Session 1, 2009 update
Hi all.  It's been about 6 and half months since my last mhssc staff newsletter, but it's summer again, and time to get back at it.  I'm passing the buck to other staffers to write the weekly update this summer.  So for the first 3 (or so) sessions of 2009, Spencer Raymond has accepted the position of staff update writer.  Spencer is back working at MHSSC after a one year hiatus.   If YOU wanna write a staff update segment this summer, let me know.  We can have multiple writers each session. 

Here's Spencer's session 1 update:
2009 is off to a sunny, warm start. Every day on the hill was warm. It was the "best Session 1 ever in terms of weather," says Elliot Halverson. On Thursday, four members of Jon Winslow's group boarded down to the bottom of Pucci thinking it was open. Turns out it wasn't so they had to hike all the way up to the bottom of the Mile. This weekend Jay Hey is spending three days taking a white water rescue class on the White Salmon River near Hood River. So far he's learned to save people in the water and stuff like that. Robin Cressy didn't ski Monday. He says that was his first missed day since 1992. The first camper of the year (to check in) was an adult originally from Russia. He brews his own beer and taught Mike and Matt DePalma how to brew their own at the Picnic. Speaking of the picnic, as usual for early sessions it was scheduled for the marina in Hood River. As luck would have it, a Cub Scout pack had reserved the only shelter for the key time of 5pm-8pm. After searching the area, the picnic was moved to a park up by the Hospital. Lynne had to bring a grill from their house and John Rust's wife had to fill up the water coolers. Back to that Russian dude, he broke his face Thursday. It looked just like a black eye for a while but kept getting bigger and bigger until counselors took him to the hospital. Turns out he fractured his face in two places. Ouch. Actually, a snowboard racer camper did the same thing sorta. By the time he went home Saturday his face was all swollen.
Breaking News in Govy: Fuxi has two shops this year. Yes, two. In addition to their regular one above the Rat, Fuxi took over the former Race Place place. Word on the street is that Race Place didn't renew their lease so Fuxi has apparently turned into the Starbucks of the Govy ski shop world. Sessions 1 and 2 there's a camper currently serving in the Marines in Iraq. He's taking this two weeks off a year at camp. He said he wanted to get back on snow so he looked us up.

**Robin's winter/spring mhssc update:  Since the last staff update at Thanksgiving '08, here are a few mhssc nuggets:
1. John Rust and wife Lisa had baby #2 a few months ago.  A boy they named "Cooper".  Welcome to planet earth Cooper!  
2. Patrick Deneen is the 2009 WORLD CHAMPION in world cup moguls!  Check out his winning run here.
3. Jay Panther battled some injuries in his season of mogul competition......you can see some of his '09 season highlights here.
4. Longtime mhssc adult camper and all-around-good-guy Grant Wilson got married last weekend in southern Cal.  Grant flew me down and put me to work as wedding videographer. Also in attendance was Terry McLeod.  Terry's two daughters were the wedding flower girls.   Below are a few pics of wedding/reception.  Grant and his band rocked the house at the reception!  There was a famous actress/singer in attendance:  Nia Peeples

Session 1 Robin update:
We had 7 coaches working session 1.  That might be a session 1 record in the modern era of mhssc (since going to 5-days on snow camps about 15 years ago).   The ravens were in full force on the glacier this week, opening up several camper's backpacks and flying away with their delicious sandwiches and cookies. Hey birds gotta eat too!  Robin Cressy (me) got bit by a dog while jogging thru Govy last week.  The dog bit me in the ass, but did not break the skin, although the dog did put a hole in my jogging shorts.  Jon Winslow is back coaching the snowboard racers this year after a one-year hiatus.  High Cascade and Windell's camps purchased surface rope-tow type lifts this year for their terrain parks.  Hopefully this will help keep the lift lines shorter on the Palmer chairlift.  The crummy economy might help keep lift lines short too........there are fewer campers signing up this year. I imagine this is the same for all of the ski & snowboard camps.  There's still snow in Govy, but I'm thinking that the snowpack on Palmer is below average for this time of year.  Check out the new camp t-shirts (see below) that Darren Owen designed.....way cool!  Elliot Halverson climbed up and skied down Mt St. Helens last week.  Check out his posted pics on his facebook profile page.

