Thank God for Summer Camps

windells-tailblock2

Northwest snowboarding legend Graham Hymanstra getting wicked on a fake pile of bricks.

Summer is just around the corner, and while that means your local hill and life have melted away, we here at Yobeat have great news: summer camps! Snowboard camps on Hood, Whistler, and in countries south of the border not only save snowboarders from mental break downs, but offer them the chance to improve their skills, make new friends, and see what snowboarding is really all about. For some snowboarders, being a camper can be the best experience in life, for others, making the journey and trying to poach can be just as thrilling. Either way some of the camps have really stepped up their facilities this year, which may result in the best summer yet. So here are your best options for summer snowboarding in 2009.

First up we have High Cascade Snowboard Camp.

Located in the heart of summer snowboarding, Government Camp, Oregon, is High Cascade Snowboard Camp. HCSC is a very snow and skate oriented camp, leaving behind much of the Kumbaya summer camp nonsense. Not only does HCSC host two camps on the Palmer snowfield they also have two skateparks and a very fun scene back in Government Camp. This may be the best camp for learning, progressing, and feeling like a real part of the snowboard community. Government Camp offers a real world experience where snowboarding is king and your favorite riders are skating right next to you.

Pros:

HCSC hosts two parks, one of which has chairlift access. The other will now have a rope tow.

HCSC is located in Government Camp. This means you will meet pros and other people in their natural environment, and not have to suffer through a long ride to and from the hill.

Good coaching.

Cobra Dogs, The Huckleberry, and Volcano Cones. If you don’t know, maybe it’s time for camp.

Cons:

It isn’t as bug juice and summer romance as many of the camps on the Disney channel, so if that is what you are looking for, you may not find it at HCSC.

Poachability:

Isn’t going to happen. Many have tried, many have failed. You’re more likely to go pro than you are to ride HCSC without credentials.

Moving onto Windell’s, or as they like to be called, The “Funnest” Place on Earth.

Windells is located roughly thirty minutes down the mountain from the snow. This is the spot for that kumbaya approach to summer camp because it is a more isolated location and caters to a broader (read younger/skiers) audience. Windell’s does host some of the best skating of any summer camp though, but the snowboard park isn’t always up to par with that of HCSC. However, after camp activities are king at Windells. They host dirt bike riding, a massive indoor and outdoor skatepark, and many other options of fun stuff.

Pros:

Amazing skateboarding, absolutely amazing.

Good coaching.

Good for a younger rider.

Two new rope tows.

Cons:

Caters to both skiers and young children.

The snowboard park is not up to standard with HCSC.

Poaching can be a problem at Windells.

The morning and afternoon drive back to camp can be a bummer.

Poachability:

Try to look pro, or make friends with the employees.

Mt. Hood has one option left, the Mount Hood Summer Ski camps.

This little gem caters to skiers, ski racers, and snowboarders. It has a fun small park and a great downrail. The camp itself is not up to the standards of HCSC or Windells, however.

Pros:

Great downrail.

Fun little park.

Cons:

Skiers and ski racers.

Located in the middle of nowhere.

For more information visit their site, mthood.com.

Poachability:

Easy.

Canada also provides snowboarders with a summer option at the Camp of Champions.

Camp of Champs is a wonderful place for the older crowd, and for Canadians. Located in Whistler there is a good scene for those over 18. The park is amazing, the lifts run, and all the Canadian pros are there. It’s a pretty good time.

Pros:

The park is huge.

Whistler is a fun area and you stay right in the heart of the village.

A great way to enjoy summer snowboarding.

Cheap medical attention when you get hurt and great prescription drugs.

Cons:

It is lacking some of the big names Mt. Hood draws.

It’s in Canada.

If these options don’t excite you don’t fret, there are more out there. First off anyone can simply drive to Mt. Hood to enjoy the public park and the running lifts. Visit the Timberline website for more information to get that adventure started.

For those of you interested in travel there are several options south of the boarder as well. New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina all offer snowboarding in what we consider summer. Getting there and riding is expensive, but it could be the best trip of your life.

  • Sean

    Pretty Bias to Windells, and Pretty much all false. as a matter of fact – doesnt HCSC claim to be the disney land of snowboarding? Plus is 16 miles mapquested to Timberline Lodge from Campus. Hate on Skiing too? I dont get it, give it up. Plus windells park has a bigger park…last years 2nd park was worthless.

    With all that said – Windells Founded by a Pro Snowboarder, HCSC was started by a X Ski Racer.

