Mt. Bachelor, OR

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35 thoughts on “Mt. Bachelor, OR

  1. TJ April 22, 2016 / 8:27 am

    Do you know why the Silver Streak Sxpress is not found on the trail maps from 1983-1997? What terminals did this lift have for an 83 install?

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    • Peter Landsman April 22, 2016 / 5:46 pm

      Silver Streak Express was the original name for the Summit Express which was a detachable triple from 1983-1997 before the current quad went in. The same enclosed terminal buildings were used for both lifts.

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      • Mark Hamby September 4, 2019 / 2:32 pm

        There was also talk that Healy floated the name Sunrise for the lift to the top

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        • Mike wall September 23, 2020 / 7:14 pm

          Was the skiing as good as MT Hood this last year? I see my former teacher at Welches is still hitting it. You know my Ski team won state in HS at Sandy. Your lessons paid off. Mike Wall. Ie.. tennis champ if you remember as well.

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  2. Cameron July 13, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    Yellow was actually a Riblet/Yan Hybrid Chairlift. It featured Yan drive and return terminals while the line equipment and carriers were all Riblet.

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    • Steve Stenkamp December 28, 2018 / 9:44 am

      The original Yellow chair or chair #3 when it was built replaced a T-Bar. The original had a unloading station that was tough for beginners. It was configured later by Yan using a lot of the original Riblet.

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      • Mark Hamby September 4, 2019 / 2:20 pm

        Thank you Steve. Chair 3 was built in the summer of 1966 the same year the overnight Main Lodge (West Village) was built. Chair 3 became Yellow in November of 1973. Chair three was originally a Riblet as you said. The top and bottom terminals were reconfigured in the summer of 1981by Yan.

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  3. Fred April 14, 2017 / 10:51 am

    Any pictures of removed mt bachelor lifts?

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  4. Fred April 14, 2017 / 10:53 am

    There are pictures of the old pine martin express chair on ski lifts.org

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  5. Northeast Chairlifts February 21, 2018 / 3:24 pm

    Just rode and recorded Northwest today. It’s longgggg!

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  6. Steve Stenkamp February 9, 2019 / 5:35 pm

    Rainbow Chair (Yan) was shortened and now only rises 600 ft and is 3280 ft. long

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  7. Mark March 18, 2019 / 5:09 pm

    I’ve always been super curious about the original Summit Express high speed triple. I never can find any photos or information on it!

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  8. Donald Reif September 25, 2019 / 11:13 am

    I’m pretty sure Cloudchaser’s uphill capacity is 2,800 pph, not 2,400 pph.

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  9. Ben Eminger February 16, 2020 / 10:34 am

    Anybody know why old Pine Marten got replaced while Outback stayed? Both CLD-260’s and Outback is only one year newer.

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    • Donald Reif February 16, 2020 / 10:38 am

      Pine Marten had more hours on it as a summer lift, I think.

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      • Ben Eminger February 16, 2020 / 1:13 pm

        Makes sense, I’ll bet old Pine Marten has probably helped keep Outback alive as a parts lift.

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        • Donald Reif February 16, 2020 / 3:29 pm

          The things it would be a part donor for would be for the terminals and the chair grips. Pine Marten retained all its chairs and towers.

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  10. Northeast Chairlifts February 19, 2020 / 11:49 pm

    They replaced the chairs on some of the lifts, including Pine Marten, Outback and NWX, with new Dopp quad chairs with spring-loaded restraint bars.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donald Reif February 20, 2020 / 6:45 am

      These new chairs are still EJs, though, so most people wouldn’t necessarily notice until they lower/raise the bars.

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  11. Donald Reif January 10, 2021 / 5:35 pm

    Rainbow’s stats haven’t been updated to reflect its length after being shortened.

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  12. Donald Reif January 11, 2021 / 8:41 pm

    Summit Express has 106 chairs, not 99.

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  13. pnwrider March 31, 2021 / 5:31 pm

    “In the early 1990s, Mount Bachelor had intentions of installing an 8 passenger high speed gondola which would run from the Sunriver access road to the base area of the Sunrise lodge. However, while marketed in ski magazines, this gondola was never built.”

    That’s an excerpt from Wikipedia. This one is a bit of a head scratcher. The only purpose I could really see this serving is adding additional, gondola accessed parking. Or maybe additional development like a village or something with overnight accomodations. Mt. Bachelor does seem to be the largest day ski operation I know of, with no on-mountain or adjacent overnight accomodations. Everyone drives up, and then back home or to a hotel.