And here are a few photos from session 1:



Session 2, 2009 update
Spencer Raymond's camp update in blue!

This week's weather featured variety. Monday was standard summer fair. Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty windy so the cat started pulling the camera up the hill. A snow cat cheer organized by Robin Cressy was instrumental in getting a cat to come.  For some reason all the apparently skilled skiers and boarders couldn't quite figure out how to get towed by the cat. Campers would fall while being pulled and create total chaos behind them on the tow rope. The week survived with no rain days and by Friday upper Mile was above the clouds. On Monday John Rust organized a crew of staff to work on the trail at rock climbing area Frenchies. Jackie Reis, Spencer Raymond helped while Bill Toney ran the chainsaw. His firefighting skills where a big help when it came to operating the chain saw and moving around large logs. See photos for the trail and happy campers walking on it. Two mornings this week there was smoke all over the kitchen and dining room. Everyone is still debating the reason for this but the cause has been traced back to the oven and bacon trays being cooked within. The picnic this week went off without a hitch. The Cub Scouts have apparently chosen somewhere else to hold their meetings. It's starting to look a lot like summer around campus.  The office trailer is in full operational mode and a staff housing trailer is set up too. All the snow around the lodge is gone On Thursday there was a giant thunderstorm! The rock climbing group got to go bowling. As it turns out, there's actually no bowling ally in Sandy. So at lanes somewhere in Gresham, Matt DePalma got last place. Up on Surveyor's Ridge Spencer Raymond was leading a few campers mountain biking when the sky opened up. The campers wanted to continue in the rain and by the end of the ride everyone was all wet and muddy.There's a DVD VCR combo thing in the lodge now. Joe Sulpizio has hit a cold steak this week at table sports in the basement. He maintains he still holds a winning percentage but Matt has apparently won several recent foosball and ping pong matches. Stealth got fixed this week. New brakes. Nice! More and more staff continue to arrive. There's only like 17 campers living in the lodge this week. The snow continues to be all weird. It's really sticky outside salted areas and the wind has blown dirt and tree debris all over the place. It's pretty frustrating. The white bus has been really difficult to start lately. Mike would have to break out his secret starter fluid almost everytime. Now white bus has a special parking spot where it can be plugged in so it can stay warm and cozy while not being driven.

Robin's session 2 update:
We cannot watch the NBA finals on TV at camp this year because the local ABC network affiliate is still under negotiation with Dish Network.  So instead of watching the game, we see a blue graphic on the screen that says "blah blah blah, we want more money in order to carry this station"  What's an NBA fan to do?  Well since game 1 was not televised, Darren Owen and I were flipping thru the channels and the Discovery Channel was airing an episode of "Man vs. Wild" special edition with actor Will Ferrell.......really funny to see Will Ferrell out in the wilderness eating frozen reindeer head to survive.  You can watch it all on youtube.....below is part 1.

Spencer Raymond pretty much covered it all in his update........nice work Spencer!   I'm ready to negotiate  your contract extension beyond the original 3 sessions.

I also updated the mhssc staff bio page with some new photos and bios.  If YOUR bio needs updating, write out a new bio for yourself, email it to me and I'll update the website. 


session 2 wind day snowcat training

Nate, Ian, & Ryan

Jaime DuPratt slalom training

Nolan Willard does double ski pole rail trick


Session 3, 2009 update
Spencer Raymond's camp update in blue!

Session 3 got off to a scary start. It was real foggy Sunday and two campers got lost! They were skiing far skier's right of Palmer and just continued down Zig Zag canyon. After exhausting the efforts of Timberline Ski Patrol, Search and Rescue was called in. By dusk the two campers' skis were found at the top of Big Zig Zag canyon.  As night fell everyone was worried. Parents were booking tickets to fly out from Maine. At 3:30am the campers were discovered sleeping in the woods. They were about a half hour by foot up the canyon from Camp Kiwanas. That's at the top of the straightaway right down from Silent Rock. One camper made it skiing Monday. Everyone had one question for him: when did the two start spooning to keep warm? One camper arrived Saturday in Seattle instead of Portland. Instead of flying to PDX to get a free ride up the hill from a counselor he booked a limo service all the way from Seattle. It apparently cost about $800. The black Escalade in the parking lot sure was shiny. The leather seats were probably really nice to sit on too.  Something went under the radar Session 2: Robin Cressy forgot his ski boots and had to work on the hill in only his shoes. He survived.  Wednesday was an official "Counselor Day Off." It went pretty well except for the fact that coaches didn't really know what to do with campers after skiing.  On Tuesday, Jay Hey led a training group of counselors teaching them white water rescue techniques. In swimmer's rapids they practiced all sorts of cool rescue techniques. On Thursday Andrej Jerman almost ran a Slalom course on his Elan slip skis! This would have angered his Stockli sponsors greatly. Fortunately, there were enough people at the top of the lane to yell Stop! There is a soccer team of 10-12 year-olds staying in Coho for the night making the camp some extra bucks. There were only 17 campers in the Lodge this session but 7 counselors and 2 CITs. The campers were taken care of well.

