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Sliding and Gliding : Still plenty of winter sports to be had 

Paragliding off Bachelor

click to enlarge Chip Miller spreading his wings
  • Chip Miller spreading his wings
Chip Miller spreading his wingsSeveral Paragliding gurus call Bend home. Last Thursday, Steve Rotti, Chip Miller, John Iraggi, Tim Reynolds, Wade Holmes, and Mike Teixeira took advantage of the stunning spring day to spread their wings and soar. The group took off from the summit of Mt. Bachelor and flew to the base of Skyliner lift. According to Rotti, "Thursday was great for flying because the winds aloft were light and the mountain wasn't cloud-covered (referred to as "cloaked" in the local paragliding vernacular). Spring is typically a good time for flying at Bachelor. We look for thermals (columns of warm air) rising up from the ground to provide lift, which can keep us airborne for hours. On exceptionally good days paraglider pilots have flown from Bachelor to Bend and beyond." Mt. Bachelor is just one of the many hills, or buttes, in the area that provide a good ride. Imagine flying like a bird, and it is easy to see the attraction drawing these pilots to paragliding.


Three Sisters Traverse

While the group jumped off Mt. Bachelor on Thursday with magnificent views of the Three Sisters in front of them, two backcountry skiers were exploring the mountains on skis. Jonas Tarlen and Shane Fox camped on Wednesday evening at the Pole Creek trailhead. Apparently not owning a functional alarm clock, the duo purchased one on their way out of town. The cheap alarm clock must have been too cheap, as the 2 am wake-up call never came. They eventually woke and departed around 6 am. They climbed the SE ridge of North Sister, making it to within a hundred feet of the summit. Jonas and Shane, clicked into their skis and descended to the col between Middle and North Sister. After summiting Middle, they harvested corn turns on the south face of Middle before dropping into the Chambers Lakes Basin. They reached the top of South Sister via the Eugene Glacier and skied off into the sunset. Pretty cool adventure right out our backdoor. Nice work, dudes!

Three Creeks to Bachelor

While skating into Broken Top on Thursday morning, I thought a skating traverse from Three Creeks to Bachelor on Sunday might be a good adventure option. After discussing this with Jack Hart, we decided to make a go of it, IF the conditions were good. The Sunday morning snow-phone reported 2 inches on the mountain. I was skeptical of the traverse and attempted to persuade Jack to try plan B. Somehow, Jack's enthusiasm won out and his truck was soon filled with Muffy Roy, Chris Williams, my wife Molly and myself. We were persuaded to go 'ski somewhere new' around the Three Creeks Snopark. Before we knew it, and before we realized we were not really prepared, Jack's psych carried us up to Three Creeks Lake and beyond. After six miles of climbing, the terrain flattened out and the skiing became quite enjoyable, weaving our way in and around old growth hemlocks. Sometime after the turn around point, the reported two inches suddenly became more like six or seven by my measuring stick. Out of food and water, we plodded forward intent on reaching the destination. My tank hit 'empty' just as we hit the parking lot. Fortunately, we quickly found rides from two very nice gentlemen heading down from the mountain.

Smith Rock Spring Thing

The 16th annual Smith Rock Spring Thing takes place on Saturday, May 3. Registration for the volunteer trail maintenance/work party takes place from 8-10 am at the main fee station at Smith Rock State Park. Parking passes, breakfast snacks, water, sunscreen, work gloves, direction, tools, and supplies are provided for all volunteers. A free dinner for all involved starts at 6 pm and is followed by an auction and raffle. For more information about the event or to donate to the auction, contact Ian Caldwell -

High Desert Dash

The 1st Annual High Desert Dash is a five person team walk/run relay race that is formatted after the Portland to Coast race. Each team member walks/runs two sections ranging from 2.5 to 4.7 miles per leg. The Race starts at the Old Mill, climbs toward Bachelor then winds through the back roads to the "Get Outside" festival at the Village in Sunriver. The race is June 21, 2008 and the cost is $150 per team.

Proceeds for the event go to the Family Access Network (FAN), which recently had a 60% funding cut. FAN provides clothing, school supplies, and services to needy school children and their families. For more information:


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