Central Oregon transforms into a messy snow globe

Winter hits High Desert hard; plows hit road to Bachelor

POSTED: 7:16 PM PST December 17, 2012    UPDATED: 7:33 PM PST December 17, 2012 
MT. BACHELOR, Ore. -

As crashes littered Central Oregon streets throughout Monday, ODOT snowplow driver David Moyer and I headed up to even worse weather at Mt. Bachelor.

With whiteout conditions and the windshield wipers freezing, the drive was treacherous -- even in a snowplow.

"We're constantly looking through a porthole, if you think about it." Moyer said.

Out the back window was a very familiar sight for Moyer: a line of cars, eager to pass.

"I kind of have mixed emotions when I see that," Moyer said.

Moyer says they try to plow at 25-35 mph -- but that's not always fast enough for some people anxious  to ski the fresh powder.

"You don't know what they're going to do, if they're going to crash into you or make it by you -- or what's going to happen if they do make it around you," Moyer said.

The blizzard-like conditions didn't keep all these cars from making it to the top, including Beth Robbins'.

"We just thought we'd check it out and see if we could go skiing today," she told NewsChannel 21.

A family from Vancouver was second-guessing their ski day when I caught up with them.

"I don't think I want to get out of the car personally, but my kids are all excited," the father said. "So we're going to go up to the lodge. We can take our gear up there, hang out for an hour, drink some hot chocolate and go home."

For many, the trouble started on the way back down, as people were getting stuck in snowdrifts. Mt. Bachelor warned on their Website that four-wheel drive was recommended, and it was easy to see why.

Blowing snow made it impossible to see the lifts from the parking lot and had some thinking the slopes were better off left for the diehards.

"I'm a fair-weather skier, so we'll see how today goes," one skier said.

The mountains are expecting more snow tonight and tomorrow, if you're headed over the passes chains are required.