We have a philosophy at LOGE. We open properties in places that we want to hang out. If we wouldn’t chill there, we don’t expect you to. And one of our favorite places to pass the winter months is Bend, Oregon. Here’s why we love it.
1. Redpoint conditions at Smith Rock
For climbers, Smith Rock is absolutely iconic. It has some great climbs, super aesthetic lines, and beyond that, Smith Rock has some of the richest history of any sport crag in the U.S. But for all of its importance and density of great sport routes, Smith Rock can get pretty hot in the summer, making holds greasy and tough to climb on. But with the winter come crispy send temps perfect for redpoint attempts on your latest project. Maybe you’ve been putting in burns on Dakine Corner and need some favorable conditions to make it through the slab. Maybe you’re more like me and are just looking for any advantage you can get to clip the chains on a 5.10c. Regardless, a nice trip to Bend in the winter will get you the conditions you need to get the send. (Just make sure you pay attention to limited seasonal raptor closings.)
You knew it, I knew it, we all knew this was going to be in here. We just couldn’t put it first on the list. You know, over-stoking and all that. Let’s put cards on the table. Last year wasn’t the best at Bachelor, but this year is setting a pretty decent pace already, and at time of writing, Bachelor was forecast to get 25” of powder over the weekend. Sign. Me. Up. Bachelor has some pretty sick runs on the lifts, but if you’re a little more experienced, you can ride the Summit chair and access Cirque Bowl and the South Side for some epic side country skiing perfect for the expert skier looking for something close to backcountry. Use the midweek slump to take advantage of shorter lift lines, so you can ski your legs off before heading into town for a beer at one of Bend’s awesome breweries. More on that later. And by later, I mean now.
3. Great beers at killer breweries
Admittedly, this is always a good reason to visit Bend, but if you dig stouts and porters as much as I do, the winter brings seasonals that make it feel like Christmas that lasts for 4 months. With 22 breweries in town, and lots of good Central Oregon breweries on tap at the local haunts, Bend is paradise for the craft-beer connoisseur. Make sure you don’t sleep on the Pray for Snow Winter Ale from 10 Barrel right in town. On top of just being a nice, spicy end to the ski day, 1% of revenue goes to Protect Our Winters, which is a dope non-profit fighting to end climate change. Plus, it’s beer. What else could you ask for?
Our LOGE Mt. Shasta general manager, Ross, shared tips on the best places to eat, drink, and generally be merry in Bend, OR, from back when he was assistant GM at LOGE Bend. Check them out if you want some more info.
4. Oregon WinterFest
LOGE loves a good winter festival. In fact, I can neither confirm nor deny that most of our hotel locations are tied to the fact that we just want places where our team can stay for all of the best winter festivals around. I mean, you’ve got UllrFest in Breckenridge. You’ve got Bavarian IceFest in Leavenworth. And in Bend, there’s Oregon WinterFest, coming up February 15-17. We’re talking live music. We’re talking sick ice sculptures. We’re talking a fun run (if you think running is fun). Basically, there’s just all of the hyggelig goodness you could hope for.
Climbing language is a little, well, weird. Personally, I love it. But it can usually use a little clarification. So here’s your handy-dandy (mini) glossary.
Burns - Attempts on a particular climb.
Clip the Chains - See “send”
Crag - A place where you climb. Also, a place to find people who haven’t showered in a minute.
Greasy - Unless you’re chomping on some french fries before you pull on, this doesn’t mean literally greasy. Just not as much friction as you would ideally have, often from sweat.
Redpoint - To climb a route from bottom to top without falling or hanging on the rope to rest (which is called hangdogging; you can’t say I didn’t warn you that these terms were out there).
Send - To finish a climb. Rumor has it that this term has its roots in the word “ascend”, and that climbers, trying to cut weight to maximize power to weight ratio, just took two letters out of it.
Slab - A kind of wall or boulder, usually a couple degrees less than vertical, with small holds and very few of them. Climbing on slab usually requires precise footwork, balance, and slow, deliberate technique. Like avoiding politics at Thanksgiving dinner.