We're back to our regularly-scheduled programming, with a very special entry of the Central Oregon A-to-Zs!
It would be remiss of us to discuss the wonders of Central Oregon without mentioning MOUNT BACHELOR! This is one of the most popular destinations in Bend, in both summer and winter. The peak is easily visible from Bend, with its iconic flat top beckoning visitors and locals alike to come and explore! Luckily, this mountain is home to a world famous ski resort and endless recreational activities.
Since its founding, the history of Bend has been directly linked to Mount Bachelor. The mountain was originally named Bachelor Butte, aptly named for the fact that it stands apart from the the Three Sisters mountains nearby.
We talked about the rise of alpine skiing in a previous blog post, detailing how the Skyliners Ski Club were largely responsible for bringing the sport to Central Oregon. Bill Healy-- a member of this iconic ski club in the 1950s-- went on to found the Mount Bachelor ski resort we know and love today. His team decided that "Bachelor Butte" might seem too small-time to attract many skiers, and so they named the resort Mount Bachelor. It opened in 1958, and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each season to hike, ski, snowboard, snowshoe, snow tube, and even dogsled!
Formation & Physical Attributes
Sitting at 9,065 feet of elevation, Mount Bachelor is one of the crown jewels of the Central Cascade Mountains. The Cascades are a Volcanic Arc, meaning they formed as one tectonic plate was pushed under another in a process called subduction. The North American Plate (on top of which Mount Bachelor sits) is steadily moving northwest at a breakneck speed of 2 inches per year. As this happens, the much heavier Juan De Fuca Plate is pushed under it. This material melts into magma and rises to the surface, creating the Cascades. This is exactly what created the stratovolcano we now call Mount Bachelor about 15,000 years ago.
Though not nearly as glaciated as other peaks in the High Cascades, Bachelor still bears scars of glaciers past. Most noticeably in the bowl located on the northern face of the peak, pinnacles of lava chambers remain where the rest has been worn away.
how to play responsibly
There's nothing better than zipping down a ski slope on a bluebird winter day or hiking to the top to see a beautiful summer view, but what can we do to make sure this mountain-- home to a wide variety of native plants and animals-- remains so clean and healthy?
1. Stay on the trails!
This is a big one. We definitely understand to the temptation to go explore the woods-- that's why we've gone through the training, and attained necessary permits to do responsibly on our daily winter snowshoe tours. Mount Bachelor is surrounded by an amazing old-growth forest-- part of the immense Deschutes National Forest, which is over 2,400 square miles of protected forest area. Any time you happen to trample a plant, or disturb a nest, you're directly affecting the health of the forest! That's why we recommend heading out with us, rather than on your own.
2. Keep it clean
Try to reduce the amount of waste you're bringing up to the mountain, and if you see some garbage-- pick it up! If you're a smoker, definitely wait to smoke at the lodge, rather than smoking out on the chairlifts or slopes.
3. Carpool to the mountain
The easiest way to reduce your footprint is by reducing the amount of time you spend driving! Hop in a friend's car to head up to the mountain, bring your four friends along in your hatchback, or hop in one of our vans to enjoy a tour!
4. STAY SAFE!
The best way to ensure that you protect Mount Bachelor is by protecting yourself. If you stay on the trails and protect yourself from injury by wearing the proper gear, then there will be no need for the mountain's rescue services to come to your aid! Mount Bachelor Resort has designed everything perfectly so that you might enjoy the benefits of the mountain, without needing to put yourself or other in danger. So, enjoy!