Park Sessions : Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Ben Ferguson, Gabe Ferguson, Roope Tonteri, Nik Baden, Jonah Owen, JD Dennis, Will Dennis, Justin Norman, Randal Seaton
I'm trying to keep up as Ben Ferguson leads his brother Gabe, Roope Tonteri, and Nik Baden on a high-speed hit run through the trees. We're popping off rollers, shooting through gullies, and banking around the trunks of pines and thick hemlocks, until suddenly we merge into Pacific City, carve through a berm, and air off a hip before regrouping for a moment to catch our breath.
Built on a dormant volcano, Bachelor is packed with natural, rolling features and the layout of the Terrain Parks Central zone, where you'll find Pacific City, works with the terrain to create an easy flow for riders. One moment you're cutting across the fall line to hit a rail on top of a transition and the next you're pointing it into a series of jumps. Nothing's really linear here and after Pacific City, the run splits into Seaside, Cannon Beach, and The Point parks, all named after famous Oregon coast beaches. Seaside is your straight-shot, but the other two lines twist down the mountain, offering a spread of street-style rail setups, battleships, wallrides, elbow kinks, boxes, and table jumps.
Exiting the park and heading towards the Skyliner lift, you ride along the side of a parking lot. On a sunny spring day like the one we were soaking in, a cast of Northwest characters grills burgers in the back of pick-ups and sip beers before cruising another lap.
Bachelor's parks have steadily evolved since the Chipper Terrain Park was first built in the early '90s, where Pacific City sits today. This season, Terrain Park Manager Parker Bohon is leading the design, building, and maintenance efforts across all three of Bachelor's main park zones—Terrain Parks Central, Terrain Parks East (where you'll find the Short Sands beginner park), and Terrain Parks West, just above the West Village lodge, which hosts the pipe and slopestyle courses. To make the features as progressive, creative, and legit as possible, Bohon and his crew worked closely with local riders.
"The hand crew and the cat guys, we all have a personal relationship with them," says Jonah Owen. "Just the other day, me and Norman hopped in there and helped them move something around. It's fun to have a park crew that's willing to work with you, rather than saying, 'Too bad, ride what you've got.'"
The park crew works to keep things fresh throughout the season, too. "It's always different," Ben Ferguson says of the layout. "They change it up quite a bit so you never really know what you're going to get."
Warm up with some hit runs off the Sunrise Express, cruise some laps between the Pine Martin and Outback Express, or, if it's sunny, head to the peak on the Summit Express.
Either Pacific City to Cannon Beach, Pacific City to the top half of The Point and back into Cannon Beach, or Pacific City straight down Seaside. Any of these will give you a good combo of rails, hips, and medium size jumps to get loose.
Take a break in the Skyliner parking lot. Fire up the barbie. Relax. If you feel like it, drop into Bachelor's biggest jumps found in The Point.
It can be puking up at Bachelor and sunny down in the town of Bend, just half an hour away, so in the spring, head to the Ponderosa Skatepark to keep your session going after the lifts close. No matter what time of year, Bend has an epic food and drink scene. Some good ones include: Parrilla Grill for after-shred burritos, Spork, Deschutes Brewery, Ten Barrel Brewing, and Kanpai Sushi.
Nightlife: Velvet Lounge
Shop: Side Effect
Watch the video from Mt. Bachelor and past Park Sessions at TWSNOW.com/parksessions.