The closing weekend at Mount Bachelor has become a pleasant Bend tradition - two days of fun, games and high spirits to celebrate the end of another ski/snowboard season and the beginning of another summer.
As always, though, there are some idiots who let their spirits get too high and screw it up for everybody else.
Last year, according to Mount Bachelor spokesman Alex Kaufman, there was "a brawl of sorts" on the closing weekend in the parking lot by Skyliner Lodge. Things got so out of hand that the cops had to be called.
"This year on Saturday the area got pretty wild again, with some cars getting broken into and windshields being smashed," Kaufman told The Source in an e-mail. "That in addition to the usual litter, drinking and other unmentionables." Once again, the police had to intervene.
Fearing that "Sunday was headed for that or worse," Mount Bachelor officials decided to take the "preventative" action of closing the Skyliner parking lot and moving all of Sunday's festivities to the larger West Village parking lot. The move worked - partly. The scene at West Village stayed pretty mellow; "Hundreds partied big-time without incident ... and sent off the season in style," Kaufman wrote.
But again, the situation at Skyliner got ugly. Kaufman reported that some morons hanging out there, apparently in retaliation for the closure of the parking lot, ripped apart seat cushions on the Skyliner lift.
Kaufman added that Bachelor management "in general" was "very pleased with the behavior on closing day and saw a large improvement in that regard due to having the parking lot fun occur in West Village, instead of the small and isolated area at Skyliner."
Bachelor officials may be satisfied for now, but we suspect they won't stay satisfied if imbeciles keep showing up at the mountain on closing weekend bent on getting wasted, destroying things and in general behaving like first-class douches.
As Kaufman said via e-mail, "cracking down on our guests and publicly busting lots of people is not a problem-solver either - or a task we can do safely without inviting retribution. ... We also have many guests reporting being concerned for their safety in such tight quarters with out-of-control revelers."
Kaufman seems to think the youth of the crowd that tends to hang out at Skyliner is part of the problem. He's probably right: The blend of a party atmosphere, alcohol and young men who haven't yet learned to control their testosterone-fueled impulses can be explosive.
But while youthful hormones might partly explain the behavior that's been going on at the mountain the past two years, they aren't an excuse for it. The ski area has been closing every spring for 50 years without its patrons feeling the need to observe the occasion by trashing the place.
So here's a symbolic BOOT to the yahoos who almost wrecked closing weekend at Mount Bachelor - along with a hope that Bachelor officials will apply a real one to the butt of anybody who pulls the same crap again next year.