EVENTS: Cutter’s Camp

Words and Photos: Lauren Traub Teton

Ever wonder how the terrain park at your mountain was designed and created and how your mountain keeps it fresh? If you're lucky, the terrain park manager or crew got to attend Cutter's Camp at Mount Hood, Oregon sometime over the last seven years. This year Cutter's Camp was also offered on the East Coast for the first time, in April at Mount Snow, Vermont.

I was also blessed to attend the educational and fun Cutter's Camp meeting this year at Timberline Lodge in late April on Mount Hood. I went to represent the Aerofreestyle Mat, which is a huge ILP or Inflatable Landing Pad that I rep for sale in the US and Canada. Here's the scoop.

Evelyne Paredes, Whistler park groomer extraordinaire.

About 50 dudes and dudettes who make parks at their mountains attended, and much stylish facial hair was observed – on the dudes fortunately. Canada, Australia, France, and US resorts from Aleyeska, AK to Saddleback, ME represented. Most of us flew into Portland, Oregon, and were shuttled by bus 90 minutes up to Mount Hood, passing Windell's Camp and Government Camp. "Govy" is the home of High Cascade Camp. Fresh snow flew and escalated into a blizzard that lasted two days and dropped fresh pow onto the mountain just in time for our outdoor days on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hilary Sherman of Burton's Learn to Ride program hosted the Welcome Party dinner on Monday with a Mexican theme, and prizes were awarded for the best snowboard jokes. They were not rated G. Indoor classroom sessions Tuesday addressed the individual concerns and questions of each mountain, and Risk Management/Liability where Elia Hamilton, Mountain Manager at Mount Snow had much good info to share.

Wednesday and Thursday sessions out in the parks covered Snowmaking, Park Trends, and "On-Hill Toys" like groomers, pipe cutters, and winches. Chris Hargrave of Mountain Mechanics and Burton Snowboard Academy at Nothstar-at-Tahoe demonstrated the amazing feat of teaching a skier and a newbie snowboarder to do a boardslide on a box in less than 30 minutes with his hands-on coaching technique.

Jimmy Lawrence from Willis of NH slides his first rail with the help of Chris  Hargrave’s revolutionary teaching technique.

Indoor sessions were held on Accident Investigation, and Optimizing Competitions where Jared Winkler of Brighton made getting sponsorships sound like a piece of cake because of his enthusiasm.

It wasn’t "all work and no play," as they say in The Shining, whose outdoor scenes were filmed at Timberline Lodge. The outdoor pool and Jacuzzi were the spot for afternoon pow wows. Tuesday night dinner was down at the Brew Pub in Government Camp, six miles away for a ribs and salads buffet and many varieties of fresh tasty beer and an after-party down the street at the Rathskellar. The food was so good at each meal at Timberline Lodge that many people commented on their newfound belly girth.

Wednesday night was play night at the day lodge and guests tried their hands and feet at the new quarterpipe created for this event. Snowboards and even flying saucers were utilized, sometimes to disastrous effect. Bandages, bruises. and limping were observed the morning after.

Chauncey Sorenson of Eaglecrest, AK, Lauren Traub Teton from Aerofreestyle Mat, and Jack Leary of Alyeska go to camp.

Thursday night's dinner was a steak-down sponsored by Zaugg with Josh Lempert of Snow Grind hosting. Cutter's Camp prizes were awarded for "Most Stoked Camper" and after watching Josh's video of the Fuel and Fury event at Alyeska, the Youtube video "I'm on a Boat" amused the crowd. Friday was the day for free riding if your travel arrangements allowed. The sun shone, the wind whipped. Palmer Lift was open to the highest part of the mountain for riding. The parks were in full swing and the natural features rocked at Timberline, the only 12 month snow resort in the US.