Mt. Hood never changes. Well, that’s not true, actually—it has changed a lot in the past two decades, but the basic premise remains the same: a teaming microcosm of small-town life completely removed from reality and chock full of endless hours of recreating and down-home summer fun, et cetera, et cetera. I first went to snowboard camp when I was fourteen years old, which, when I do the math, may or may not have been fifteen years ago. I definitely snuck out on got drunk on a bottle of vodka, and I definitely got busted by the camp director. I like to think that other young shredlets are following in my footsteps and really enjoying camp life to the fullest (minus the under-aged drinking, which I definitely don’t condone!).

Anyway, while Mt. Hood still peeks out as if my magic at that one bend in the road on the way up from Portland, while Government Camp is still the smallest town ever, and while I still get retardedly tired from nothing more than being up in the hot glacial sun all day, there’s now a high speed quad that carries you up to the Palmer Snowfield, the High Cascade digger van is now powered by veggie oil, Govie now has street lights and a bunch of insta-condos, and the halfpipes are now machine-built and 20 feet tall. Ah, changes.

One major change I noticed right away was how young the campers are, and I’m not saying this in an “old person who’s lost touch with reality sort of way. They really are younger, tons of 9-12 year olds, and these kids rip! It must make the coaches think things like, “Let’s see, when they’re my age, they’ll be how much better than I am now? That’s what I always think, anyway.

Yesterday was my first day on hill for the summer. It’s session number one, which, for High Cascade, means the Andrew Crawford, Janna Meyen, and Josh Dirksen signature session. They hosted an air guitar championships presided over by Air Guitar King Crawford himself. There was definitely crowd surfing and some mildly disturbing boy-bad antics. Danzig, “Mother. Brittney Spears. Something that may or may not have been Good Charlotte. It all ended up with a blistering metal performance by Andrew Crawford himself. This is of course when my camera died, so you can’t see his frenetic air drum solo, you can’t see his rock and roll high kick and air splits, you can’t see the vein in his neck pulsing as he scream-growled into air guitar eternity. The kids jumped up on stage and dog-piled him as the song drew to a close. It was amazing—just use your imagination.