Robin's session 3 update:
Yeah, as Spencer wrote above, two 15-year old campers (boys) that arrived at camp a day early, skied down zig zag glacier in thick fog last Sunday and got big time lost.  They were smart enough to leave clues for rescue people.......they ditched their skis, they left obvious footprints in the snow (when there was snow) , and they also made an effort to leave arrows made from tree branches.  Their run from the top of Palmer started around 11:30am.....and they hiked in their ski boots until around 8pm (still daylight), when they decided to hunker down for the night.  At that point, they built a bed/shelter with tree branches and actually got in a decent nights sleep before rescuers found them at 3:30am.  Mike joked that they probably got more sleep than anyone else at camp that night. They didn't have food, water or cell phones, but they did drink water out of the river.  Rescue teams were coming from both directions (up river and down river).   The two boys were brought back to camp around 5:30am, and as Spencer mentioned, one of them even was able to ski that same morning.  Somehow the local Portland TV stations did not catch wind of the story and create a big media circus......they usually LIVE for that type of story around here. 

Other random stuff from session 3:  There was a small frog hopping around in the lodge basement on Monday morning.  It rained on the mountain on Wednesday and Friday......mix in a little fog here and there too.  The camp picnic was at the marina in Hood River again.  Terry McLeod worked this week......he team coached the freeski group w/Nolan this session and also put up a new cable on the zip-line with Bill ToneyJohn Rust passed his CDL test. 

Next week we have 90+ campers, so this should feel like the "real" start of camp, 2009.  Here are a few photos from session 3.  As you can see, it rained pretty hard one day and flooded the basketball court.



Session 4, 2009 update
Spencer Raymond's session 4 camp update in blue:
Monday was another try for a counselor day off. Jasper Newton, Chad Kossar, Joe Sulpizio and Spencer Raymond went to Ka Nee Tah Indian reservation for some swimming at the hot springs heated pool. Spencer even managed to come out on top with 30 bucks at the casino! Jackie Reis passed her bus test on Wednesday. That may be the fastest ever for a counselor to get a bus license.  The picnic was at wildwood finally. This session was packed! There were like 100 campers. It rained Friday so everyone went to Portland. Except for a group that went caving and cliff jumping. Bus 52 got a new front passenger tire. Chevy 2 got a new windshield wiper. Nate Goodman says the park was sick this week. Most of the staff are walking around in silly yellow STAFF t-shirts. Elliot Halverson and Alice Winter hiked to the summit of Hood on Thursday and skied down. Cool.

