By Ryan Dunfee
Surfing legend Gerry Lopez--aka “Mr. Pipeline”--is not the first person you’d imagine sharing the chairlift with on a powder day at Bachelor. Lopez is renowned for pushing the limits of high-performance surfing both in the infamous Pipeline barrel on the North Shore of Hawaii, and in the shaping room, so his love for powder might not come across so obviously in his biography. However, Lopez started snowboarding while visiting his wife’s family in Northern California in 1989, and ended up moving to Bend, Oregon in 1992 and riding Bachelor full-time after a talk with snowboard legend Tom Simms got him excited about the plethora of wave-shaped features across the resort. Now Lopez is an ambassador for the resort, and in May, hosts The Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge--a snowboard contest judging style and flow through a unique course of berms, hips, jumps, and a snow wave. We asked Gerry about a few of his favorite hits around Mount Bachelor and Bend.
Place to ski on a Powder Day: Get there early just to see how great the mountain looks on that first chair ride up before the snow gets tracked. Pine Marten chair is usually the best but often crowded, in which case, Skyliner chair is pretty good, too.
Place to ski on a spring day: Cow’s Face gets the sun early but down lower might soften up first. A couple of runs on Pine or Sky then head up to the top.
Place to take the family skiing: Sunrise Chair is always perfect.
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Lopez shined in the 1972 classic surf film 5 Summer Stories.
Place for Dinner: There aren’t any bad restaurants in Bend.
Place for surfing in Oregon: Anywhere the surf is good but dive on it fast because it will change like the weather--quickly and before you know it.