Timberline Lodge and Ski Area is renowned worldwide for its year-round skiing and snowboarding. During the summer months, the ski area focuses on the two upper-mountain lifts—Palmer and the Magic Mile, which transport visitors to an elevation of 8,540 feet on the southeast facing flanks of Mt. Hood to ride the 2,500 vertical feet back down to the Timberline Lodge base area.
The Magic Mile chair was originally installed in 1938 and is presently in its third incarnation as a detachable high-speed quad. Timberline installed the upper Palmer lift in 1978 specifically for summer glacier access. The first summer ski camps began establishing themselves around 1956 and quickly multiplied with lodges in nearby Government Camp and along Highway 26. Nowadays the uppermost glacier serves as the official training site for the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing, with manicured race lanes providing the ideal venue for ski racers from around the world to improve their skills and their times. The glacier has also played a huge role in the progression and history of freestyle snowboarding with perfectly-groomed public parks as well as private camp parks.
While the slopes of Timberline Lodge & Ski Area are open daily to all skiers with a valid lift ticket, the variety of summer camps are a great way to improve your skills and experience summer skiing and snowboarding, while taking advantage of the huge variety of off-hill experiences from mountain biking, waterfall hikes and swimming in the lakes, to exclusive top-tier skateboard facilities and trampoline parks for dialing in freestyle moves.
What Can I Expect from Summer Skiing & Snowboarding?
Unlike winter snow, summer snow is predictable with firm conditions in the morning—ideal for racing and carving, then as the morning progresses, the snow softens—ideal for learning jumps and riding park. The camps spread solar salt on jump lips and the halfpipes in the early afternoon to keep the obstacles in prime form as the sun heats up. The glacier is all above treeline, so it’s a wide-open snowfield, with minimal natural terrain features, making it very easy to navigate (although be aware of foggy or cloudy conditions, which can create whiteout conditions). Also of note, when the sun is out at this altitude it’s very important to lather on the sunscreen and always use eye protection.
The lifts run daily weather permitting from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Perfect your Freestyle Ski Moves At Windells Ski Camps
Founded in 1989 by Tim Windell, Windells Ski Camp has evolved to become the top summer freestyle ski camp in the world. Windells stands out for both its on and off-hill facilities, which it shares with High Cascade Snowboard Camp and Windells Skateboard camp.
The camp’s on-hill facilities high up on the Palmer Glacier at Timberline Lodge & Ski Area include a private park, a 22-foot superpipe and a skiercross course accessed by three private rope tows. Campers are paired with a dedicated coach for their entire session in a group with skiers of similar skill level. The day can include everything from riding the half-mile lap park, to sessioning individual park features, to perfecting runs through the skiercross course. Professional skiers partner with the camp to train on-hill and interact with campers in formal clinics and during fun casual sessions.
Off-hill the camp really shines with a 28-acre campus tucked back in the forest of Welches, Oregon, complete with a sprawling 12,000-square-foot indoor building housing a concrete skatepark, plus an outdoor skatepark, a trampoline park and foam pit, a climbing wall and a full roster of outdoor activities to fill the afternoon.
Windells has a variety of camps for all ages from youth camps with extra supervision, to kids camps, family camps, and adult camps for ages 21-plus. The popular adult camps are based in the nearby village of Government Camp, which include an alternate roster of activities including a brewery tour in Hood River. Windells offers five eight-day summer sessions from June 16 – August 2, 2019.
Windells also operates the Wy’East Mountain Academy, a year-round academy focused on academics for high-end athletes in skiing, snowboarding and skateboarding.
Get On Board At High Cascade Snowboard Camp
High Cascade Snowboard Camp (HCSC) is recognized as the premiere summer snowboard camp in the world. Founded in the summer of 1989, the camp has played a huge role in the history and cultural lore of the relatively young sport of snowboarding. In the mid-90s, a knee-high Shaun White spent his summers training in the halfpipe long before any Olympic gold medals. HCSC has been host to legendary sessions from record-breaking quarterpipe airs to magazine cover-worthy jump sessions by top professional riders.
While these accolades are noteworthy, what really draws snowboarders from across the country is the epic riding and coaching. HCSC is renowned for great coaching on ideal freestyle terrain, from all levels of jumps to boxes and rails to wide-open lanes for perfecting the carve. HCSC on-hill facilities are shared with Windell’s Ski Camp, and are accessed by Timberline Lodge & Ski Area’s two upper high-speed lifts, as well as a network of rope tows allowing campers to session specific features or pipes to improve skills. Campers are grouped with riders of similar skill level and a certified coach for the whole session. The coaches identify the skills each rider wants to improve on and guides them through tips and tricks to improve their riding throughout the session.
HCSC also shares its off-hill facilities with Windells Ski & Skate Camps, which makes for awesome afternoons of skateboarding, trampoline and foam pit training, as well as structured activities from hiking to dodgeball games at Windells 28-acre campus. High Cascade Snowboard Camp has a variety of camps for all ages from youth camps with extra supervision, to kids camps to adult camps for ages 21-plus, which are based in nearby Government Camp. HCSC offers five eight-day summer sessions from June 16 – August 2, 2019.
Stay Slopeside At Timberline Summer Snow Camps
Timberline Lodge & Ski Area rolls out a series of race and freestyle camps for intermediate through advanced skiers and snowboarders during June and July. The camps are offered either as multi-day camps or overnight camps with meals and slopeside lodging in a chalet dorm room at the historic Timberline Lodge.
There are three different race-specific ski camps focused on Giant Slalom and Slalom—a youth ski camp, a masters adult ski camp and family ski camp. For summer 2019, the masters adult camp is offered as either six- or three-day day camps or an eight-day overnight camp during the first two weeks of July. Youth camps are offered as either five- or three-day day camps or seven-day overnight camps during June and July. The family camp is offered through the last two weeks of June as either an overnight camp with five days on hill culminating in an on-hill race, or a three- or six-day day camps for beginner through expert skiers.
The freestyle camps are offered for skiers and snowboarders looking to learn new tricks or just learn the fundamentals of park riding. These camps run during the month of June as three-or five-day day camps. These camps focus on learning new tricks in Timberline’s public parks packed with jumps, rails and boxes.
Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camps Caters To All Types
Founded by Mike Annett, Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camps (MHSSC) is the only camp that offers training for all types including ski racers, mogul skiers, freeskiers, snowboarders and snowboard racers—it also stands out as one of the most affordable camp options on Mt. Hood. MHSSC is one of the longest-running camps, with 40 years of experience as a family-owned camp. MHSSC operates year-round with a home base at a pair of modern lodges located five miles past Government Camp.
On-hill during the summers MHSSC operates a network of private terrain parks, race lanes and mogul lanes across the glacier. Off-hill, MHSSC campers afternoon activities include rock climbing, kite-boarding, trampoline, a challenge course, mountain biking, hiking and more, all accessed from the main lodges tucked back in leafy forested setting.
MHSSC runs camps year-round on Mt. Hood with four spring sessions, fourteen summer sessions from May through the end of August, plus an additional three fall sessions and three winter sessions.
Mt. Hood In the Summer Is A Ski Racing Mecca
In addition to the above camps, there are a variety of camps dedicated to high-level ski racing including Tichy Racing, Ligety-Weibrecht Ski Camp, National Alpine Ski Camp, Keely’s Camp (an all-female race camp) and many more. Whether you’re an aspiring Olympian, a dedicated athlete, or an enthusiastic adult looking to improve your skills, there’s a camp for you.