session 4 update:
There were a handful of former mhssc staffers on the snowfield this past week working with various other camps:  Tommy Eckfeldt, Josee Lacasse, Kevin McDevitt, Uros Pavlovcic, Brandon Dykesterhouse, Hiro Taniguchi, and probably a few others that I can't think of at the moment.   Hiro told me that he got married and he has a baby on the way. (Congrats Hiro!)  Bob (Robert Voll), the UPS guy that delivers packages to mhssc, is lead singer in a band called "Too Loose Band" that tours local establishments.  Here's a link to his band's website.   I asked Heidi Gamma to tell me something about herself that I didn't know about her and she said that she used to be able to ride a unicycle and juggle 3 balls at the same time.  I asked Darren Owen the same thing, and he said that when he was about 12 years old, he won the pinewood derby.  MHSSC quote of the week: Jason Hey said to his ski group: "think about what you're thinking about".   As Spencer mentioned above, Friday was a bad weather day, but the lifts were still open.  Out of the 95 or so campers, 3 campers decided to train instead of the mall/movie/bowling/caving options.......John Rust was the lone coach on the hill for the rain/snow/fog/wind combo conditions for 5 runs of GS for the three hard core campers.  Mike Annett ran the paintball activity on Tuesday afternoon.  Although Mike was a rookie at running this activity, he said the kids that signed up for paintball, already knew what they were doing, and they had a good time.  At the picnic, Mike and Lynne told the story of how they met and first started dating.  Mike was Lynne's ski instructor.....and their first date was going to the movies.  They couldn't recall which movie they saw that night.  A 15-year old camper boy asked Liz Edmunds on a date........a picnic date.  Basically the date was eating picnic dinner together at an exclusive picnic table.  (see photo below).  And I "stole" Elliot's photo of Alice Winter climbing mt hood from his facebook page.  (thanks Elliot!).   The ski race groups have a new plan of attack for training:  Day 1 (Monday's) is for drills and skill progression with just a few gates on the hill.  Days 2 and 3 are slalom training.....days 4 and 5 are GS training.  Newbie CIT Matt Stinson did some nice back-flips off the big mogul jump this week.  Robin Cressy (me) hustled a 14 year old kid on the camp basketball court in a game of H-O-R-S-E for $5 bucks.  Is this unethical?  He wants a rematch next session.  Somebody stole Mike Syrovatka's Rossignol skis from Coho lodge.  That is bad Karma for somebody!   A random snowboarder came up to me at my car in the timberline parking lot at the end of the ski day while I was taking off my ski boots and asked me for a ride down the mountain.  I kindly told him that I didn't know him, and that I don't give ride to strangers........he got really pissed off at me and he double flipped me off.  Hitch-hikers are getting aggressive these days!

MHSSC flashback to the 80's and 90's
.........in about 1990, MTV came to the Palmer glacier to tape a show called "Beach MTV".  Hosting the show were Dan Cortese and Alyssa Milano.  MHSSC staffers Tom Wirth, Bob Geyer, and Wayne Amsbary were all featured on the show, with several other mhssc staffers and campers were audience members (screaming/clapping people in the background).  They recorded most of the show at the top of our race lanes 4-5. 

Alisa Milano & Dan Cortez host Beach MTV

Wayne Amsbary on Beach MTV

Alice Winter climbs to the summit!

Liz Edmunds with her picnic date

Rust family photo

Heidi & Bob


Session 5, 2009 update
Spencer Raymond's session 5 camp update in blue:
Session 5 was the second week of Monday as a counselor day off. This time a few went water skiing making some wonder: why snow ski? Rafting made it back for dinner in record time on Tuesday. The van returned at 6:10! Jakie Guy got her CDL on Wednesday and at the Picnic Mike held batting practice for himself. Staff won the softball game. The clay tennis court should be up and running soon. Friday was Andrej Jerman's last day on snow. He's getting married next week. Do they do bachelor parties in Slovenia? Because Friday night at Charlies Andrej got treated to a few drinks and shots he wasn't so sure about. Friday was the first Friday in three weeks it wasn't rainy so the bonfire was well attended. Up on the lanes coaches are trying out the new Salt Monkey. It's one of those salt blower things. Even though they've been around for awhile in the parks, John Rust was experimenting with it all week. The salt distributing is a little different for a race course and with a little alteration, it should work well. There was a fence painted blue leaning on the tree next to the door to the basement. There is a penny super-glued to the cement outside Coho main entrance.

