Get your summer shred on

10 May, 2009


The calendar says it’s summer, your friends say it’s summer but your mind and body are still itching for winter…this is the post for you. Whether it’s riding year round or just taking a couple laps in the summer…there is always snow to be found, enjoyed and shredded.

In my own personal experiences, I’ve spent many summers at Hood and now in Colorado I have found spots where snow is year round to continue the shredding. Here are some options to partake in the summer shred on.

Mt Hood, Oregon

It’s the mecca of summer snowboarding. To spend a summer at Hood gives you a full appreciation of life…you learn how to live cheaply, shred everyday and meet people who are as devoted as you. There are a couple ways to do up Hood in the summer.

Things to know about summer at Hood.

  • Know the lifties, they can be your worse nightmare or your best friend…they control who gets access to the shred.
  • Early morning is ice and racers, afternoon is slush and snowboarders. If you get up on the mountain before 10am, you better have magne traction or really good edges.
  • Drinking in Oregon is good for you, because you can recycle cans and get 5 cents back.
  • I’ve seen people camp all summer, ride everyday, live off Ramen and shower occasionally…make sacrifices but shred all summer, your choice.
  • SUNSCREEN AND WATER! I’ve seen leather face ski and snowboard, you don’t want to be leather face. Bring up a gallon on water to set aside, you’ll need it especially if you live at low elevations and are riding Hood which is above 7,000ft.
  • Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean it’s summer on the mountain. Fog, cold weather, snow and various conditions apply to Mt Hood…a storm can roll in quickly, be prepared.

Public Riding: You won’t get the insane parks, just the public park if it’s up and groomed. Summer 2009 lift tickets will be $52 a day which arent’ cheap for 2 runs. Unless you know someone in the camps, good luck…you won’t get in.

Summer Camp: The two greats are Windell’s and HCSC each with their own individual personality, rope tows new this year and fun activities on and off the snow. The smaller camp is MHSSC which won’t have the insane features like the other camps but it’s still a camp.

Snow Quality: It’s ice in the morning, slush in the afternoon. Features stick around thanks to devoted diggers and park crews. Probably best summer riding conditions you can have.

Photo

Whistler, BC

Spend the summer on the Blackcomb glacier at Whistler, where the resort environment of Whistler is just as fun as the mountain environment.

Things to know about summer at Whistler.

  • Quite the journey to get up to the glacier, uploading only but it’s time to drink your coffee and wake up.
  • SUNSCREEN AND WATER!
  • The season ends early for Whistler, closing on July 26th this year.

Public Riding: There is skiing and riding open to the public. The public park has between 4-6 rails/jibs, 2 spine jumps and a public halfpipe

Summer Camp: The biggest is Camp of Champions which this year offers adult camp in addition to women’s camp and regular camp through mid July. Just remember the prices are in Canadian when comparing to the US camps.

Snow Quality: You get up to ride from 11am to 3pm to enjoy the snow. Typical glacier snow but by the time you get up there after 11am it’ll be softening up.

Photo

Southern Hemisphere

Definitely the more expensive way to shred, because the plane flight is the most expensive but you have the opportunity to travel, see other countries and shred when they are in their winter season. You can hit up camp or guided tours or figure it out on your own. Whether it’s Chile, Australia or New Zealand…plenty of riding during their winter.

Patch of snow

Chances are if you find a patch of snow in the summer, you will be the only person riding it…no lines, no calling drop in and quiet serene turns in leftover snow.

Things to know about Patch of snow.

  • You can always find a patch of snow in higher elevations, sometimes the patch of snow could be 40 feet long or 200 feet long…choose your best run wisely.
  • The same run gets boring after a while, be original and creative to make one run on patch of snow amusing all day long.
  • No food nearby, bring your own food and water.
  • You can’t live at patch of snow in the summer or your heart will be broken when it melts rapidly.
  • Always go to patches of snow with people because if you do hit rocks, you want someone to be around in case you get injured.

Snow Quality: Downsides are the rocks surrounded by the patch of snow, possible wildlife attacks and horrible snow conditions to avoid underneath the patch of snow.

Glaciers/Snowpacks

These are more popular than patches of snow, the locals know about them and you’ll get a variety of people making the trek to them.

In Colorado we have St. Mary’s Glacier which is a beautiful camping spot and place to ride complete with a small lake below to cool off in. Once the snow melts, the top of Breckenridge is the 4th of July bowl where the snow stays year round and it requires a 4wd vehicle to get up to the rail garden set up. I’ve heard of places in Washington, Utah where you can find snow year round and I’m sure there’s many more.

Things to know about Snowpacks.

  • Either you have 4wd to get to it or your body…it’s a good workout and depending where you climb, can require the climbing tools to get up safely.
  • If you hike up, one run can take an hour to get up. Limited runs and not the best conditions.
  • No food nearby, bring your own food and water.
  • Sunscreen and water! You are at a high elevation and your body needs it.
  • Be nice to others. If you share the same snowpack with another crew, it’s better to be nice and have fun together, meet new people.

Snow Quality: I won’t deny, it’s dirt covered snow which wax has a hard time moving through…shittiest snow so easier to hit rails and not ride the snow as much.

Where ever you go this summer, the experience of being on snow during the summer is amazing. It’s something everyone should experience, being able to say they rode in June/July/August. Just watch out for the weird stares at the airport when you are bringing your snowboard bag with you!

About the author

Shay

From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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5 Comments

  1. Johnny
    May 11, 2009

    hi Shay, did I get it right: They have 2 separate parks at Hood, one for the Pros and Camps and a public one??? I stayed at Timberline twice but just to hang out and have fun in the hot tub… Unfortunately I just had my boardshorts and flipflops with me… 🙁

    Is Hood really the only summer shred mountain in the whole US??? Thank god we are blessed with a couple of glaciers here in Europe that are opened all year round AND have parks that are accessable to everybody,,,

    have a nice summer

  2. Timbo
    May 11, 2009

    Pity you don’t mention Australia.
    It has a lot to offer.
    Tim

  3. walove
    May 11, 2009

    beartooth pass montana just east of Billings, the road goes up to 12,000 feet, and keeps snow all year. Im not sure if it is open yet this year.

  4. Shayboarder
    May 11, 2009

    Hey Johnny, each camp has their own private park and then there’s a public park with it’s own public halfpipe. Timberline lodge is rad, cool you stayed there but bummer you missed out on the riding.

    Yeah Hood is the only year round shred mountain. A-Basin in Colorado stays open till June and Mammoth stays open late as well but Hood stays open the longest.

    Timbo, I meant to have Australia in the southern hemisphere section so just added it. I haven’t been south to shred so can’t really write too much about it.

    Thanks Walove!

  5. JT
    May 11, 2009

    Was thinking of hitting up Austrailia for some pow sessions. And of course thinking of hitting Hood as well.