BEND, Ore. - (Update: Monday winds, conditions, Friday outlook for reopening)
After a fun, sunny opening weekend, earlier than originally planned, Mt. Bachelor officials said Sunday that an incoming storm -- bringing rain, wind and warmer temperatures -- means they have decided to close Tuesday through Thanksgiving.
"Well, it was fun while it lasted," the post to the conditions report Sunday afternoon said. "The past two days have featured the best opening conditions we've had in a very long time. But now, things are changing, and not for the better."
"The weather forecasts have taken a significant turn for the worse," the resort said. "If it was the middle of winter, we would push through and turn the lifts for the hearty souls among us.
"But with the snowpack so thin, we are particularly vulnerable to rain damage," they continued. "A shallow depth of soft and saturated snow means that grooming machines will sink through it, churning up dirt and rock and mixing it in with the snow."
And so, they said, "in an effort to preserve the snow so it can last until more snow arrives, we've made the difficult decision to stay off of it during the warm spell."
Mt. Bachelor, which reported a 34-inch snow depth at mid-mountain Sunday and 40 inches at the West Village base (6,300 feet), apologized for the late change in plans, but added that "despite a forecast of rain and wind, we will give it our best effort" for Monday, adding that "it will be an hour-by-hour evaluation."
And indeed, the resort reported mixed precipitation and temperatures just above freezing Monday morning, with the Sunshine lift open only due to the windy weather. Winds at the Pine Marten lift, mid-mountain at 7,800 feet, were gusting as high as 78 mph by mid-morning Monday.
"There are a couple dozen hearty souls skiing on our one open lift, but that's about it," said resort spokesman Drew Jackson.
But the resort also said more snow is due by this coming weekend and they hope to have four lifts open on Friday.