(Update: Adding Mt. Bachelor video; winds top 100 mph at higher elevations)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A delayed seasonal celebration is still a party, and hundreds of skiers and snowboarders cheered hitting the slopes Saturday as a windy snowstorm that delivered over two feet of snow (and was still coming down hard) made for a happy opening day at Mt. Bachelor.
The Sunrise, Little Pine and Rainbow chairlifts opened Saturday morning, along with access to nine trails and a terrain park, Director of Marketing and Communications Lauren Burke said.
A delay in winter snowfall had pushed back the opening, which the resort hoped could happen on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving.
As has become a tradition, a 2023-24 Opening Day banner was broken by celebrating snow-lovers, with fresh tracks to be made across a foot or so of fresh powder, a toast to the season with free beer from Deschutes Brewery, and live music throughout the day.
“With more snow in the forecast, Mt. Bachelor will continue to expand terrain as conditions allow,” Burke said.
Temperatures were in the not-frigid upper 20s, but winds gusting to above 40 mph on the lower slopes made for a challenge for some.
The resort's condition report warned opening weekend visitors to "expect challenging conditions due to deep snow, high winds and reduced visibility."
The report also shows winds gusting to 106 mph at 8,000 feet and 129 mph at the Summit (though the minus-148 degrees reading is not).