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    • Cameron Halmrast April 1, 2021 / 10:09 pm

      Mt. Bachelor had lots of wealthy private investors, which is how it was able to grow so quickly in the late 80s and 90s. I know that there was another HSQ planned off the summit near Cow’s Face and that the Northwest Express was originally going to be a gondola, but the USFS would not allow Mt. Bachelor to put a parking lot on that side of the mountain. In addition, Mt. Bachelor gave up its permit on Tumalo Mountain to install the Summit Express so that it could have 360 degree skiing.

      In regards to the gondola mentioned on Wikipedia, here is one source. February, 1987 issue of SKIING Magazine.

      https://ibb.co/pPpfn6j

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      • pnwrider April 5, 2021 / 11:14 am

        That’s really cool to find out! Also on the Wikipedia page for Mt. Bachelor, it mentioned that Rainbow was going to be replaced with a detachable quad, and Sunrise Express with a detachable six pack.

        Now with Rainbow shortened, I’m assuming a Rainbow Express will never happen. Did Cloudchaser essentially cancel Rainbow Express, and do you think there will ever be a detachable chairlift up Cow’s Face, making it the next terrain expansion beyond Cloudchaser Express?

        It’s really interesting to see how Northwest Express was originally planned to be a gondola, with a third base down there, but with no base and access being purely limited to skiers and snowboarders who already have their skis/boards on their feet, I can see why they just went with a detachable quad.

        It seems like Mt. Bachelor doesn’t have an investment issue or revenue issue, rather they’re constantly struggling with the Forest Service. They had to sacrifice Tumalo Mountain, and couldn’t build a restaurant on the top of the mountain like they originally had hoped. It’s also probably why there isn’t any immediate overnight accomodations for a resort that gets as much tourism as it does.

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    • Drew Jackson April 5, 2021 / 8:59 pm

      Wikipedia’s record on Mt. Bachelor isn’t quite accurate, especially regarding the location of a proposed gondola.

      1981 MASTER DEVELOPMENT PLAN

      Primary Base Areas & Lodges:
      – Retain Main (West Village) Base
      – Construct Flycreek (Sunrise) Base
      – Construct East Base with access off of Sunriver Road
      – Construct West Base 1/2 mile west of original Outback lift base
      – Construct Mid-Mountain Lodge at top of Sunrise / bottom of Summit lifts
      – Construct Summit Lodge at the top of the mountain
      – Retain and improve the existing Blue Lodge
      – Retain the existing Egan Lodge

      Lifts:
      – Retain Outback, Red, Yellow, Orange, Black, Green & Blue lifts (but “remodel” the lifts as needed)
      – Construct Avalanche (Sunrise) and Flycreek (Rainbow) lifts to serve the proposed Flycreek (Sunrise) Base
      – Construct Summit lift to the top of Mt Bachelor (the lift was known as both the Sunrise lift and Silver Streak lift in planning stages)
      – Construct West & Northwest lifts
      – Construct Shangrila lift (this lift morphed into what is now Cloudchaser, in a longer alignment)
      – Construct Relayer lift from East Base to Shangrila lift
      – Construct Tram from the East Base to the summit
      – Construct East lift from the East base, serving the lowest section of Tram terrain
      – Construct Mr. Bill lift in its own terrain pod southwest of the Tram

      MAP: https://imgur.com/a/lzpJvVI

      Between 1981 and 1985, the Avalanche (Sunrise), Flycreek (Rainbow) and Summit lifts from the above plan were constructed, along with the Flycreek (Sunrise) Base area.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Drew Jackson April 5, 2021 / 9:00 pm

        1986 MASTER PLAN UPDATE

        In the mid 1980s, as a result of the rapid change in the ski industry with the development of high-speed detachable chairlift technology, Mt. Bachelor revised its Master Plan. Known as the 1986 Master Plan Update, this wasn’t considered a new Master Plan; it was an approved update based on industry changes and the need to react to those changes. Below are the 1986 changes to the 1981 plan.

