Oregon Spring XC Ski Camp
April 4-7, 2024
Mt Bachelor/Bend, Oregon
Designed for "high intermediate" to Expert Adult Skiers and Racers
Camp Updates (Latest update -- January 30, 2024 9:30am):
Registration for the 2024 Spring Camp is now open for the general public.
Note that we are reducing capacity for the Spring Camp to better reflect the challenges of getting helper coaches this time of year. So it is very much recommended that you register early as we anticipate the entire Camp to sell out.
Also please note that the Spring Camp is designed for "high intermediate" to expert skiers. Technically you don't have to have all the bells and whistles perfected, but April snow conditions can vary (a lot), so this Camp is designed for folks that at least have the basics in your tool belt -- you can ski several kilometers without stopping and you can ski all intermediate level uphills and downhills in variable snow conditions (might not look pretty doing it, but you can do it). We also need all skiers to have a baseline fitness at roughly the level of our other Campers. If you are in doubt about your ability or fitness standards, send us a note and we'll help you figure it out.
Please contact XC Oregon << email jd at xcoregon dot org >> with any questions.
For more camp information: Email: [ jd at xcoregon dot org ] or call (541) 317-0217.
The Oregon Spring Camp is the perfect way to celebrate some of the best spring skiing on the planet with morning on-snow sessions at Mt Bachelor with a top-notch coaching crew that will jump start your skiing for future winters. Each session (weather permitting) will offer Spring Camp Video Review done remotely so you can see/hear feedback when your schedule allows.
Optional Camp afternoon dryland sessions and optional lab testing via COCC's Physiology Lab (extra fee for lab tests) are available for folks looking for ways to improve off season fitness at all levels.
For Central Oregon locals, the Spring Camp easily blends into your daily schedule. For out-of-town Campers, the Spring Camp allows you to easily combine a world-class ski education program with plenty of time to discover all the amazing things to do in a typical Central Oregon spring day.
Daily Schedule (preliminary only, subject to change)
Mornings -- Ski sessions meet roughly from 8:45am - 11:45am each day at Mt Bachelor.
Afternoons -- Video Review recordings of each Camp morning typically available by late afternoon
(PM sessions pending demand) 1-2 Dryland Clinics looking at rollerski technique, specific foot drills, and/or XC strength routines. Afternoon events are always in Bend. Note: Afternoon dryland activities will be scheduled based on Camper interest and feedback as well as local weather conditions. It is not unusual for the Spring Camp to make a day-by-day decision with regards to any dryland session so your flexibility is appreciated.
What Is Included In Camp Fees
Your Camp Fees include:
-- Morning on-snow ski coaching sessions;
-- On-demand options for setting up afternoon drylands activity clinics (Thurs-Sat options only);
-- Our famous Oregon Camp flexible scheduling so you can select any order of Camp days you prefer;
-- Fun, low-key, inclusive atmosphere plus personalized info for every camper!
Camp price does NOT include trail fees, meals, lodging or transportation. Lab testing is also an added fee.
Current members of the American Cross Country Skiers may deduct $10 from any registration price. IMPORTANT: See AXCS Member reg info on Registration page for the process on this discount.
More Basics About The Camp
The Oregon Spring Camp offers adult skiers a very unique chance to take part in a world-class, on-snow ski education experience in the spring. Mt Bachelor typically holds sufficient snow on the Nordic Center trails to allow grooming into June -- so our Camp dates are actually in the middle of the "late season" for the Oregon Cascades!
Spring is a great time to work on technique and new skills in a low-key setting. For those folks in low elevations with little to no snow from April to November, a Spring Camp gives you a chance to "touch base" with skiing and shorten the span from one on-snow season to the next.
IMPORTANT: Due to the very small size of this camp, participants will need to be at least at the "high intermediate" skill level to take part. Fitness is less of an issue than having at least decent basic skills to actually ski on flats, uphills, and downhills. But note that you will need to have a baseline fitness to match at least our "easiest going" group on any given day so our groups don't get too stretched-out.
We generally will not ski tons of km's each morning, but we absolutely will not be able to offer basic, "never ever" beginner skill sessions for either technique at this camp.
Please also remember that ski conditions are also highly variable in the late spring so you also need to be comfortable skiing on anything from fresh powder, to soft spring corn, to occasional very hard "melt/freeze" conditions. If you are worried about your skill level, please contact the Camp before registering so we can help you decide if the Spring Camp is right for you.
How do the on-snow sessions work?
Each morning we divide into groups of typically 5-7 skiers based on a combination of camper input and the specialities of our rotating coaches.
