December 22, 2009


22.9 degrees and still snowing! Last night brought about 10 inches to the base of Willamette Pass and the surrounding country. Gold Lake Snow Park should be in great shape for cross country skiing and snow shoe adventures. The surrounding high country should be shaping up well for winter expeditions as well.

We should be receiving bindings for our Alpina X terrain skis any day now. They're not quite cross country, not quite telemark. A single camber ski with scales and quite a bit of shape. Once bindings are mounted they will join our rental fleet. All of our cross country equipment rents for $15 per day including boots and adjustable poles. See our rental page for more info.

Enjoy the snow and the holidays!

December 21, 2009

Winter Returns for Winter Solstice

Thankfully the snow has returned! Cooler weather here in Oakridge means snow in the high country. Typically there is about a 13 degree difference in temperature between Oakridge and Willamette Pass, so when its 45 here it is 32 there. Looking at the upcoming forecast for the Oakridge area in conjunction with the Lane County Cascades forecast it looks probable for the Willamette Pass area to receive between 10 and 15 inches of snow in the next 24 hours followed by cold clear weather. Cross country ski, snowshoe, and downhill conditions should be premium.

The Mercantile is open over the holidays 9-6 daily, however we will be closed Christmas Day and New Years day to celebrate the season with our friends and families.

Enjoy the snow, and stop in for a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate by the woodstove on your way through town.

December 19, 2009

Spring Already?? Hopefully Just the Last of Fall

Since our last post the weather has been fairly dry, first very cold, and now quite warm. Gold Lake is still skiable, but we here at the Mercantile have been breaking our bikes out and taking advantage of the great trail conditions. Two days ago Justine and I rode lower Alpine trail. Up rd 5828, down to the Alpine Trail to the covered bridge, then up the North Fork to rd 1910 two days ago. Then yesterday we pedaled out to Larison Cr. trail and did an out and back from the bottom.

The trails are in great shape. We found a downed tree on Larison Cr, but aside from that the trails awesome.

It feels like it's in the 50s today, and the highway 58 cam at Willamette Pass is recording 40 degrees, skiing is out. So, making the best of things Norm and John Luc are meeting me at the house in a few minutes and we're heading out for ride again. I'm lobbying for another Alpine Trail adventure while conditions are good.

Keep an eye on the Hwy 58 camera for up to the minute conditions reports from up high, and feel free to give us a call if you need some beta for the Oakridge area.

Happy Trails

December 5, 2009

Cross Country Skiing at Gold Lake

Saturday morning at the Merc: start fire in woodstove, roll out rental bikes, get coffee from Double Trouble, check the Willamette Pass cams (19.8degrees at 9:15 am) brrrr.

Remember how fortunate I am to live and work in Oakridge.

People roll in, grab some rental xc skis and snowshoes, we talk about the snow conditions up high. Its a good life we live here in Oakridge, and although I'm here at the shop today instead of up in the snow I'm thankful to be a part of the season and the energy of the place.

One of the key organizers of the Hoodoo TeleFest came by our shop yesterday. She invited us to come join in the fun January 9-10. I'll be there with some friends from Oakridge and of course some goodies from the Mercantile for the winners of the infamous uphill downhill race. The years I've attended TeleFest it has been lots of fun. There are free tele lessons, lots of great gear to try out, I love trying my luck at the uphill downhill race, and my personal favorite part; night time unicycling on the often icy slopes.

This year I'm going to be volunteering as a beginner/intermediate tele instructor. We need more volunteer instructors as well as volunteers for registration, and lots of excited students too! If you are interested in volunteering give us a call (541)782-1800, or just show up early on Saturday morning and let one of the people at registration know you want to volunteer instruct.

Well, the sun is shining once again here in Oakridge and it's time to chop some more wood.

Thanks for readin'


December 2, 2009

Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Rentals in Oakridge

Snow is on the Cascades, and its time to put our skis and snowshoes on! Gold Lake snowpark is already a lot of fun this season. My friend and I grabbed some rental skis here at the Mountain Mercantile and hit the trails last week to find a couple of feet of fresh white stuff waiting for us. Since then there have been a number of sunny days and cold nights, so I'm guessing that things have gotten a bit icy and fast since then, but that can be fun too. Derrick and I are going to head out after work tonight to find out. Full moon, clear skies, good friend, should be fun.

This year the Merc is offering a full selection of cross country skis for rent. We have four different models of Rossignol xc skis, both with and without metal edges. Also new for this season we are renting the new Alpina X-Terrain skis. These back country skis offer the scales of a cross country ski with the width and stability of a parabolic tele ski. We are anxiously waiting for the NNN BC bindings to show up for these skis so we can mount them up and try them out.

We are also continuing our snowshoe rentals this year, and have added to our rental fleet of Atlas snowshoes.

Our rental pricing is as follows:

Cross Country or Back Country ski rental: $15 (includes poles and boots)
Snowshoe Rental: $8 (includes poles)

We are open everyday from 9am-6pm.
48080 Hwy 58 (just past the stoplight on the right if you are coming from Eugene)

Stop on in on your way out to ski to hang out by our woodstove and have a cup of tea or hot chocolate, we'll have the fire blazing and look forward to seeing you.