Robin's session 5 update:
Check out the photo (and words of inspiration!) below of mhssc counselor-in-training Jaime DuPrattDarren Owen snapped this photo on his cell phone when he was at the Olympic Sports Park in Utah last week.  Session 5 was relatively uneventful.  I'm wracking my brain as to what to write about.  We had a new coach from Norway join the ranks of MHSSC employment......Atle Rolstadaas.  Atle coaches alongside former mhssc staffer Jocke Nord in the winter.  Elliot Halverson, Alice Winter, and former staffer Jordan Dykes climbed Mt Adams last week.  Bad weather rolled in and prevented them from reaching the summit.  You can see some photos of their adventure on Elliot's facebook page.  World Champion mogul skier Patrick Deneen was on the Palmer snowfield this week, as were former mhssc mogul coaches Jon O'Brien and Dave StearnsCraig Bowden returned to the mhssc coaching staff this week after a 4 year hiatus. Stu Halverson, Maks Gorman, Sean Decker, Kevin Malone and other's did cool tricks in the terrain park.  (check out a few inverted aerials photos below)  On Thursday, Scotty Veenis skied down to the first bump in lane 6 to put mustard on his sandwich and eat it.  (I told you it was a slow week for update material!)  It's time to start thinking about MHSSC employee of the month for June 2009.  Be sure to cast your vote with Robin this week for those of you that worked at least one week in the month of June this year. You CANNOT vote for Mike Annett, Lynne Annett, John Rust, or Robin Cressy. If you already left camp for the summer, you can still vote by sending Robin an email.    Michael Jackson is with Elvis now. 

MHSSC flashback to the 80's and 90's
.........in 1998, we set up a hidden "cookie cam" in the basement to catch campers taking more than their fair share of MHSSC cookies in the lunch making station.  There was a 2 cookie limit back then (each ziploc baggie contained 2 cookies)  As it turned out, the staff made up the majority of the cookie thief's.  Check out these video highlights of "cookie cam '98".  



Session 6, 2009 update
Spencer Raymond was the special guest camp update writer for sessions 1 thru 5. (Nice work Spencer!) Scott Kern has stepped up to write his version of camp staff updates for at least this week and hopefully more update in the future.......

Scott Kern's session 6 camp update in blue
It’s really starting to feel like summer as this week’s temperatures were in excess of 80 degrees and warmer than usual on the glacier, although the warm weather brings the bugs. Our staff seems to be feeling better after a plague was infecting everyone last week. The CD drive on the lodge computer has been fixed. Polly Hopkins was here this week coaching on her “vacation”. We discovered that our CIT Ryan has quite a provocative email address, buffchickenmagnet@hotmail.com and the counselors wondered if he put it on his camp application. Our new CIT Carolyn supplied cold medicine to Jay Hey this week. In other news our youngest camp employee Greg Fazekas appears to not have a confident answer to his date of birth year possibly because he was knocked out by a door in the Lodge thanks to Pat Tingle on Thursday night. Injuries this week were pretty slim besides Alex who took a slalom gate to the eye and was not accredited to Tichys new head butting drill. As we were talking about the minimal injuries on Thursday, Friday camper staff Mike dislocated his shoulder (along with another camper) and Clayton skiing moguls landed a killer 360 but hit a rough landing to destroy his muscles in his leg. Clayton decided to take the chair up crying and in immense pain and ski one ski down to ski patrol, according to him “not the best decision I have made lately, but camp was totally worth it.” Jackie Guy did some landscaping, moving the large rocks in front of the lodge and some body work to Shorty 40. We also had another accident in the parking lot with the Coke truck which backed into the basketball net. It was the video man (Robo) birthday on Thursday. Friday Chad and Scott finally got to shoot off a quarter of the fireworks they purchased last weekend in Washington. They claim Saturday will be three times better. The Scott Twins finally left after a long two weeks of battling the counselors and managed to break Tom’s alarm clock along with several other pranks. Arielle managed to lose both her wallet and keys (twice) and recovered them. THE Monster Hat was found by a collaborative effort of the staff. Mike constructed a new sifter for the clay courts to be used for the top “dressing”, he has been working diligently on the clay courts (getting better every day). Adrien and Michelle went swimming in the lake at 4am this week and Adrien was back to wake up her kids. Adrien has yet to shower at camp. Prescott McLaughlin finally has his own mailbox and there is a bet going if anyone will actually send him mail this summer. Spencer and his girlfriend came skiing on Friday.

