There’s no doubt that this past winter was a bummer for most Northwest resorts, with the region experiencing low-snow totals that forced a few resorts to close early and caused the deeply unfortunate cancellation of the Mt. Baker’s 30th Legendary Banked Slalom. Despite this, park crews at both Mt. Hood and Whistler summer camps are still trying their damnedest to make the most of the summer season by looking for ways to use the snow they have as efficiently as possible.
At Hood’s Palmer Snow Field, which houses High Cascade Snowboard Camp and Windells Camp, both camps still plan to run as scheduled this summer. Operators have stockpiled as much snow as they can, and their park crews are finding ways to use it creatively to keep campers on-hill, on-snow all summer.
“We want people to know that you can still experience summer snowboarding at HCSC and Windells, ” says Mimi Lopour, HCSC’s Director of Sales and Marketing.
“Summer snowboarding is such a rich part of snowboarding culture,” Mimi adds. “We want everyone to know that even though this was an absolutely horrible snow year, we are still going to snowboard on Mt. Hood into August. We are getting creative up here and are still going to have a hell of a good time doing it.”
Camp Of Champions, located on Blackcomb’s Horstman Glacier, just announced summer camp sessions C and D have been canceled due to low snow. This is the first time in the camp's 27 years of operation that they’ve had to cancel sessions.
"We have decided that our only option to keep a quality product that people will enjoy, is to cancel Weeks C and D,” COC said in a statement on its Facebook page. “It’s the right decision for camp when it comes down to concerns of safety and quality. Camp of Champions will still have a quality park for Week A and B that all campers and pros will be stoked on.”
Ken Achenbach, founder and director of COC, said this year's snow totals were about 30 percent less than last year, and the snow on the glacier has started to melt a month earlier than usual. Above average spring temperatures in Whistler have caused snow to stop freezing at night, which has accelerated the melt-rate.
As an effort to mitigate this, Whistler/Blackcomb announced they will conduct a pilot snowmaking project later this summer which they hope will help preserve the Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain.
"The goal of this project is to preserve the high quality product we currently offer in both the winter and summer months," says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO at Whistler/Blackcomb.
"A snowmaking system on the Horstman Glacier could assist with preserving our summer glacier experience for guests to enjoy in the future, as well as improve the early season access to glacier skiing and snowboarding during the winter," he continued.
This is also the first in 14 years that Hondo hasn't been to HCSC or Windells. This actually is the most depressing news of all.
But don’t worry, there’s still time to sign up and shred with your homeys! Check out camp schedules here and sign up.