Our camp structure allows most skiers to operate at their own pace 99% of the time, thus eliminating pressure for skiers to either "keep up with the top guys/gals" or waste time waiting for other folks to catch up (both common complaints at other camps/clinics you can find out there). We promise to keep you moving as much as possible while also keeping the information flow -- specific to your needs -- coming in every session. We use video review in several sessions (weather permitting).
All on-snow sessions concentrate on application of specific technical elements combined with real world workout designs used by world-class skiers (of all ages). Individual technical feedback is a huge part of the process rather than concentrated in a traditional, stand around and watch clinic. Past participants really enjoy this approach which allows for both the best of lots of personal ski time and loads of feedback on how to improve your skiing.
What About A Choice Of Techniques?
Since our core audience is adult skiers & racers that often ski in both techniques, we organize all sessions with a theme of either skating or classic technique as much as possible. If there are enough skiers in the same boat (i.e. classic only at a designated skate session), we simply create a separate group for that technique. But please note that we can't promise separate groups each day. Sometimes our coaches will need to split techniques in the same group. Being small we have a lot of flexibility and are used to adjusting to all needs.
Optional Lab Testing
An incredibly unique element to the Oregon Spring Camp is the chance to get a complete ski-specific physiology testing at the Central Oregon Community College lab. The testing includes lactate zones, body comp, and VO2max values.
Even very casual adult skiers have been blown away by the information for basic health and fitness they have gotten out of this very simple testing procedure. For serious racers, the lab values give you precise heart rate zones (no more guessing!) just as you enter your on-snow training season. More than once, skiers have told us that coming away equipped with the specific training zone information provided by the lab is worth the cost of the camp by itself!
The ski specific lab test involves skiwalking on a treadmill at progressively higher speeds with special poles provided by the lab. Tiny blood samples are gathered about a half dozen times from the tips of a couple fingers. You use normal dryland clothing for this test and are not required to bring anything special or make any special preparations except being well-rested. The lab staff is very used to guiding novice folks thru the test and the whole thing is over with in about a half hour. A cycling-specific test can also be arranged for campers that would rather test on a bike (you will need to bring or rent a performance bike). When possible, it is very much recommended that skiers try and get to Bend such that you can test the day before your actual camp format begins (example: arrive on Monday or Tuesday for a Weds-Sun camp). Having fresh legs gives you the most accurate test results.
Optional Afternoon Sessions
Any afternoon dryland sessions will be held on Bend's westside. If we have enough interest within the Camp groups, we'll offer short dryland sessions focused on roller skiing and/or specific foot. These will not be workouts (so don't worry about keeping up or fitness). Dryland sessions are more a way to take a quick look at what you may be doing already for either rolling or specific foot and learn some new tricks to try during the off-season. Never-ever roller skiers should absolutely try rolling on your own before the Camp in a safe/controlled location (a flat park with smooth paved trails and grass on the side is perfect).
The Camp Director and Founder is J.D. (John) Downing, Coach/Director of the XC Oregon club based in Bend, -- American XC Skiers (US masters association) National Director, and founder/editor of xcskiworld.com website. Additional coaches are enlisted to help with coaching on various workouts. Every year our campers tell us how pleased they were with the coaches and consistent help they received at the Spring Camp.
Additional Stuff To Know
The outdoor recreation capital of the Pacific Northwest...Bend is located on the east side of the Cascade mountain range in very nearly the center of Oregon. The mountains above Bend, Oregon typically offer one of the earliest, longest, and most consistent ski seasons in North America with Mt. Bachelor's Nordic Center typically opening the week before Thanksgiving weekend and snow lasting thru June in most years. We anticipate 8-20km of trails will be available at Mt. Bachelor, groomed daily by snowcat at the 5900-6300ft. elevation.
Within a few hours of Bend are many other popular visitor destinations including Smith Rocks, Crater Lake National Park, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, the Columbia River Gorge, Steens Mountain, and the Oregon Coast.
GETTING TO THE CAMP
Transportation is not included in the camp package.
Flying to the camp?
Flying direct to Bend?
The Redmond/Bend Airport (RDM) is located 15-20 minutes from downtown Bend and serves Central Oregon with daily direct connections from Portland, Salt Lake City, Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle with three carriers...Delta, United Airlines, and Horizon/Alaska Airlines (Delta partner). Folks from the northeast and midwest can get to Redmond/Bend in as little as two flights and in as little as a half day of travel time. Returning home takes a bit longer on the clock due to losing 2-3 hours due to various time zones. RDM is a reliable regional airport with weather very rarely impacting spring flights. Budget, Hertz, National, and Avis all have offices in the Redmond/Bend airport.
Flying into Portland?
