Spring is upon us. For many the ski season is winding down. However, true diehards know that this is when all the fun begins in the mountains. For the resorts that remain open, it is weekend upon weekend of warm temps, soft bumps and music festivals. It keeps the people going until the fun – and the snow run out.
Arguably one of the most distinctive festivals in the high country is Mt. Bachelor’s RendezVan, an annual event that unites enthusiasts of vanlife culture and spring skiing. The unique combination of these two subcultures creates an atmosphere of community, creativity, and adventure that sets the event apart from other skiing and camping experiences.
Sunchaser Spring: Winter’s Apres Ski Party
RendezVan is one of the primary events in what Mt. Bachelor refers to as their “Sunchaser Spring.” Popular among skiers and snowboarders, Sunchaser Spring takes place from March through the end of the season each year. This year, Mt. Bachelor anticipates being open through Memorial Day. During this time, the resort offers plenty of fun happenings including ski beaches, tailgate parties, live music and, of course, RendezVan. It’s like a two-month-long après ski party and you just can’t beat that.
“Spring at Mt. Bachelor is Winters after-party for us,” says Mt. Bachelor Senior Experiential Marketing Manager Erin Bohon. “So we try to pack as many rad events as we can into ‘Sunchaser Spring’. From Subaru Winterfest to RendezVan, Snowbeaches, Shred Camps, Outdoor Concerts or Pond Skimming.”
Mt. Bachelor’s RendezVan is One-of-a-Kind
The highlight of this series is RendezVan, a five day festival which kicks off on April 19 in the parking lot of Mt. Bachelor West Village Lodge. There, the parking lot fills with attendees camping out in their vans and immersing themselves in the vanlife culture. The vans become more than just a mode of transportation or a place to sleep – they become a reflection of the owners’ personalities and creativity. The van life showcase allows attendees to share their experiences and inspire others to join the vanlife community.
Apart from the cultural aspect, RendezVan is also a great opportunity to enjoy the early spring skiing at Mt. Bachelor. As the days warm up and the snow melts, the mountain becomes a playground for skiing enthusiasts. 2023 should be especially good as I recently experienced the 132” of snow they received in March. More than double their annual March average all of the fresh snow has made the conditions really good out there right now. And, oh by the way, it’s snowing again and will continue to this week.
Wake up early, get in a little Snoga (snow yoga) to work out the kinks then hit the slopes. Ski and ride until your quads are burning, the snow turns brown and the après ski begins.
Throughout the weekend, attendees can participate in a variety of organized après activities, including beer tastings, potluck dinners, and social events. Even man’s best friend can get in on the action with a day solely devoted to dogs. These activities bring people together, creating a sense of community and camaraderie that define spring skiing and the vanlife culture.
In addition to the celebration of vanlife culture and spring skiing, attendees can also look forward to a lively musical experience. The festival center is open with free music across multiple stages for anyone who wants to join in on the festivities. The diverse music lineup caters to different tastes, featuring various headliners like the funky Galactic and the popular Jamestown Revival, that are sure to satisfy all attendees throughout the weekend. Whether you enjoy indie folk, rock or a DJ spinning some tunes there will be a variety of artists that will keep you entertained throughout the weekend.
Connect with Other Van Lifers
One of the most exciting aspects of RendezVan is the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. In fact, just this past weekend I met a woman who had just rolled into nearby Bend in her van and her parents who were there visiting. I’m not a vanlife guy but it was nice to learn her story and even point her in the direction of this week’s RendezVan which she did not know much about. Nonetheless, based on my conversation it appears that whether you’re a seasoned van-lifer or new to the community, there is always someone willing to share their experiences and offer advice on everything from where to park your van to the best ski trails.
Overall, RendezVan at Mt. Bachelor is more than just an event – it’s a celebration of vanlife culture and spring skiing. Through a variety of on and off mountain activities, it offers an opportunity for visitors to connect with other outdoor enthusiasts, explore the mountain’s unique terrain and make unforgettable memories. The unique combination of these two subcultures creates an atmosphere of creativity, adventure, and camaraderie that makes this event a must-attend for anyone interested in exploring the great outdoors and connecting with like-minded individuals.
Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après, and the co-host of the Beyond the Après podcast. No stranger to the ski and après-ski scene, Rich has been a long time contributor for many publications on topics like skiing, gear, beer and food. However, his passion is on the slopes and enjoying good times with good people. You can find him perfecting his craft carving turns and drinking beers in the Green Mountains of Vermont. @allaboutapres