It’s been a couple of years since Windells Camp has been graced by a Newschoolers session, but last week saw the comeback and it was hittin'. Windells veteran Parker White enlisted the monsters Duncan Adams and Jake Mageau to join him as the Newschoolers crew and descended upon the dusty slopes of Timberline Lodge for five days of sunshine and skiing. And, despite the heatwave that vaporized Portland in early July, the parks were riding perfect.
Group photo to send home to mom. Happy Tuesday on hill!
Parker is a veteran, but you could also describe him as currently collecting his post-park career pension. So, to shake off the cobwebs of retirement for our first day on hill, we started out by sessioning the lower park’s double rail line into a medium jump. While campers learned their first cork sevens, the boys dusted off their repertoires. Every couple minutes, Tophaloaf would blast past us with the alien cam, following one of the many legends who were out on the hill last week – Downey, Casabon, Carlson were out lapping daily.
Mute air on the hippa (photo by Topher Newett)
Once the crew got warmed up, we caught the rope tow up to the pro park to ski around on the big jump, the tube rails, and the hip and quarterpipe. Inspired by Walkershredz greasing up his first 14s, Parker started tossing a most casual 9 blunt, Duncan took his switch wobble 9 another 180, and Mango floated around some sleepy misty 5s, balancing out the daily triples with some smooth operations. With all the heat from the aerial madness, the jump started to slush up just in time for a noon rake and we took the opportunity to kick back in the sunshine and fuel up for the afternoon.
Dadcam files, 4.5 min of raw clips from the week up on the glacier (video by @gravel )
And that was the daily grind. After inhaling some lunch (the turkey and apple wrap if we made it to the cafeteria early enough that morning) we'd gather a crew of campers up for an afternoon session on one of the mellow features in the middle park to give away Newschoolers swag and get clips for the King and Queen of the Park video contest for the campers. Campers of all skill levels pulled up to show off what they’d been learning all week, encouraging each other to try new features and tricks. Shoutout to camper Fiona for motivating all of her friends at Windells to give the propane tank an attempt, which resulted in copious amounts of Roxy gear being rewarded. The next afternoon, camper Calvin was sending backflips to the gucci plateau, exclaiming “Newschoolers rules!” while upside down and earning himself a fresh new pair of 686 pants from Parker’s secret stash.
Chyutt sessioning the medium with the campers in the morning (photo by Topher Newett)
If we were lucky enough to be up skiing on a day that the energy drink helmets were done training early, we'd even get a chance to sneak into the exclusive elite superpipe before we headed down to the parking lot when the rope tows closed at 3:00. Duncan brought out his staple cold shoulder air while Mango experimented with multi-hit trick combos. Hunter sometimes dropped in late in the session for some massive air to fakie pokes. After hiking the pipe a couple times, we'd grab our backpacks and headed down the last remaining white ribbon of snow, our ice highway back to the parking lot.
Mango going over the handlebars (photo by Topher Newett)
In the evenings at camp, when the sun was low enough for the heat of the day to burn off, we’d digest our camp dinners over some friendly competition with the campers - By destroying them in dodgeball or in a round of ski boot knockout. When there are prizes on the line, you better believe we’re showing up with our A game. After glorious victory over the campers, Parker would take a victory lap through the concrete jungle until it was too dark to do anything but go to bed and dream about the next day on hill.
Parker enroute to winning a brand new pair of 157cm Surface skis in ski boot knockout
Camp has sure changed a lot since I worked here only a couple years ago, and even more since Parker’s days as a coach. But even though camp, and the faces, keep changing, Windells is just as much the funnest place on earth that it always has been. One afternoon, Jake and I sat out by the courtyard and imagined what it might feel like to be a kid again on a yellow schoolbus, pulling into the Windells campus for the first time. With the warm afternoon sun streaming through the thick cedar boughs overhead, the orange copings of the concrete jungle unfolding as you make your way to your cabin, filled with new ski, snowboard, skate, and bike friends to be made.
Last day on hill, we’re sore and tired but stoked on a week of skiing the glacier, feeling like kids again but a little less rubbery. We’ve got the camp routine down to a science now, we could do this all summer. We make sure to catch last Palmer at 2:00 and harvest some big GS turns all the way back down to the lanes, looking out across the cascades as a thick soup of smoke pours in from a fire to the south. We’re just at the bottom of the Timberline Road now heading down, but we’ve got to swing by the Chevron in Govy. It’s time the boys crush a few Modelos and I’m fiending for 32oz of chocolate milk. Later on, we’ll smoke the campers in dodgeball and take the 157cm skis we win from the evening event and sell them at staff sale.
(photo by Topher Newett)
If you were at NS week, enter the exclusive contest here.