Due to incredibly slow internet & wi-fi issues the Mt. Hood blog is on hiatus until something changes.
Dave Hinz, Tyler & Bart Pierce head west Friday June 3rd for what will be Pierce Skate & Ski's 19th straight tour-for-duty facilitating race product testing at Mt. Hood. As time permits we will provide daily updates via our blog and attempt to keep you posted on what's going on in Govy and up on the Palmer snowfield.
This is a photo taken last June when the snowpack was at a historical low; things are much improved for this summer with just over a 70" base at the Timberline Lodge.
Prior to heading out to camp it is important to come in to the shop for a pre-camp boot fit check to make sure your boots still fit and also make sure that your skis are tuned and ready to go for the hard and icy conditions of the Palmer snowfield. There is nowhere better to get ready for summer ski camp than Pierce where we have been there and done that for the past 18 years.
Thursday (like Tuesday) just got away from us as we were scrambling to move people around on test skis, tune skis as well as get packed for our Friday checkout. We are now sitting here Friday afternoon packed and ready to head home tomorrow. The final blog...
Odd weather and sketchy snow was what we were faced with on Thursday. The top layer froze about 2" deep yet there was not enough moisture in the snow to salt. It was 1 run, slip and then salt and hope for the best.
Unfortunately the salt really did not take and total craters formed at virtually every left footed turn on both courses. The racers hung in there and continued to train late into the day.
While the racers were training, the parents were busy pushing their physical limits. The next photo sequence is quite telling.
When we headed out the door at 5 AM Friday we were not sure what to expect as a band of showers had moved through Welches. On the drive up it was clearly cooler than the previous day's with high cloud cover on Mt. Hood.
Again courses were set by 7:15 and due to significantly colder temp's salt was not required.
Uros jumped in and foreran Group 2's course on Michael Ankeny's skis. After a few causal turns he dove right in and as Michael said "He is such a good skier". Thank's Captain Obvious!
If there was ever a year to have been here early, this is the year. Looking up from the left of the Palmer middle station you really need a great imagination for what are supposedly training lanes.
I once asked Erich how he felt at the end of another summer camp at Mt. Hood and he said "I feel both happy and sad. Happy that it is finally over and at the
same time sad that it is over. For Dave, Tyler & myself - we feel the same way too.
It has been years since we have had June camps without "weather days". Last June we lost one to two days both weeks. This year it has been a crystal clear and virtually cloudless sky since we arrived.
On both days the slalom courses were set and ready to go by 7:15. This really helps the racers get a few extra runs in right away, which is increasingly important as it is getting busier every day.
Timberline has now thrown the towel in on trying to maintain snow on the ramp at the bottom of the Palmer lift. We now carry our skis from the top of the Mile and put them on just prior to getting onto the Palmer.
On Tuesday Peter Robinson accidently forgot to pack his GS suit and didn't figure it out until we were in the W'Yeast day lodge. Nothing that a little bit of Dad's ingenuity, training shorts and duct tape couldn't cure.
On Monday & Tuesday the number of people on the Palmer snowfield was estimated to be in the range of 500 to 550. On Wednesday the terrain park & snowboard camps started up and the daily number has now expanded to over 1,000.
We collected the 40 pair of test skis in the Timberline parking lot and returned them to the test centers in Govy. It's onto GS tomorrow.
El Burro Loco was the call for Mexican on Tuesday night while it was the Barlow Trail Roadhouse on Wednesday.