July 3, 2020 – Mt Bachelor

Dan and I left his house in Springfield early with hopes of finding July corn on Bachelor. Our plan was to meet John and Joe at the mountain, and the drive up highway 58 went quickly with little traffic in the early morning. We pulled up to the gate at Sunrise shortly after 7:00 am, and found Joe and John there. A few minutes later, we shouldered packs and headed out.

The cars along the highway

Hiking across the parking lot

There wasn’t nearly as much snow as our trip a couple of weeks ago, and we had to walk quite a ways on bare ground before we hit continuous snow. Eventually, we worked our way up above the Sunrise chair and onto the snowfields below the summit…

Hiking above the chair

Looking out over central Oregon

We worked our way to the top, and elected to head over to Cow’s Face for a lap to see if the snow was holding good corn like it was a few weeks back. The line looked good, and it appeared the morning sun had already done it’s work as the snow quality looked like creamed corn as well.

Joe at the top of Cow’s

We stashed some gear up top, including our beers, tennis shoes, and extra jacket, and strapped in for some July turns. Dan dropped in first, and snapped a few pictures of me heading down with my 70-300mm telephoto Canon. The resulting shots came out pretty nicely…

Matt harvesting the corn

July turns on Mt Bachelor

Partway down I grabbed the camera and took shots of the skiers as they descended. Joe came cruising by me first, followed by Dan. John of course was already halfway to the bottom:)

Joe skiing Cow’s

Dan shucking some July corn

We skied down skier’s right of the run, and ended up quite a ways down before we called it and decided to head back up. The boot back up went quickly with four of us to kick steps, and soon we were standing back at the top of the face, contemplating another run.

Skiing lower Cow’s

It didn’t take long for us to make the choice to put another set of tracks on the face, given how excellent the corn was. This time, we decided to ski down skier’s left, and worked the (even) smoother snow on that side of the run.

Joe enjoying lap 2

Matt cranking turns

The snow in the middle of the run was superb. I continued shooting pics of the skiers as they descended, and even captured a few photos of John as he skied behind me.

The Fish enjoy July corn turns

Near the bottom, John bid us farewell as he needed to head back to his cabin on highway 58 to do some home repairs. Dan, Joe and I continued down for another 500 vertical or so before the snow started getting mushy, and then began the long slog of booting back to the top.

Skiing above Kwolh Butte

We worked our way back up the hill, eventually rejoining our bootpack from the first lap, and made it to the top to collect our (now) cold beers and remaining gear. From there, we headed to the summit to enjoy a deserved rest, along with the views. Prior to reaching the top, I snapped the below picture of my beer of choice for the day, an enjoyable Hawaiian Crunk from Riverbend Brewing Company with South Sister as a backdrop.

Beer

A few minutes later, I rejoined Dan and Joe, and was enjoying the summit views as well as the delicious beer. It felt good to take a rest and enjoy the views, and it looked like the snow in the Cirque Bowl was in good shape too.

Telephoto view from the summit

Matt on top

After our beers were drank and we’d taken a couple of obligatory summit pics, it was time to strap in and enjoy the steep turns off the top. I dropped in first, and worked my way over to the rollover and setup to snap a few shots of the skiers coming down. Joe came down first, followed by Dan. The snow was corned perfectly, and the steep pitch skied really nicely…

Joe skiing below the headwall

Dan dropping into the Cirque Bowl

At the bottom, we had to negotiate a section of dirty, icy snow where the upper snowfield was melting away from the lower snowfield. It looked like it would only go for another week or so, and we were happy to be able to ski it cleanly without having to take skis off…

Looking back at the upper bowl

Joe and Dan

We made turns down the rest of the snow in the bowl, enjoying the corn on the lower angle slopes, and then decided to work our way over to the rope tow patch for the ski down to the road. The rope tow patch was holding nicely, and took us right down to the road above Skyliner…

Heading down to the road

At the road, we were able to ski a snow finger back over to Sunrise, and then work the snow patches quite a ways down the mountain before having to switch to sneakers for the short hike back to the car. Given where we thought we’d have to take the skis off from our approach in the morning, we were pretty stoked to be able to ski down as far as we did….

Skiing the final patch

Back at the car, we loaded gear and headed down to the horse camp near Todd Lake to enjoy some post-skiing food, including brats, chips and salsa, and cold beverages. The brats definitely hit the spot after a long day. After enjoying the food, I loaded into Joe’s truck for the drive home (Dan was staying over for the night), and we headed out, satisfied with an excellent day of July corn. Here’s a parting shot from the day…

Dan enjoying July corn on Cow’s

 

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