▶️ The Great Outdoors: Grooming Virginia Meissner Sno-Park

Cross country and skate skiing are enormously popular in Central Oregon partly due to miles of expertly groomed trails just a few minutes from town. In this week’s Great Outdoors, we take you on a pre-dawn ride in a grooming machine at the Virginia Meissner Sno Park.

A special thanks to our Great Outdoors sponsor, Parr Lumber, for giving us the time and resources to explore the lakes, rivers and mountains across our beautiful state every Wednesday night on Central Oregon Daily.

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▶️ Mt. Bachelor welcomes new member to avalanche rescue dog team


She’s a little dog with a big job ahead of her.

Her name is Shasta and she’s a 9-week old Golden Retriever born in Ellensburg, Washington.

She’s also the newest member of Mt. Bachelor’s Avalanche Rescue Dog team.

Monday was her fourth day at work.

“She’s getting used to the snow, sites and sounds,” said Drew Clendenen, a patrol training supervisor at Mt. Bachelor and Shasta’s owner. “It’s all new for her, so the goal for the next three months is to get her used to the mountain environment.”

Shasta joins three other avalanche patrol dogs — Riggings, Mango and Banyon — in assisting the mountain’s ski patrol team.

“There’s no patroller or anyone that can travel over avalanche debris at the speed a dog can travel, so they’re excellent partners for our patrollers here on the mountain,” Leigh Capozzi, Mt. Bachelor’s brand and marketing director, said.

In the summer, Clendenen will work on her basic obedience skills.

“Then, coming back into the beginning of next winter, it’ll be into focused training on using her nose to find things buried in the snow,” Clendenen said.

There’s a lot to learn, but Shasta is up for the job.

“She’s loving the snow, loves to eat it now, roll around,” Clendenen said.

Clendenen is excited to own a patrol dog after being a secondary handler to Banyon for years.

He named her after Mt. Shasta, where Clendenen first started ski patrolling.

“It’s an awesome life for a dog and for the human as well,” Clendenen said.

▶️ Destination Oregon: Cascade Ski Club

Imagine a cozy ski lodge, a roaring fire and snow piling up outside while you snuggle up in a big chair with your favorite hot drink and a good book. Well, in this week’s Destination Oregon report, Dave Jones takes us to just such a place on Mt. Hood, the Cascade Ski Club in Government Camp.

Join us every Thursday for another new edition of Destination Oregon, where Dave Jones takes you to some of the most interesting and beautiful places across our state.


▶️ 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.



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.

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


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.



Bend Olympians

Four Bend Locals are Going for Gold in PyeongChang

Bend natives Laurenne Ross, Tommy Ford and Ben Ferguson will all be representing the United States in this year’s Olympic Games. Ross and Ford will both be competing in Alpine Skiing while Ferguson will be competing in the snowboard halfpipe. Also from Bend and competing in the snowboard halfpipe is Kent Callister, but with duel citizenship Callister will be representing Australia.

Remembering Warren Miller

“If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.”

Warren Miller was a WWII veteran, a ski racer and instructor, an accomplished surfer and a champion sailor. What he will always be best known for, however, is the 500 films he directed and produced, mostly about outdoor sports and adventures.

His annual ski film marked the beginning of each ski season, and while Miller had little to do with the films later in his life, his name and voice have inspired millions to get out and hits the slopes.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom looks back at the life and legacy of the legendary filmmaker, who passed away on January 24, 2018 in his home on Orcas Island in Washington at the age of 93.