        Base Areas:
        – Expand the Main (West Village) Base
        – Retain the recently-constructed Sunrise Base
        – Move the existing Blue & Egan Lodges
        – Delete the West Base near Outback lift
        – Delete the Mid-Mountain Lodge at the top of Sunrise / bottom of Summit lifts
        – Add a Mid-Mountain Lodge on the bench at the junction of the proposed Sunriver Gondola and 7th Heaven Express lifts
        – Add a Mid-Mountain Lodge (Pine Marten Lodge) at the top of the Pine Marten & Outback Express lifts

        Lifts:
        – Replace the Black & Red chairs with the Big Red (Pine Marten) Express
        – Replace the Blue & Green chairs with the Big Blue (Skyliner) Express
        – Replace the Orange & Yellow chairs with the Orange Express (Sunshine Accelerator / Little Pine)
        – Construct new Outback and Northwest Express lifts; delete the West lift
        – Retain the recently-constructed Sunrise, Rainbow & Summit lifts
        – Retain the proposed Shangrila (Cloudchaser), Relayer and East Beginner lifts
        – Delete the Tram from the East Base, replace it with two lifts: Sunriver Gondola from the East Base to mid-mountain and 7th Heaven Express from mid-mountain to the summit
        – Delete the Mt. Bill lift and replace it with the East Express

        MAP: https://imgur.com/a/O4KGltY

        Liked by 1 person

        • Drew Jackson April 5, 2021 / 10:56 pm

          2013 MASTER DEVELOPMENT PLAN

          In the late 2000s, new leadership at Mt. Bachelor publicly recognized that the last approved Master Plan – from 1986 – had become obsolete and was no longer a useful planning tool. All of the approved lift upgrades had been completed, except for those that were associated with the proposed East Base – a concept that was still far from necessary given the current and projected skier visit counts. Yet the resort was in desperate need for some lift & facility upgrades (mainly focused at the Sunrise base), a modest expansion to create more skiable terrain on stormy days (Cloudchaser), and an investment in the summer experience (mountain biking & zip lines). Five years after planning started, the 2013 Master Plan was approved.

          Mt. Bachelor’s 2013 Master Plan differed significantly from the 1980s-era plans. First, it was less ambitious, yet much more practical – with a roster of projects that could realistically be finished in the Plan’s 10-year timeline. More importantly, though, Mt Bachelor took the entire 2013 Plan through the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process and received formal approval from the USFS for every project in the Plan.

          The East Base was not included in the 2013 Master Plan. If desired, the resort must develop a new Master Plan and go through the NEPA process in order to move forward on the East Base concept the future. A doubling of the annual skier visit count is probably necessary before it would make sense for the company to get serious about the East Base project and its associated lifts & lodges.

          Also not included in the 2013 Master Plan: Lodging. Interestingly, the Northwest Forest Plan, signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, specifically prohibits Mt. Bachelor from adding overnight accommodations on the mountain. It would require another act of congress and signature by the president of the United States in order for Mt. Bachelor to pursue on-mountain lodging in the future.

          Mt. Bachelor’s 2013 Master Development Plan is here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/78483_FSPLT2_375413.pdf

          Liked by 1 person

        • pnwrider April 7, 2021 / 5:21 pm

          These master plans explain a lot…

          It’s not that Mt. Bachelor doesn’t have the visitation or the revenue, it’s simply legal barriers they face in regards to adding things that even many smaller resorts can have, such as gondolas, more than 2 bases, and overnight accomodations on the mountain.

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        • Drew Jackson April 7, 2021 / 9:47 pm

          Aside from the overnight lodging situation, Deschutes National Forest leadership has been quite supportive of development at Mt Bachelor during the past couple decades. The 2013 Master Plan sailed through the process without any serious objections. When crafting the plan, the partnership between Mt Bachelor and the Deschutes National Forecast was the ideal model for how a public/private collaborative process should work.

          Mt Bachelor’s owner, POWDR, has invested significantly on Mt Bachelor’s Master Plan projects during the past five years – from the Cloudchaser expansion to the mountain bike park, zip line, Sunrise Lodge remodel and the Woodward Mountain Park initiative, which brought a new quad chair and two new carpets. Approved in the plan but yet to be constructed are a new, larger Sunrise Lodge, a six-pack replacement for Sunrise Express and a high-speed quad replacement for Rainbow Chair (potentially with the existing Sunrise Express equipment – but that lift is getting old). However, skier visit counts have not been consistently high enough to prove the need for those very expensive investments as of yet.

          The other significant, not-yet-built projects that are approved in the 2013 Master Plan:

          1) New tubing & family snow play complex across the West Village parking lot from the existing tubing area (the trees were cleared for this in 2014).

