It's no secret that we're all big ski fans here in Central Oregon. Conveniently located at the foot of Mount Bachelor, Bend has been home to many great skiers throughout history (some of whom are outlined in our previous post about local Olympians). We ski before work, on our lunch break, after work (or even during work, if we're lucky!). We ski straight through May, and sometimes even on the 4th of July!
We're obsessed! We have been since at least 1928 when Scandinavian lumber works Nels Skjersaa, Nils Wulfberg, Chris Kostol, and Emil Nordeen founded the Skyliners Ski Club-- the first group to bring organized winter sports to Central Oregon.
The Skyliners were the first to sponsor ski races in Central Oregon, promoting competitive skiing in the area. They were also founding members of the Pacific Northwest Ski Association.
While there are several places to alpine ski in Central Oregon, Mount Bachelor is the most popular by far. The ski center at "Bachelor Butte" was established in 1958 by Bill Healy, with the help of ski enthusiasts like the Skyliners. Since then, it's become the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort we all know and love.
With the development of the ski center, talented winter athletes began coming from across the country to train in Bend.
Mt. Bachelor's Head Alpine coach Frank Cammack helped to cultivate top competitors in the sport, including Kiki Cutter, the first American to win a World Cup race (and whom we mentioned in our Bend Olympians post). With Cammack, a great number of Central Oregon skiers went on to compete at national and international tournaments, making Bend a top contender in Alpine Skiing!
Speaking of skiing, we're so excited to get out in all that fresh, new snow! Stay tuned for more of the A-to-Z's of Central Oregon over the next few weeks on the Wanderlust Tours Blog.