Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
We Are Camp, the parent company of Windells and High Cascade Snowboard Camps and Windells Academy, has formed a partnership with veteran action sports coach Bud Keene to prepare top-tier athletes for domestic and international competition.
Keene has coached some of the top snowboarders and freeskiers in the world, notably Shaun White, Gus Kenworthy, Hannah Teter, and Duncan Adams. He lives in Vermont and travels the globe to work with top athletes and prepare them for the X Games, the Dew Tour and the Olympics.
Under the new deal with We Are Camp, Keene will work as Director of Performance with high-ambition athletes who come to train on Mt. Hood in the summer and who enroll in Windells Academy for a flexible school experience with intense training and travel.
“High Cascade and Windells have always partnered with the best coaches, and with Bud Keene we’ve got someone who is at the very top of coaching globally,” said We Are Camp President Kevin English. “Now we’ve got the best coaches for all the way from the introduction to the sport to the Olympics.”
“I am so stoked to be forming this alliance with We Are Camp”, said Keene. “For years I have recognized High Cascade and Windells as industry leaders and marks of excellence within action sports. For BKPRO to now become a part of that family is truly a dream come true.”
We are Camp was formed in April of 2014 to enable a merger between High Cascade and Windells, two popular Mt. Hood summer snow camps that had competed with each other for decades. Since the merger Windells Camps have shifted away from snowboarding and into skiing, skateboarding and BMX bike riding. Windells Ski and High Cascade Snowboard campers get access to the High Cascade Superpipe and BagJump features on the mountain, the 89,500-square-foot Windells Skate Park east of Sandy and many other shared features in between.
English, who is also president of High Cascade, says the partnership with Keene and BKPRO fits with the original mission of We Are Camp to combine synergistic brands with a shared interest in life improvement through action sports. “We’ve had plenty of change, and I’m real happy with where we are now,” he said.
The addition of Keene should boost the brand of Windells Academy as a training center for top freestyle athletes. The academy has about 20 or so students enrolled at its campus east of Sandy, and English estimates that about half of them have aspirations to compete at the highest level.
“Any student athlete that is serious about their personal growth needs a supportive family, great coaching, and facilities that give them advantages to progress faster and minimize risk,” said Windells Academy President Chris Hargrave. “This partnerships ensures our students will have the best program, hands-down, to achieve their goals and dreams.”
The collaboration with Keene will unfold this summer with greatly improved snow conditions on the mountain. A year ago High Cascade and Windells went into the summer snow season with the lowest snow pack in history and only barely managed to complete their camps on Palmer Snowfield. This year they have 63 feet of snow in the spot where they build their summer park.