Robin's session 6 update:
Counselor Jackie Guy (aka "Jackie dude") got lost trying to drive the campers to rockclimbing at Beauleau (sp?).  So the kids got to go on a nice scenic drive and partial hike.  Jasper Newton claimed that there were 47 spoons floating around the bottom of the jelly container at the peanut butter and jelly station.  FORTY-SEVEN!  Joe Sulpizio learned how to do 360's off of Darren Owen's mogul jump.......Joe also beat Mike Annett in a set of tennis on the mhssc clay court 6 games to 3.  Mike and Lynne's daughter Jennifer Bard and family stopped by camp for a short visit.  Picking cherries on Mike and Lynne's home property in Odell was an afternoon activity this past week.  As you can see in the first photo below, Windells ski/snowboard camp set up a giant air bag pillow thing for their campers to launch themselves into.   Jon Winslow was standing near me on the palmer snowfield on friday when he said "do you smell something burning?".......and a few seconds later, I saw smoke coming out of his backpack.  His drill battery was burning up!  Lots of coaches got a chance to run the "salt monkey" this week......see pics below.  Jay Panther is back working at camp after taking a year or two off.  Jay is a potential mogul competitor at the 2010 olympics in Vancouver, BC. 

MHSSC employee of the month for June 2009 goes to Nate Goodman and Craig Bowden.  Yes a tie in the voting!   Chad Kossar was behind by 1 vote for the bronze medal.  Also receiving votes were Michelle Schmitt, Jackie Reis, Elliot Halverson, Prescott McLaughlin, Mike Syrovatka, Jason Hey, Bill Toney, Thomas Lowney, Joe Sulpizio, Liz Edmunds, Jay Lindlaw, Mark Syrovatka, Alice Winter, Darren Owen, Spencer Raymond, Sean Decker, and Rick Millett.   The winner(s) get $75 bucks bonus check from uncle Mike.  Woo hoo!  congrats Nate and Craig!  


Session 7, 2009 update
Scott Kern's session 7 camp update in blue
Weather this week was contrary to last week, the top of Palmer in the morning was around 35 – 40 degrees and Friday had some snow/rain precipitation. The end of session 7 marks the peak of the summer enrollment. Post-update July 4th Chad and Scott set off the remainder of the fireworks in the spirit of Independence Day, however,  a low level firework misfired into the man lift/campers and whizzing past Mike and Lynne into the woods. Long time head coach and employee John Rust announced during the staff meeting that he will be taking another job in Hood River as Community Educator Director. Unfortunately Friday’s weather was not ideal for his going away party. During rafting this Thursday, Jackie Reis went to turn the key at City Park and it snapped. Fortunately we constructed a makeshift key using a key ring to get it started good thing because we did not have a spare. Matt Stinson’s CDL drive test was postponed because we had to have a special locksmith to come and make a key.  Liz left for a few days on Saturday to visit her aunt in Laguna in hopes to recover from her past couple weeks of being sick. Mike Annett got a hair cut on Saturday in Hood River while returning a rental van and wind surfing. Our trampoline now features a throw bag for “awkward tricks”. Camper Victoria (16) competed in Bonfire/ Salomon Competition on Saturday and most likely placed. At the picnic a camper promised to eat an eight meat hamburger and succeeded. Jasper Newton broke his skis in the park throwing a rodeo 540 and dismounting his bindings.


Robin's session 7 update:
John Rust has left the building...
Yeah, John's last day on the mountain was on Friday.   He'll actually be back for session 9 to coach the mhssc Smith Rocks climbing camp, but after that John starts his new job as "Director of Community Education" in the Hood River County school district.  John replaces Mike Schend, who held the position for 29 years, so he has big shoes to fill.   John has been the head coach at MHSSC since Tom Sell's departure, and has been coaching at camp since 1996.  That's 14 years!     John envisions coming back to coach a session or two in future years during his vacation weeks, so it's not like he's leaving PLANET ANNETT forever.  We had a little going away bbq party for John at the end of the day on Friday.  (See pics below) 
He'll be missed big time. 

The new mhssc head coach will be ______________?  Send your resume to Mike. 

