting searchers to locate Nicole. She was found buried in approximately six feet of snow, approximately 10 yards off of the White Bark run.”

Fatalities at ski areas resulting from falls into tree wells are fairly uncommon and McLeod said it was “exceptionally rare” for two unrelated incidents to occur in the same day at one ski area. Prior to Friday’s incidents, the last tree well fatality at Mt. Bachelor occurred in 2002.

Tree wells are an area of loose snow at the base of trees that pose a risk to skiers, snowboarders, hikers and snowshoers. The wells are often invisible from the surface but falling into one could cause injury or death due to suffocation.

Those participating in winter activities should be aware of the danger and avoid trees, since they mark tree wells, and always go out with a partner and maintain visual contact.