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Parkin' It at the Inaugural RendezVan

Put this spring skiing and #VanLife crossover event at Mt. Bachelor on your bucket list for next year.

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Every so often, a spring skiing event comes along that makes perfect sense and will inevitably stick around for years. Mount Bachelor’s brand new RendezVan festival has all the potential to become one of those events.

It works best when it doesn’t feel forced. And this year’s inaugural RendezVan celebrated exactly what historic Mt. Bachelor does best: welcome campers to its parking lot come spring time.

From April 17-21, 2019, folks rolled out of their RVs, vans, and camper trucks to instantly enjoy music, beverages, cook outs, and food trucks, contests and sponsor swag right at the base of the ski hill, which is currently celebrating its 61st year in operation.

Springtime Prom at Mt. Bachelor
The Ski Bum Prom parade during RendezVan.Photo credit: Andy Tullis / Mt. Bachelor

Although the crowds ebbed and flowed over the four days, event organizers facilitated around-the-clock programming, from acoustic jams and a Bloody Mary bar in the morning to full-on festival style exhibitors handing out sweet swag and rock bands playing well into the evenings. 

Some attendees caught the last chair up at 7 p.m. and skied the famed Cone for alpenglow-lit dreamlike views of the Three Sisters wilderness due west of the volcanic resort.

Building on a the long-standing tradition of spring camping in the Mt. Bachelor lot, themes each day ranged from Brewfest to Ski Bum Prom to Easter, carefully planned for kids of all ages, as well as the pooches (there was even a designated dog park).

Dog at Mt. Bachelor
Dogs love #VanLife, sometimes more than humans (cramped spaces and funny smells, right?)Photo courtesy of Mt. Bachelor

RendezVan is copacetic with neighboring hometown Bend, Ore., and the town’s burgeoning #VanLife culture. Bend is a trendy, high-growth western town with four seasons of easily accessed outdoor activities. Housing options and sustainable growth are topics of daily conversation along with tales of shredding the gnar. The town is about 25 minutes from the ski area, and Bend’s rural backdrop gives it a friendly Boise-meets-Boulder small town feel.

RendezVan just might become a must-do for those on the #VanLife or RV-life tour. Be it the end of your winter season or the beginning of your summer travel season, this event is an ideal way to slide into life on the road. The paved Mt. Bachelor parking lot is protected from the wind, and the resort provides nice community showers and bathrooms in the Mountain Gateway parking lot just for respectable dirtbags.

When making your plans for next year, keep in mind the event sold out in its inaugural year, in part due to the low cost. For news about next year’s RendezVan, keep an eye on the festival’s website and be ready to act fast.