The Portland (PDX) airport has loads of daily connections from throughout North America and is a 3+ hour drive from Bend. Flights can be cheaper into PDX or not much different than Redmond/Bend -- it just depends on when you buy and from whom. Portland is very reliable in spring weather for flying. However, the drive time plus driving conditions is something you need to keep in mind as you will have to cross a 4000ft mountain pass to get to Bend and spring storms can sometimes make things a little bit snowy (but very rarely bad in the late spring).
What about driving to Bend?
By car, Bend is 3+ hours from Portland....7-9 hours from Tahoe/Sacramento/Bay Area in California...5-7 hours from the Seattle area...5-6 hours from Boise...10-12 hours from the Salt Lake City area.
What about getting to skiing?
Drive time from westside Bend lodging locations to skiing will vary from 15-30 minutes, one way. Having a car or carpool with other campers is pretty much a necessity. The Spring Camp does not provide ground transportation. The schedule for all on-snow sessions are always subject to change due to weather and snow conditions.
Lodging is not included in the camp package
The west side of Bend features several lodging options to suit any budget. NOTE: If researching your own lodging options not shown here, be aware that the shortest access to skiing is via the west side of Bend. Make sure to ask any reservation desks not on this list exactly how long it takes to drive to Mt. Bachelor as well as the intersection of Colorado and 14th/Century to get an idea of how long it will take you to reach ski and evening sessions.
A ton of additional lodging options plus loads of other visitor info for the Bend area is found on the Visit Bend website.
TownePlace Suites located at the Century Drive (14th Street) and Colorado roundabout. Kichenettes are available with two major grocery stores a short walk away. Breakfast is complimentary each morning with warm cookies and milk in the early evening.
Hampton Inn Mill District located across the river from the Mill District retail/dining/entertainment area. Easy walking to tons of shops, a half dozen eating locations, and a movie complex. About a mile to a grocery store. Quick access to mountain highway. Breakfast is complimentary.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. This hotel is very close to the north side of downtown Bend so an additional 5-10 minutes drive than the Townplace up to the mountain (the trade-off being easy walking distance into downtown). Breakfast is complimentary each morning. Warm cookies with milk in the early evening. Call 800-257-3000 for Central Reservations or 541-318-1747 for Hotel Front Desk Reservations.
Hilton Garden Inn... 541-617-6111 ...very nice hotel overlooking the popular Mill District retail/dining/entertainment area in Bend along the river just south of the downtown core. Easy walking to tons of shops, a half dozen eating locations, and a movie complex. About a mile to a grocery store. Quick access to mountain highway.
Best Western Premier Peppertree Inn at Bend... 541-389-8800 ... a brand new large hotel located at the last west Bend roundabout (Mt Washington Drive) before you head up to Mt Bachelor. Short drive or walking distance from grocery, restaurants, Mill District entertainment.
The Oxford Hotel ... (877) 440-8436 ...located in the heart of downtown Bend Oregon. Bend's only boutique hotel, offering amenities and luxuries you simply won't find anywhere else in town. Easy walking to loads of shopping, restaurants, brew pubs, art galleries.
DoubleTree by Hilton ... 541-317-9292...located in the heart of downtown Bend Oregon. All-suite hotel offers a complimentary breakfast buffet & complimentary wireless internet access throughout the Hotel. Easy walking to loads of shopping, restaurants, brew pubs, art galleries.
The Seventh Mountain Resort... 541-306-7433...closest location to skiing, located roughly 4 miles from the main edge of westside Bend up the Cascade Lakes Highway; various sizes of suites and condos; on-site resaurant; the trade-off is the location requires a 5-10 minute drive into town for grocery trips, downtown fun, evening sessions, etc..
Loge Entrada ... 541.382.4080...clean, quiet, totally remodeled lodge and hostel located one mile from Bend's western edge on the way up to Mt. Bachelor (cuts a few minutes off your drive up/down); 5 minute drive to grocery store or Mill District, 8 mins to downtown Bend.
A Stone's Throw Bungalow Vacation Rentals ... 541-241-6676 ... Features a mix of modern and historic homes of all sizes in downtown and westside Bend. All homes are within 10 blocks of downtown. Great last minute rates. email: [email protected]
Bend Vacation Rentals... 541-385-9492... features great deals on rental homes for several skiers traveling together and all of our rentals are on the West Side of Bend with one house on the SE side.
email: [email protected]
Lavabelles Vacation Rentals... 541.497.3242 or 888.820.5084...features a unique collection of historic homes located in Downtown Bend, across from McMenamins, and the near Westside.
email: [email protected]
Mt. Bachelor Village Resort ... condos and suites (all sizes), 800.452.9846... located above Deschutes River on Bend's west side... quick access to Bend Athletic Club, Mill District, grocery stores.
For more camp information: Email: [ jd at xcoregon dot org ] or call (541) 317-0217.