A few weeks ago I purchased my flight and Spring Pass to Timberline. With the excitement building I decided to write up a summary of my 2015 spring trip to relive the memories.
Mount Hood is one of the few places in North America where lift service skiing can be accessed year round. However, being a college student the most affordable time to visit is the spring due to the extremely variable weather. After the spring semester wrapped up I set my sites on Mt. Hood to link up with friends from all over the country. Some came by plane others came by car; we all made it to our camping area at Trillium Lake by the third week of May. Trillium Lake is a lake like no other, providing a postcard worthy view of Mount Hood. Trillium Lake is the ideal area for camping, situated just 30 minutes away from Timberline Lodge and 20 minutes from the nearest town Government Camp.
The skiing at Timberline this time of year is hit or miss, this why the three month long pass at Timberline is only $109. We had five days of rain back to back, three of which Timberline was closed for skiing. These three days were spent exploring the Mount Hood Area. Our first day was spent driving the Fruit Loop, enjoying fresh fruit smoothies and various types of fruit at mom and pop fruit stands. The second day was spent hunting for waterfalls around the Mount Hood Area Tamanawas Falls was my favorite; due the long gradual hike that leads directly up to the bottom of the falls, where we were greated we a refreshing mist from the falls. Our third day was devoted to exploring the small city of Hood River. Hood River is filled with many activities for the action sports lover; the first half of our day was spent enjoying their massive concrete skatepark. The second half of our day was spent hanging out by the water a Hood River watching kiteboarders and windsurfers rip around with winds provided by the Columbia River Gorge. After the five rain days Mother Nature reciprocated, giving us seven days of bluebird skiing at Timberline. We spent these days skiing Timberline’s famed spring terrain park and exploring the Mount Hood’s vast sidecountry offerings. After our Timberline Spring Pass expired we drove three hours west to Cape Kiwanda in the quaint town Pacific City. Where we spent two days relaxing, beach camping and attempting to surf. Before departing back to the Portland International Airport where I caught my flight back to the Burlington International Airport.
On top of weekly session recap videos, during the summer of 2011 High Cascade Snowboard Camp introduced an edgy video series called Hamvan. The Hamvan video series was comprised of snowboarding footage in High Cascade’s terrain park and off hill antics from High Cascade’s coaches, diggers and consolers. The series was all captured by filmer Skylar Brent, and boy did he get creative when editing the episode. On top of the great snowboarding, every episode opened with at least one hilarious skit showing the staff’s sense of humor. The Hamvan series was a great marketing play on High Cascade’s part. Giving High Cascade another outlet to show potential campers what going to summer snowboard camp is all about; having a great time without being ultra cheesy and repetitive like session recap videos.
All of the content was exactly the same as session recap videos, just a bit more edgy. When watching the Hamvan episodes you can tell that these videos were segmented and directed at High Cascade’s older market of campers from 13 to 19 years old. Some of the dead give aways were the raw crash footage, semi inappropriate song choice (usually early 2000’s hip hop) and reckless skits featuring staff members. Each episode featured everything High Cascade has to offer to a “core” camper that wants to snowboard in the summer; a creative constantly terrain park, mutable on campus skateparks, friendly staff and a taste of life in the town Government Camp where campers are allowed to roam free after their day of snowboarding is over.
These episodes where very well received by the core snowboard community getting shares on Facebook from snowboard brands with major audiences such as Thirty-two, Capita and Snowboarder Magazine. The Hamvan series has a total view count just shy of 65,000 views on Vimeo. Unfortunalty the Hamvan series only survived one summer, rumor has it the van broke down on its cross country journey back to the east coast. A definite possibly, but High Cascade also could have nixed the series due to low view count. During summer 2011 each individual session recap video averaged 40,000 views.
I would absolutely love to see the Hamvan series make a come back. There is something about those genuine bro-cam vibes that can not be recreated in the usual session recap videos. The Havman series was the perfect mixture of snowboarding and reckless antics to get kids stoked on going to High Cascade Snowboard Camp for a session. Yet tame enough that mom or dad would just be caught slightly off guard when their 15 year old son Mikey showed them the latest Hamvan.
I stood for what I thought was 15 minutes at Steak Frites IV; just appreciating Olivia Neumannartwork, vibing to the A1 beats provided Crusty Cuts and Loupo. I pulled my phone out the check how much time had passed 45 minutes, it was 12am, looking around Signal Kitchen everyone I rolled up with had departed. A few seconds later I got a text from Cam Willis “Joe afterparty…Orchard Terrace come thru..bush tomorrow”. With my phone on five percent battery, I tossed on music and sent it across town to Orchard Terrace. Once I arrived at Orchard the whole crew was there, at the moment I knew we would be destined for a late arrival to Sugarbush on Sunday. After hanging around for a minute, I left yearning for a semi early start to my Sunday and an iPhone charger.
Cam and I arrived at Sugarbush early Sunday afternoon, just in time for the snow to start softening up. After we took a few warm up laps, we started filming a few runs through the park for the Bush Bandits 6. On our ride up the Sunny D Lift we came to the conclusion Cam’s knee and my energy were just about burned up for the day. However, we really did not want to vacate just yet; this was the first weekend of the long awaited warm temps and bluebird sky Vermont is known for in spring. We decided instead of filming another lap we would hike the Jersey Barrier and shoot a photo, mainly because of its short hike.
The short hike did not make up for the amount of attempts it took to boost myself up on top of the square bar. The bit of snow transition that would have normally been at the bottom of the barrier had melted away from the warm temps on Saturday. My first few attempts were not promising, since I was more or less ramming into the barrier trying to figure out the transition. After few more attempts, I was finessing my way through the tranny getting on top of the square bar. Throughout this entire process Cam was taking test shots on his Lumix GH4 to figure out the best angle for the photo. The first angles worked but I really wanted to the photo show how truly steep the jersey barrier was that day. Due to Cam’s injured knee he could not be down hill from me incase I got bucked off the barrier, he would not have enough time to quickly scurry out of my way. The final angle we tried Cam was laying on the snow pile the jersey barrier was set into; leaning into the tranny with his upper half of body and arm fully extended the GH4 was basically on the snow. We must have looked like two kooks; with Cam fully sprawled out on the snow in his infamous marble Tall T productions sweatsuit and myself hiking the most awkward feature in the park for close to an hour.
This whole experience makes me truly recognize and appreciate how much effort goes into getting that perfect angle for a photo. Especially in action sports where the subject is in constant motion, you need to snap the photo at the perfect movement. This was the first time I was able to have true input on a photo taken of me and I could not be happier with how it turned out.