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7 ways to get ready for Bend ski season (even if you don’t ski!)

Bachelor kids 1600

The countdown’s getting serious. Snow watchers are glued to the weather channel and stalking the Mt. Bachelor webcam like dogs waiting for a hunk of Thanksgiving turkey to drop.


Even if you’re not salivating at the prospect of gliding down Mt. Bachelor’s pristine 4,300 acres of lift-accessible terrain, it’s worth being ready for the upcoming ski season. Here are seven ways to do it.


Happy Hopening Day!

Though early-season snowfall has been sparse here in Central Oregon, the weatherman predicts some nice, fluffy flakes between now and Turkey Day.


Knowing folks expect the mountain to open the day after Thanksgiving no matter how much snow they have, Mt. Bachelor announced an official “Hopening Day” on November 29, 2019. It’s a free event from noon to 4:00 p.m. that will include hiking, family activities, scavenger hunts, and photo ops with ski patrol and avalanche dogs.


They’ll also have live DJ music and hot toddies for grownups, plus a winter toast with the Mt. Bachelor president on the West Village Lodge deck at 3:15.


Even the Nordic center is getting in on the action, with an open house featuring ski waxing, hot cider, and cookies.


The event promises fun for skiers and no-skiers alike, so mark your calendar for the official start of the season.



Get your gear fix

While snowfall and acts of nature make it impossible to predict when the lifts will actually start turning at Mt. Bachelor, you should be ready to ride at a moment’s notice.


Powderhounds would be wise to get gear tuned up, waxing and sharpening and possibly doing a snow dance in your driveway wearing nothing but ski boots. We won’t judge, though your neighbors might. Go here to find a Bend ski shop that’ll have your gear in tip-top shape at great prices.


Even if you have no plans to strap boards to your feet this winter, it behooves you to spend a few minutes digging through your stash of hats and scarves and cursing loudly about why you have seven lone gloves with no mate. Then take yourself to a Bend shopping spot and pick up new gear to keep your hands, feet, and other parts toasty when the snow starts flying.



Let’s get physical

Front squats. Single-leg deadlifts. There are oodles of exercises ski bums can do to get ready for the season, and this article from Outside has some spiffy tips.


Even if skiing’s not on your horizon, it’s smart to do some core strengthening so you’re primed for the occasional slip in an icy parking lot. Regular ol’ yoga and pilates are awesome ways to accomplish it, or you can hunt for unique offerings like blacklight yoga or pole dancing classes.


Consider what other winter activities you might need to train for. Snowball fights? Hoofing it up the hill with a saucer sled balanced precariously on your head? The potential to pull a groin making snow angels? The possibilities are boundless, so tailor your workouts to suit your favorite form of snow play.



Where to lay your head

Unless you’re planning to build a snow cave, you’ll need a Bend hotel or vacation rental to keep you warm for your Bend winter vacation.


(Sidenote: If you are planning to build that snow cave, Wanderlust Tours can teach you how to do it right!)


If snow camping’s not in the cards, scope out our Bend lodging page to get a feel for what’s available. Booking early will ensure the best prices and availability, especially during busier holiday periods. Lots of hotels offer bundles with free lift tickets or bonus free nights of lodging, so check our deals and discounts page for details.


Make no-snow plans

Even if you plan to spend every waking hour on the slopes, you’re gonna need a break. Plan some indoorsy activities like a visit to the High Desert Museum or some playtime at Trampoline Zone or the new K1 indoor racetrack.


Trampoline Zone Ninja Warrior CourseIf you’re craving variety in your snow adventures, book a snowshoe outing with Wanderlust Tours or an hour of tubing at the Mt. Bachelor Snowblast Tubing Park.


It’s also fun to explore Bend’s culinary scene with a visit to some of our top-notch Bend restaurants or a trek around the Bend Ale Trail. Keep in mind some spots fill fast during the holidays, so reservations are your friend.



Make sure Fido’s ready

If your pup plans on playing in the snow, make sure he’s prepared and protected.


That was a whole lotta P in one sentence. Also, don’t eat yellow snow.


Visit one of Bend’s awesome local pet stores to pick up goodies like dog jackets and booties. If your pooch is like mine and not a fan of wearing objects on her feet, Mushers Secret is a terrific alternative. You can find it at Bend Pet Express and High Desert Ranch and Home.


For ideas on where to take your pup to play in the snow, DogPac is an excellent resource.


If Rover’d rather sit out the snow play, find someplace for him to hang while you’re frolicking. Bend has a fab array of doggie daycares, pet sitters, and dog hotels, so go here to find one that’s right for your pooch.



Plan for wonky roads

Driving in snow and ice can be challenging for even the most experienced winter drivers. Now’s the time to make sure you’re prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at us.


Read up on winter driving tips, or go a step further by taking a SkidCar driving class through Deschutes County.


Before you set out, check your planned route using ODOT’s TripCheck website or app.


Stock your car with emergency blankets, food, and water, and have snow tires or a good set of tire chains. If you’re not sure how to use ‘em, Les Schwab is great about providing instruction with any set they sell.


If all this is a little scary, don’t panic! Being slow and cautious is key to safe winter driving. If you’re still nervous, rest assured you can leave the driving to someone else. Let the Bend Brew Bus haul you safely around the Bend Ale Trail, or count on the Mt. Bachelor Shuttle to get you to and from the mountain.


Uber, Lyft, and Bend cab companies are other great alternatives, or invest in a good pair of boots so you can rely on your own two feet.


Now bring it on, winter. We’re ready for you.

The Bend Adventure Journal

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