Other camp stuff from session 7:
Jon Winslow (snowboard race coach) skied on Thursday.  There was a fight up in the Palmer unloading terminal between a camper-staff and a stratton mogul camper that was caused by a snowball fight and some name calling......both kids got their lift tickets pulled by the ski patrol.  Jasper Newton and Matt Stinson saw a rattlesnake on the trail at cliff jumping activity as they were walking toward the big cliff jump.  A camper girl in Craig Bowden's group was doing a slalom freeski drill from the top of lane 6.......she got going mock speed and flew awkwardly off the first bump like 50 feet and somehow landed it without breaking her leg.......all captured on video.  Later that day, this same girl skied the slalom course (on video) as her loose pants kept falling down and she kept pulling them back up about every 4th turn.......it was so funny to watch, that Robin the videographer (me), laughed so hard, that he fell to the ground laughing out loud in uncontrollable laughter.  Maria Schilling, former mhssc coach, came to camp for a 4-5 day visit.  Ray Dicius and Matt Brown, also former mhssc coaches, were on the mountain this past week too. Check out Polly Hopkins' new website.  Former mhssc video assistant Jeff Moore, got married yesterday to Natalie, whom he met here at MHSSC.  Part of Jeff's honeymoon vacation will be a stopover at Mt Hood, so we will see him on the mountain soon.  Craig Bowden donated his $75 employee of the month check to the bar tab at Charlies on Tuesday night, for the first ever "mhssc employee of the month party".   And co-EOM winner Nate Goodman told me that he felt like Ian Bigley greatly deserved to win the award last month. High Cascade and Windells camps both have paddle tows in their terrain parks now (see pic).  And a couple things I forgot to mention in the session 6 update last week:  Mike Syrovatka and son Mark Syrovatka both coached at mhssc during session 6......I believe this is the first time in camp history that a father/son combo has coached at camp at the same time.  I do remember that Bob Underhill and his son Matt Underhill have both coached at mhssc, but not at the same time.  And also from session 6: Darren Owen crashed HARD in the moguls during one of his video runs.    Darren said he saw "stars", and doesn't remember much from later that day (minor concussion?). I've been filming Darren hundreds of times over the years, and don't recall ever getting a Darren crash on video, even though he goes at it hard every time he rips thru the moguls.

Some old classic photos of John Rust:

More Session 7, 2009 photos:

Robin's office


Session 8, 2009 update
Scott Kern's session 8 camp update in blue
Liz dropped off a camper at the airport in his ski pants, goggles, boots and helmet. Apparently he lost his bag. Chad spent 30 hours with Nick from the time he fell and broke his leg on a GS gate through surgery, and picked up by his parent’s friends. The hospital put him up with a bed, shower (complete with J&J Baby formula) and other amenities. Nick barely showed pain and was trooper throughout the entire ordeal. J Hey admits that Nick was more put together than he was when he broke his leg. Ruby and Camper staff struck back at Jackie Guy by duct taping her mattress to the wall. Sam Wright came to visit for a few days as sad not to be here this summer. Roger Bay is back. Jackie Guy accidentally ran over Scott Kern’s ski bag in Shorty 40, flattening his helmet, chin guard, goggles, poles and sunglasses. (See picture below.) Her luck continues with Shorty 40. Matt Stinson has begun to prepare for his CDL test on Monday. Noelle sprayed the campers during the Friday meeting while washing the bus. All of Stratton left for the summer. Power steering on Bus 25 was finally fixed. Sharon Ho from Hawaii came back for more at camp after recovering from her injuries. Mothman Prophecies, Dragonfly, Equilibrium, and Spy game were added to our movie library. Carolyn Molloy, Gino, Malone and Jay left for the summer; Jasper, Adrien, and Jackie Guy are off for the week.  Spencer Raymond returns this week in the office.

Robin's session 8 update:
On Wednesday at 12 noon, we reached the half way point of summer '09.  (who cares?).  On Monday, we had some rough weather in the morning, causing Timberline to put the chairlifts on "standby".......Some of the race coaches wandered up to Timberline Lodge (the hotel) to enjoy a cup of coffee and some peace and quiet during "standby" time.  And to everyone's surprise, former MHSSC head coach, Vance Lemley appeared out of nowhere.  Vance and his wife Eva, had come up to Timberline Lodge to have dinner at the cascade dining room the night before and decided to spend the night. Vance told us he's a grandpa now.  The sun came out and the lifts opened up for all the camps around 9am.  The rest of the week was sunny and beautiful.  Mark Stegall's truck just passed the 385,000 mile mark on his odometer (he bought the truck new so all those miles are his!).  Patrick Tingle and Jackie Reis ran from Dairy Queen to the picnic.  Kelsey Baron swallowed a bug during her 6-mile picnic run on the trails of wildwood park.  A 12-year old camper broke his tibula/fibula in a GS crash on Thursday.  Counselor Chad Kossar did a 24-hour-plus hospital trip as this kid required surgery.  I heard Chad slept in the kid's hospital room on a mattress that the hospital provided.  Atle Rolstadaas's father showed up at mt hood for a visit. Atle and his dad plan on doing some traveling on the west coast for a week or so.  Mike Annett skied the GS course on Friday (see pic below).  Mike Syrovatka is the new mhssc head coach for the next few sessions.  There was a bunny rabbit hopping around camp early Friday morning (see pic below).  Mike Annett fixed the bent basketball hoop with his expertise back-hoe skills.  It's a temporary fix, as we wait for the coke truck people to pay for a new hoop.  Friday was most likely the last day we'll be able to ski all the way to the parking lot at the end of the day (unless the groomers feel like pushing some snow down there). 

