Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
The summer racing season on Mt. Hood is picking up the pace with hard-core training available for racers of all ages.
The Golden Rose slalom for competitors U14 and older attracted top-tier racers from across the west for some high-speed slush-shredding Memorial Day weekend, a preview of the extended racing season to come.
The Golden Rose slalom results are posted on live-timing, with some stellar efforts from Oregon standouts including Mackenzie Greenslade of Mt. Hood Academy, Maddy Stern of Meadows Race Team, and the never-aging Timothy Hill of Bend, photographed by Mike Juliana. To see all of Mike's photos from the 2016 Golden Rose, click here.
Timberline has the longest ski season in North America, and the roots of summer race training reach back to at least 1953. Mike Annett has been running Mt. Hood Summer Ski Camps on the Palmer Snowfield for 38 years, and many other camps have materialized over the years for racers of all ages and levels, taking advantage of the Palmer Chairlift's access up to 8500 feet over a snowfield perfectly placed to collect drifting snows from Mt. Hood's prevailing westerly winds.
Snowpack was strong on Mount Hood this past winter, but an unusually warm May and early June have melted away quite a bit of the base. Still, camp directors are confident that the snow will hold up through August as usual. Since summer training became a thing at Timberline following the construction of the Palmer Chairlift in 1978 ski racers have had enough snow on the mountain to train until Labor Day every year except 2005 and last year, 2015.
The Summer Fun Nationals for Masters Racers are scheduled for July 15-17 on the Palmer Snowfield at Timberline.