Winter weather is here, giving skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to cut loose on the slopes. The snow is currently falling on Mount Hood, attracting numerous snow-loving enthusiasts to make the trek up to the mountain to enjoy all the skiing and snowboarding possibilities. The potential for a strong snow season is especially appealing to aficionados this year due to a less-than-mediocre season last year.
Last year the snow season didn’t meet the expectations of many devoted skiers and snowboarders, with a number of cancellations and closures throughout the season. However, projections show that this season looks to be far more promising than previous seasons.
Many of the local resorts on Mount Hood like Timberline Lodge, Mount Bachelor and Mount Hood Meadows are already open this season. So far they have all surpassed the 30-inch mark and many have accumulated a base that is far greater than 50 inches, producing more than enough snow for early season adventurers. These numbers can only increase because the best prospects for snow are in the near future, and a steady amount of snow is already mounting on a daily basis.
Positive outlooks for a more successful and longer season than last year can’t bode better with the Portland State Snowboarding Club, PSU’s own snowboarding and skiing association.
"The weather is better this year than it was last year," said newly elected club officer Roger Bachelor. "This year is supposed to be average, average is good. Last year there was only about 200 inches of snow the whole year, this year it is estimated that there will be about 430 inches."
The club consists of a group of students that share a common interest, playing in the snow with their boards or skis. The group takes weekend trips together to the mountain to display their talent, learn fun tricks and simply have some fun.
"We are one of the largest clubs on campus with about 100 members total," said newly elected club officer Jennifer Schmidt.
"We are open to people of all ability levels," Bachelor said. "We are also open to skiers being in the club as well."
Portland State students can enjoy the snow for even lower price than the general public with a membership to the Snowboarding Club. An additional bonus the club offers several opportunities for discounts and special deals that are available with a membership to the club, including discount day passes and reduced lift fares. The club registration process is done on the internet at the club’s web site, where members can also share their knowledge in the forum and find out about upcoming events that the club will be conducting.
"We like to take trips where you get a deal, like extra passes or a discount on lift tickets," Schmidt said. "We offer a lot of discounts for trips to various places. Another benefit of our club is that we offer free transportation for group members who are going to ski or snowboard on Mount Hood."
Taking a weekend trip up to the mountain to get away from the chaos of the everyday life of a college student appears to be a main factor in the enjoyment of this sport. Members are seeking an escape from the pressures that they face on a daily basis.
"The club is about meeting people with similar interests," Bachelor said. "Personally, I just like being up in the mountains and forgetting the city for a moment, once you get up there you have this sense of freedom. It is an escape from the structure of being in the city everyday."
The club has some exciting upcoming events planned for this year’s snow season. On Sunday Dec. 12, the club has planned a trip to Mount Hood Meadows to teach Portland State international students how to ski and snowboard. During the trip international students will be taught by club members, who be compensated with a free lift ticket or equipment for their efforts.
Another upcoming event occurs on Feb. 4, this trip consists of the Dragon Slopestyle and Superpipe 3 competition at Mount Bachelor. This is just one of a series of competitions that will be held at the Mount Bachelor resort throughout the season.
As the snow continues to fall and the weather gets much colder in the upcoming months many skiers and snowboarders begin to hit the slopes, rediscovering their passion for the sport and its provided escape from life as a student.
For any information regarding upcoming trips, to register for membership to the club or simply to view what the Snowboarding Club has to offer visit the club’s web site at www.snowboarding.pdx.edu.