Summer Break at Mt. Hood
Mount Hood: The mecca of snowboarding, the land of groms who can probably rip harder than you, and the ideal summer spot for anyone who dreams of turns in the warmer months. So naturally, when any of our members head out west to ski or ride there, we have to get all the deets from them about how f***ing awesome it is.
In early June, UVM Snowboard Team members and best buds Emily Patnaude, ‘20, and Trevor Sasso, ‘21, drove across the country to Mount Hood to work at High Cascade Snowboard Camp.
The camp is located at Mount Hood’s Timberline Lodge resort, the only place in North America where you can ski and ride all year long. Better yet, the camp’s park is located in the Palmer Snowfield which relies solely on natural snowfall. Yeah, you read that right. Snowboarding all summer. On real snow. At 8,500 feet above sea level. Just want to let that sink in.
“I knew our destination, since I had spent last summer there, but it was a super fun drive,” said Trevor. “I’ve lived in Massachusetts on the east coast for years, and I’d never seen anything like a thunderstorm over Lake Eerie, massive clouds over the hills in Montana, or had a clue about the scale of the Badlands and that natural history.”
But among all the beautiful spots they drove through, there was some weird shit along the way, like signs in the middle of nowhere South Dakota for a place called “Wall Drug.” Go ahead and google it, we’re honestly still not too sure what it is.
After hours of podcasts and exhausting all of their favorite playlists, Emily and Trevor finally landed at their home base for the summer.
Emily, already a certified wilderness first responder, is training to be an EMT next spring and took time over the summer to be a medic at Mt. Hood. She saw everything from gnarly bloody noses to tib/fib breaks in the park, and had to toboggan a kid off the mountain with a bad back injury. “All the groms are so small and they rip, but they feel no pain,” she said. While she gained a lot of experience as a medic, we all know Emily really came for the snowboarding.
“Sometimes I would get to ride all day five days in a row, but once in a while I was busy all day working my lane [in the park],” she said. “Regardless, I got in a few laps every day I was there.”
Not only did Emily and Trevor get to live the dream of snowboarding all summer but they also took surfing and camping trips to the coast, skated on campus in “The Concrete Jungle,” and spent time with a bunch of like-minded people and some rad groms, too.
“The people I worked with are really just different versions of myself, and we all got along so well. Everyone was between like 18 and 30-something, but we didn’t feel the age gap because we were all on the same page: just a bunch of kids who love snowboarding, surfing, and skating,” said Emily.
Emily plans to return to Hood next year, and so does Trevor for a third summer.
“I’ve been snowboarding since the fourth grade, and I would talk to all of my friends who went to summer camp at Mt. Hood and hear about what they did out there, and I wanted to go check it out, so I worked there between freshman and sophomore year at UVM,” he said. “It’s a whole other level of snowboarding and people out there, and since I want to pursue a career in the industry, it was a huge move for me.”
After two summers of working at the High Cascade Camp Store, Trevor has been able to make connections with pros and other influencers in the industry including Joe Sexton who, after hearing how Trevor broke his Public board at the beginning of the summer, sent him a new one for free.
“After a couple of weeks, faces become more familiar and people get to know you. It puts you on the map and gets your name out there,” said Trevor.
The best part of it all though, according to both of them? Waking up in the middle of the summer knowing they get to go out and ride. Better yet, going to bed knowing they will wake up and do it all over again.
We’re stoked to see what Emily and Trevor get up to this upcoming season in Vermont--rumor has it they’re both going to be filming a lot more, and you can probably find them ripping Bush Parks from opening day until close.