Nordic Sports Director Bob Mathews founded the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center in 1975 by overseeing construction of a modest pair of looping trails with all of 7 kilometers of snowmobile-groomed trails.
The then diminutive Nordic program was rounded out by a 150-square-foot rental and lesson department squeezed into a corner of the main lodge. Through persistence and popularity, the Nordic Center has gained traction and trails. Today, the center boasts 56 km of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing with offerings of classes and clinics, plus a full rental department and onsite retail store in the 4,000 square-foot log cabin. The Nordic Center is known for its daily grooming and for having the longest Nordic season in North America, extending through May.
Nordic Center Manager Sue Foster is celebrating her eleventh season at Mt. Bachelor this winter. Among many other duties, Foster personally posts the daily conditions report. Her reports include descriptions of the early morning weather and trail grooming with insights from the grooming crew and anecdotal observations.
Her favorite run is Leslie’s Lunge, an expert-rated 10.3-kilometer loop and one of the outermost trails at the Nordic Center. An expert Nordic skier originally hailing from Maine, Foster says, “I love the approach and the fact that it’s technical and offers lots of transitions along the winding, flowing trail.” The expert grooming, even on these distant trails instills confidence in skiers, Foster says, “The grooming is so consistent that even on the steep downhills, you know that if you throw your skis sideways you won’t feel any resistance.”
Another popular trail for intermediate skiers is the 6.2 km Woody’s Way Loop with a stopover at Bob’s Bungalow warming hut, named after Nordic Center founder, Bob Mathews.
Mathews (who is still a passholder and regular on the trails) isn’t the only one with a namesake at the Nordic Center. Many of the trail names honor fellow skiers who’ve made an impact — Leslie’s Lunge is named after two-time Olympian Leslie Bancroft-Krichko. The roster of Olympians contributing to the Center doesn’t stop there — Mike Devecka, Jay Bowerman, and Richard Gross also boast their own namesake trails — Devecka’s Dive, Blue Jay’s Way, and Rich’s Range. Woody’s Way Loop is the namesake of Bob Woodward, a prolific local outdoor writer, photographer and Nordic ski racer. While Oli’s Alley Loop is named for Dennis Oliphant, who was the second Nordic employee Mt. Bachelor hired, Foster quips, “Everyone knows Dennis.”
Easy Back Loop, a wandering ascent and descent is the newest trail at Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center offering a gradual route to the outermost trails. Foster shares that this is also where you’ll find everyone’s favorite viewpoint. She says, “There’s a little clearing about 20-yards long on Easy Back with views of Broken Top — everything just falls away, it feels like a window facing out.”
Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center offers instruction for all levels of skier. Join a multi-week Intro to Classic & Skate Ski clinic or perfect your technique with a private lesson with expert coaches. Other options include multi-week classes for seniors, women and men. The Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center also features over 10 km of marked and packed Snowshoe Trails as well as snowshoe rentals.
The Nordic Center is located in the West Village Base Area on the north side of the parking lot.