          2) Biomass plant in partnership with the USFS; the steam heat generated from burning natural forest fuels would replace the mountain’s propane heat system.

          3) Remodel & expand West Village Lodge (bar side) and demolish the unsightly ski patrol & generator buildings next to it.

          4) Shorten Red Chair and repurpose that terrain pod into an alpine race training complex. The relocated top terminal of Red would be high enough such that you could still get to Outback/Northwest (through the Cinder Cone saddle area and lower Ed’s Garden run) but low enough to get the lift out of the wind. In partnership with the local non-profit ski team organization (MBSEF), a new Alpine Training Center building at the bottom of Red Chair would replace the Junior Race Center (Blue Lodge).

          I’ve listed the projects above in the order that they might actually happen. I think project #1 is likely in the next few years, since there is a compelling financial return-on-investment with that project and the USFS really wants to see expanded snow play opportunities in the forest, especially in already-developed areas. Project #2 has a reasonable chance of being funded at some point through a federal grant. There seems to be less interest project #4 now, compared to ten years ago when the Master Plan was in development. MBSEF has shifted its fundraising priority, now focused on building an in-town headquarters in Bend. It’s unlikely that project #4 will actually happen, in my opinion.

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        • Drew Jackson April 7, 2021 / 10:44 pm

          BEYOND THE 2013 MASTER PLAN

          The lift ideas below are currently not included in any official plans, but they’ve been discussed and could be included in future proposals:

          1. Replace Pine Marten lift. This detachable quad lift isn’t very old (2006), but it has high hours from running every day, 11 months a year for 15 years & counting. The replacement lift would be a 6-pack / 8-passenger gondola telemix, in a new alignment starting near the bottom of Red Chair and ending at the same spot next to the mid-mountain Pine Marten Lodge. With an enclosed connector to Pine Marten Lodge, the gondola cabins would accommodate evening operations year-round and expand use of the lift to non-skiing guests who want to visit the lodge and enjoy lunch or dinner. The new bottom terminal location – next to the parking lot and Mountain Gateway building (where retail & ticketing operations are headquartered) – would be much more convenient for skiing and non-skiing guests. The new alignment would also get the towers off of the main face of Thunderbird run.

          2. In tandem with #1, shorten the existing Pine Marten lift. The relocated top terminal would be near the top of the half pipe (at existing tower #6, which is very close to where the old Yellow Chair terminated). Serving the half pipe and park competition arena, this quick-lapping lift would mainly operate on weekends/holidays and for events. If it’s determined that the existing Pine Marten detachable is at the end of its life and should be retired instead, then a new fixed-grip quad could replace it in this shorter alignment… using the existing towers and Doppelmayr EJ chairs (with new hanger arms & fixed grips).

          3. Replace Outback lift. This detachable quad is 34 years old. My feeling is that the company might stall as long possible on Outback’s replacement since it will be a painfully large spend on a project that most guests won’t even notice. The company could let the lift limp along indefinitely (safely, of course), perhaps on a more limited operating schedule. Northwest lift covers all of Outback’s terrain, so Outback is a redundant lift from a terrain access perspective. But if Mt. Bachelor continues to grow its skier visit count, two lifts are necessary to handle the traffic on that side of the mountain.

          4. Replace Skyliner lift. This detachable quad is 32 years old and might best be replaced with a 6-pack. It might be worthwhile to lower the top terminal slightly such that you could still access Summit Crossover run (and get to Summit lift), without poking up quite as high into the wind. A lowered top terminal would not allow access to the Upper Cliffhanger racing start area, however, so that’s an issue that would need to be considered.

          5. Not a new lift, but an idea to increase initial morning lift capacity on storm days: Build indoor storage barns for the detachable chairs on key lifts. Not having to deice grips after a night of icing & riming will significantly quicken the morning start-up process and increase the probability that more lifts can open right at 9:00am on popular (yet icy & rimey) powder days. Lines will be shorter overall with more options for guests to spread out right at the opening bell.

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  14. Mark Hamby April 6, 2021 / 2:26 pm

    Bill Healy was a visionary ! He could and did see things that others did not! Get to the top, develop Tumalo Mt, develop the east side! He was so far ahead of his time!

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    • Jbird April 6, 2021 / 3:06 pm

      That would be good but Mt Bachelor had to give up its permit on Mt Tumalo to build Summit Express and forest service will deny any East side expansion.

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