The 2012 summer of shred at Mt. Hood is well underway with the first three sessions down in the books at both Windells and High Cascade snowboard camps. The glacier is swarming with veterans, coaches, pro riders, and newcomers to the Hood experience. And while they are all there to have a summer of a lifetime, it’s important to show up prepared to have the optimal trip. We hit up CAPiTA team rider Brandon Cocard and Rome rider Johnny Lazz for their list of essentials for a prime summer at Mt. Hood. These guys both have plenty of experience with the amount of time they’ve spent riding up there. Here’s our collaborative guide to surviving the slush and sun while still having an amazing time.
1. Bathing Suit and SPF: It’s summer. Pretty much the only acceptable time to have a bathing suit while on the hill. More so, when you’re done taking hot laps at Hood, there are a plethora of surrounding lakes to go rinse off the sweaty boot smell and do some swimming. And, to state the obvious, bring tons of sunscreen, kids. Those UV rays sneak up on you and sunscreen is one of the most essential items for a summer at Hood.
2. Camping Gear: Sure, there are nearby hotels and cabins in Government Camp, Oregon, but that’s just no fun. Even if you are staying somewhere like that, it’s nice to get out into the Oregon wilderness while you’re at the glacier. Bring your camping gear as an option for a change of scenery. Our recommendations for gear if you don’t already own some? The Man Tent from Poler or The Napsack from Poler
3. Skateboard: What’s better than keeping the boardriding alive once you strap out of your snowboard for the day? High Cascade skate park lives up to the hype and is full of fun transitions and features. If you travel down the highway a bit you can find the Windells skate park as well. Even if you’re not hitting up the parks, having your skate as a form of transportation is key.
4. Hiking Shoes and/or Boots: Slaying the parks at Hood all summer surely motivates you to stay active throughout the rest of the day. Make sure you bring some shoes for hiking adventures or exploring. Also, not into chairlifts? Bring your most comfortable snowboard boots that can handle hiking the hill. For guys and ladies, try out the Salomon Exit 2 GTX. These kicks are designed for all-around outdoor versatility and include the magical capabilities of GORE-TEX.
5. Camera: A definite must-have for an endless summer at Mt. Hood. You have to document the massive amount of awesomeness that goes down up there, as well as the gorgeous landscape that surrounds you. It’s also a guaranteed ‘make your friends’ jealous tool. Disposable cameras are quick, easy, and essentially indestructible. Although, if you’re looking for a permanent, solid, and easy to use camera, go for the Canon Powershot G12. There are older versions for cheaper prices. However, the G12 has an upgraded digital video camera as well as multiple aspect ratios to give you many more options for photo-taking than the rest of the G-series.
6. Flip Flops: This is science. You need to air out those feet after all the work they do for you while riding. If you don’t, it’s highly likely they will develop some sort of permanent odor or bacteria.
7. Cooking Supplies: This goes along with the camping gear. If the woods are your place of residence, it’s time for some good ole fashion campfire cooking. It’s important to be prepared with pots, pans, utensils, and/or stove. REI is a mecca for camping goods such as the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist ultralight cookset.
8. Base Cleaner: With the summer temperatures melting the snow at a healthy rate during the day, more and more rocks, trees, and dirt start rearing their ugly heads. Make sure you keep your board’s base clean and fast. The Dakine Supertune Base Cleaner is a good place to start.
9. Lightweight Gear: The last thing you want is to continuously be ditching layers, wasting your precious shred time because you thought you just might “need” that extra hoodie. Stock your bag with lightweight, breathable outerwear so you are comfortable throughout your trip. Examples of some sick but functional pieces? The Holden McMillan Jacket, the Nikita Athena fleece jacket, Special Blend’s Contra Freedom fit jacket, Burton’s 2.5L Slick Jacket, and Burton’s Women’s Parlor Jacket.
Photos courtesy of Windells