Mount Hood in the sumertime is kind of a fantasy camp for the snow sliding children of North America. Walking through Government Camp and High Cascade Snowboard Camp or taking a stroll through Windell’s, kids flip and spin through the air, skating, bouncing, screaming and yelling in an environment filled with skate ramps, trampolines, tacos and ice cream. The highlight of the experience, though, is morning sessions in the slush up on Timberline’s Palmer Snowfield, equipped with two camps, a nicely maintained public park featuring booters in the 40-50 foot range and a superpipe, boardercross course, and enough rocks and trees to keep those inclined to tap a few inanimate objects satisfied.
I visited Timberline this weekend to shred a few laps in a heat wave, which saw temperatures topping 80 degrees on hill, and take in Bonfire’s 11th annual Pipe to Pipe competition. Giving groms the chance to compete alongside shreds like Leanne Pelosi, Lucas Magoon, Molly Aguirre, Bode Merrill, and more, the snow half of the event ran Saturday morning. The diggers had put together five jibs, including rails, boxes, and a little wallride, low consequence features that encouraged progression and allowed the diverse array of competitors to get their jib on in a safe environment. After an am qualifier, the top finishers were able to join the pros in the final and watch riders get techy with multiple switch ups and a steady stream of one-upmanship until the last seconds of the competition. It was fun to watch a couple riders, including Jarad Hadi, who turned the wallride into a spine transfer to death cookie transition, bonking the Bonfire banners on the way by.
After the digger dog bbq was packed up and tents torn down, the scene shifted to Windell’s indoor skate park (or “Bob” as it’s known) for an hour of competition on wheels. Despite the crowded street course and high-level skating, injuries were minimal as dozens of skaters exhausted their bodies in the oppressive heat. I pity the judges because at any given moment a half dozen hammers were being dropped all over the course.
When it was time to hand out the cash, Johnny Lazzareschi took home $800 for the pro men on snow and Molly Aguirre’s consistent riding earned her the same amount. Danny Tumia’s endless bag of tricks won the skate session with Lindsea Lumpkin taking the women’s division.
Following up a good contest with a few t-shirt laps on Sunday, I was glad to be up in the mountains on the hottest days of summer. Slushy conditions made it easy to make like Kelly Slater and lay down a layback or two and mellow airs in a smooth halfpipe is hard to beat at the end of June.
Thanks go out to the folks at Timberline and Bonfire for a weekend of good riding, good people, and a down-to-earth contest. Now if only we could incorporate a swimming pool into the competition next year…