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Despite predictions from doomsday naysayers, summer camp is soldiering on at Mt. Hood. As ski camps conclude, the WAC properties have been able to migrate higher up the mountain, where the glacial snow fields are still intact, despite Mother Nature’s best attempts at destroying them.  Public Park is now located at the top of Palmer, and the High Cascade/Windells Lap park is, in fact, lap-able from the Palmer mid-station (although you do have to dry load.) Morale is surprisingly high and the extra hiking has everyone in prime shape this summer!

That said, things are certainly different from the usual Hood experience – as in all our years we’ve never seen the snow this low. But don’t panic. It’s still snowboarding. In July. And on Monday, July 20th, Bode Merrill invited all his friends and teammates to gather for the Merrill Mini Pipe Medium Quarterpipe Invitational. (Medium, because mini quarterpipes just ain’t that cool.) Tucked between the rolling dust hills, the 12-15 foot quarterpipe was carefully crafted and maintained by the HCSC dig staff, who kept it in prime condition for three heats of action. In the first two heats, riders judged each other to determine who would make it to the finals and then those who didn’t make it were tasked with determining the winner. In the tradition of other great QP contests, Pat Bridges was there to help Bode oversee the action and inspire various handplant innovations. Other stand outs in our hearts and minds included Ben Bilocq, Erik Leon, Red Gerard, Nils Mindich and the Ferguson brothers.


It’s only a matter of time before some kid gets this math question wrong and blames DDay Snowboards. Ben Bilocq.


Summer heat and serious shredding can take their toll on a quarterpipe – luckily High Cascade employs a staff of strapping young men who know their way around a rake.


Josh Dirksen rips the hip.


According to the measuring stick behind him, Erik Leon is going 25 feet out.


The attendees wait for the official scores to be tabulated, while Bridges is probably just checking World Star.


Enjoying the show with Brendan Gerard, Kaleah Driscoll and Ben and Gabe Ferguson.


Speaking of the Fergusons, they started off the finals with this doubles routine, nearly colliding on landing. Don’t worry, they survived and celebrated with a brotherly hug that melted our cold, black hearts!


If there’s a box on the top of the quarterpipe, Shane Flood will handplant it. 


DJ Matty Mo kept the energy up with lots of classic 90s jams.



Some walking was required to get to the quarterpipe… gulp.


And as usual, Red Gerard was showing all the old people how to snowboard.


Jess Kimura and Scott Stevens were there!

Looks like Jefferson still has some snow – how do we get a rope tow up there?


First – Ben Ferguson
Second – Erik Leon
Third – Scott Blum
Fourth (The Scotty Arnold Award) – Bode Merrill
Fifth – Nils Mindnich
Sixth – Scott Stevens
Seventh – Louif Paradis
Eighth – Scotty Lago
Ninth – Red Gerard
Tenth – Gabe Ferguson

First – Stefi Luxton

Crab Grab and Cobra Dog Individual Awards –
Best Grab: Erik Leon
Biggest Air: Ben Ferguson
Best Flip: Bode Merrill
Best Plant: Scott Blum
Worst Bail: Chris Grenier

While it was a forced departure from the classic mini pipe comp of yore, the verdict at the end of Bode’s comp was this: Snowboarding needs more quarterpipe contests. And as for the snow level at Hood – don’t worry, one normal NW snow fall year and it will be like this summer never even happened. But if you are trying to ride, you definitely want to get up there soon.

Not bad for June snowboarding in Tahoe.

Creating a summer snowboarding set up without a glacier is an accomplishment, to say the least. So building a 22′ Superpipe, without a glacier, on a year that snow kinda forgot to fall is something that pretty much requires an entity like Woodward to make possible. Add in a private jet full of skate heavy hitters (like Tony Hawk!) and you have a grand opening celebration like the one that happened at Woodward Tahoe on June 9, 2012.

The latest edition to the Woodward family at Boreal is now open, and the general public (as well as pros, media and other highly important VIPs) got to check out the snow, skate and bouncing facilities. A mere 10 hour drive away, we decided to take a road trip, mostly because we heard Tony Hawk was gonna be there. Also, because flying with snowboard gear is pretty much the worst these days.

Air bag: check. The view from the top.

After a glorious night in Reno, we drove the final half hour up to Boreal and there it was: the deepest white ribbon of death I’ve ever seen. Though there was danger of toppling off the edge to the grass below, the set up was actually pretty decent, albeit a bit quick from top to bottom. In addition to the “top pros” like Chaz Guldemond and Zak Hale, a large contention of Tahoe shreds who opted against the summer in Hood to “make some money” this summer were out in force. Ironically, the best session probably went down in said Superpipe, where soul carving was more important than if you had a wrist band.

This is what happens when hipsters get in a halfpipe. Eric Messier.

When the lifts closed at 2 it was time for skate and cheerleading demos. Although we were SUPER EXCITED about the Cheerleading, we didn’t bother to take photos, so you’ll have to take our word for it. And as you’d expect when a private jet is involved, the skateboarding was insane. Inside the bunker, a concrete set up destroyed by dudes such as Brian Hansen, Jaws, Tom Scharr and Curran Caples. That was followed by a session at the mini ramp where Tony Hawk and Todd Richards showed they’ve still got it and Mike Vallely proved he’s really fucking good.

Mike V. Always more badass then you expect.

So there you have it: another option for summer snowboarding. Also, if you’re driving there from Portland, you can stop at Crater Lake. And that shit was awesome.

Now for lots of pictures by Jared Souney!

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If the past few weeks of “summer” are any indication, there’s a good chance that your Hood trip this year is gonna get rained on. Windells session one had a banner two days of sun, and with High Cascade starting up, it doesn’t feel like things are getting better anytime soon. But don’t worry, there have been “rain days” since the inception of summer snowboarding, and even though you came here to work on your double corks and goggle tan, you’ll survive. Here are a just a few of the tried and true ways to ward off boredom on rainy days.


1. Go snowboarding anyway. Yes, you may want to wear real snowboard clothes, and you’re gonna get wet, but summer snowboarding in the rain is a lot like winter snowboarding in the rain, only warmer. Plus now that everyone has a waterproof Gopro, you’ll still be able to get all your sick moves on film!


2. Movies. This summer has all the requisite blockbuster pictures you could possibly want, and since people who’ve been in Gov’y longer than you have probably already been down to see every single movie playing in Sandy, they can tell you which to hit and which to skip.


3. Skateboarding. If you’re going to Windells (or have the ins) rolling around in the foam pit, I mean, skatepark, at B.O.B. is a favorite past time on a rainy day. If you’ve got no ins, head down to Portland for a Department of Skate session (or maybe it will even be dry in the city.)


4. Mall time! The Llyod Center mall is awesome for creeping on girls, gluing quarters to the floor and watching people try to pick them up, or even playing dress up. There is also in ice rink mid mall, which unless you’re from Mall of America country, is somewhat of a novelty.


5. Drink. Only if you’re 21+, of course. And certainly not if you’re under the supervision of one of the fine camps! Granted, this may leave you at a loss for something different to do at night (may we suggest more drinking?) but you’ll probably pass out early anyway.

If you are not going to snowboard at Hood this summer, and feel somehow slighted by the fact this post is biased towards those who are, may I offer this video of Yard Work gone wrong in my backyard to cheer you up?*

*totally just an excuse to post this funny and completely-unrelated-to-snowboarding video on YoBeat.