  • admin

    In the future please do research before trying to be a smartass. Until you provide surface area statistics of park ratios your claims have no merit. Also, HCSC has new ownership, all snowboarders. You’ll have to check with Preston Strout about the Disney land comment. And give it up, no, don’t you get it, this is what we do. Thanks for reading!

  • karnkarn

    COC is also good for having a green experience while enjoying all of whistlers attractions (snowboarding)

  • NYC14

    Windells is pretty legit. what other summer camp has a rope tow? not HCSC. stop the hate and just shred. also all the other stuff that was a CON for windells is totally false. other thing the drive up and back to the mountains for windells is not a bummer, their is always something going on in the vans and they play music. stop hating on Windells!!!!

  • steven

    NYC14, last time I checked HCSC also has a rope tow, you are an idiot. Do some research, maybe read up a little, stop being stupid, it’s a bad look on you. Oh yeah, riding in vans, totally sucks, riding with skiers totally sucks, you… totally suck. Also, learn to read, he wasn’t hating on Windell’s, he was using a simple formula to inform little jerks like you. Damn man, negative dudes are the worst.

    News flash, “NYC gets 78 rope tows, and hammer time powder, SICK BRO!”

  • stephen alyn varady

    I LOVE DICKS

    ps- NYC14, why don’t you educate yourself using the great tool that is the internet. HCSC is great. Windells is great. they are both great.
    nick lipton is 21, he will die tonight

  • dick lipton

    i have athlete’s foot

  • sean kerrick

    one time, at summer camp…

  • Ben

    The segregation between boarders and freestyle skiers now a days is complete bullshit. We are both out there for all the same reasons. I snowboard myself, and have plenty of skier friends that I have learned a lot from, and have a lot of fun with.

    If you want to bash windells for being more progressive than hcsc… go ahead.

    I dont think Jason Legge would appreciate you calling his monster park “not up to standard compared to HCSC’s” After all, he sets up a lot more rails and jumps than hcsc has to offer.

    ps. Im surprised you couldnt see Windells 80′ mega kicker from the hcsc park!

  • Summer radness

    peace and love. go HCSC Windells and COC but i have been to all. and the environment at Hcsc is SUPER RAD also isnt Windells that as the Sign that says “funniest place on earth” so what ever have fun.

  • I searched on google and I had a hard time located the right info….until I found your blog.

  • canadian

    being in Canada is a pro

  • Patrick

    My two cents on Camp of Champions:

    I had a great time at COC and will be back (although not the next year as I’m going to check out Windells) and it is true that the COC park is as good as top winter parks. Having said that, the COC’s marketing in my opinion isn’t quite honest, so I thought the prospective campers may be interested to hear which claims are not exactly true.

    I consciously limited this to the hard facts only as I wanted to keep it as objective as possible.

    (All the quotes come from campofchampions.com)

    “the best park in the world”

    Come on… how about Les Deux Alpes summer camp in France, ever been there, why is COC better? Or how about Dachstein in Austria?

    “[pro riders’ names listed] were calling the COC Park one of the best parks they’d ever ridden”

    COC is the first place where I have ever seen (and I’ve seen quite a few top parks in Europe) to have a priority lift line for pro riders. I wonder if their comments were equally positive if they had to wait in a lift line 15 minutes each time like everybody else. You know the answer.

    “8:30am – 12.00pm On mountain riding/skiing/coaching”

    I do not remember grooming to ever be finished before 9:15 and the bottom of the park was often not done until 10:00.

    “http://campofchampions.com/pages/theCamp/Camp%20of%20Champions%20Park%20Building%20001%20350.jpg”

    In fact the park is way smaller than shown in this picture, there are no features in the area below the rocks.

    “Superpipe”

    It was not built this year, yet the information has never been pulled from the website. I know that the Belarus national team was pretty upset about that and they ended up riding the halfpipe in the Momentum park.

    “Private Handletow Lifts”

    Like the superpipe, promised, but not there.

    “We spend an average of 3 hours a day riding more compared to other camps. COC campers get on the lift at 7:15AM and are riding by 8:00AM.”

    This is simply not true. Also, as far as the time spent on snow, it is not only when you start and finish, but also how much time you spend in a lift line and at Camp of Champions it is A LOT, on average 15 minutes each time.

    “The Camp of Champions is the best maintained park in the world”

    Come on… You must have never been anywhere outside Whistler to believe that, there are many at least equally well maintained parks in the world.

    “As the COC park is “So damn big, I’ve been here a week and still haven’t hit everything!” as more than one pro put it”

    Well, I am not a pro and even though unlike pros I had to wait in the long lift line, somehow I managed to hit everything (except the biggest jumps for which I am not good enough)…

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