ski open (copy)

The Little Pine chairlift carries skiers and a snowboarder on opening day Dec. 13 at Mt. Bachelor ski area.

Shuttered chairlifts and long lines at Mt. Bachelor ski area on Thursday lit up social media as skiers vented their frustrations with the resort’s pricing plans and management.

Skiers posted photos of the lines and decried the prices of lift tickets at the resort, some saying that prices are too high for extreme weather days that force the shutdown of chairlifts.

The complaints were not the first this year for Powdr Corp, the company that owns Mt. Bachelor ski area.

In October, skiers lambasted the company for its fast pass, which allows skiers to pay an extra fee that allows them to skip to the front of a lift line.

Facebook user Jared Dairy described his experience on the mountain on Thursday as the “worst performance” he had seen from Mt. Bachelor.

“You can call it complaining but at some point, it’s worth speaking up,” said Dairy in an online post. “I have a season pass but the very idea that Bachelor was happy to charge $150 (or whatever they charged) for only three high-speed quads for the majority of the morning, absolutely absurd.”

Mt. Bachelor charges $119 on weekdays for an adult single-day lift ticket, $139 on Fridays and $159 on weekends.

The Bulletin called the resort’s information line and was told refunds are not available for skiers who used lifts. Skiers who bought passes and did not use them could get passes for another day if they chose not to ski due to the conditions.

On Thursday morning the resort had five lifts operating, then added two more later in the day. Mt. Bachelor spokesperson Leigh Capozzi said lifts closed due to high winds and blowing snow. Road conditions on the way to Bachelor were also treacherous, with at least one car flipping over.

Despite the blustery conditions, ski shops in Bend remained busy throughout the day. Todd McGee, owner of the Powderhouse Ski Shop, said the weather hasn’t slowed down his ski rental and sales business.

“Everybody’s mood has been excellent. Even today with the lifts being minimal and the winds being strong I haven’t heard one complaint. Not one. Everybody has been patient,” said McGee. “But people are on vacation. They are having a good time and making the most out of the situation.”

McGee said he’s just happy that the snow came when it did, just ahead of Christmas and in time for the busiest week of the year for ski shops.

“It was nerve-wracking. I was losing some sleep,” said McGee. “Everyone was doing the snow dance, and it worked.”

The overall snowpack in the Upper Deschutes and Crooked River area jumped this month to 104% of average, according to data compiled by the National Water and Climate Center. Some of the highest snow totals were recorded at Santiam Pass. The forecast through the week calls for periodic snow and sun, with a clear day expected on Saturday, New Year’s Day.

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Reporter: 541-617-7818,

mkohn@bendbulletin.com

Michael Kohn has been public lands and environment reporter with The Bulletin since 2019. He enjoys hiking in the hills and forests near Bend with his family and exploring the state of Oregon.

(4) comments

Troy96

I would argue that the people complaining just shouldn’t go to Bach when it’s terrible weather

Momma Des

Jared Dairy and Buckeye Duck. I am an old lady who grew up on Timberline, Ski Bowl, and Bachelor in the 70's. This sport has Never come with a refund. Mother Nature rules. Some days you sadly just sit in the lodge and have a Spanish Coffee or 2 to feel better. Sorry. Not everyone gets a trophy. Life is not fair.

77691

Here’s a little secret. When they forecast strong winds at Bach Ski the Doo.

BuckeyeDuck

Kind of a first world problem here. The policy Bachelor has in place is the same as it was when the Pape family owned and operated it. I worked a couple of seasons in ski rentals and once you rented there were no refunds for conditions if you decided to head out on a sloppy day and didn't like it. At least they let you keep your pass for another day if you don't take any runs.

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