Some old news that I forgot to mention in past updates:  Andrej Jerman got married back on July 4. Congrats Andrej! (send us a wedding photo)  And a 10 year old very home sick camper from session 7 was a bit out of control......I was sitting in the office with Elliot and Liz when this kid stormed in demanding to make a phone call to his mother.  As he left the office he screamed "this camp sucks"   "FUCK"  and  finished with "FUCK ALL OF YOU".......nice kid, eh? (*sorry for the "F-bombs" but I wanted to quote him accurately)  Elliot Halverson found him a flight home that night and Liz Edmunds drove him to the airport.  Former long-time adult camper Brian Case wanted me to broadcast a message out about an injury he recently suffered, in hopes of gaining some knowledge from anyone that has suffered a similar injury......in Brian's words:  Two weeks ago, I sustained a complete tear of my adductor longus and brevis tendons. They just yanked right off the pubic bone. I'm having no luck finding anyone who's done the repair surgery. It appears that most of these injuries are left alone, but I'd like to consult with a doc who's done the repair to see if that is right for me. With each passing day, however, the chance for a good repair goes down (the muscle shortens, the tissues become weaker, things adhere where they are,  calcification occurs, etc.). So, if you think it's appropriate, could you broadcast to the list a request for pointers to any docs that have done adductor tendon repairs?......if you can help Brian out, contact him here

Former 80's camper and former mhssc staffer Britta Sorensen wrote this about John Rust's departure from mhssc.
John Rust...leaving?!?  So sad!  He taught me how to rock climb, he helped me fine tune my skiing, he gave me pointers as a coach, etc. and he didn't have to do any of these things because I was not a camper.  In addition to all of these things, he was such a pleasure to be around.  He was a blast on the hill, in the bus, lodge, etc.  He always had a funny joke, liked to harass me and genuinely cared about the kids he coached.  WOW, the new head coach has big shoes to fill.  Best of luck John.  You will be missed! 
Britta (Sorensen) Scheffer - "counselor" '01 & '02 (also a camper '88 & '89, but you weren't around in those days)

Scott Kern's squished helmet


Session 9, 2009 update
Scott Kern's session 9 camp update in blue:
Weather has been nothing but warm on palmer with good snow conditions, but limited skiing to the parking lot. Tuesday on the Deschutes, four twenty year olds floated upper elevator (swimmers rapid) without life jackets and one drown. Efforts to find the body continued throughout Thursday but it has not been recovered. Our only boat on Thursday was flashed by a rather attractive blonde woman; most of the campers replied with “ewe that’s gross”, however, one twelve year old said “awesome, that made my day.” On the way to rafting Shorty 40 blew its “freeze plug” which holds in the coolant. Currently it is out of order as Mike works to repair it. Chad threw a double front flip and back flips on the trampoline. He tried to do one on our black flip learners jump and came close; he calls this week extreme week. Scott Kern did his first back flips ever off the boat on the Deschutes. Matt Stinson has been stomping back flips all week on the moguls jump. Race staff has begun to talk about the upcoming staff SL race. Pat Tingle says he’ll be prepping his skis for an hour on Tuesday night. Entries are $5 dollars to Scotty. Elliot Halverson went skiing three days in a row this week (Personal Summer Record). Tom Lowney went skiing this week; Matt DePalma also went skiing twice this week. John Rust is making an appearance at camp on Sunday night to prepare for climbing camp. Jackie R, Matt , Scott , Chad and Tom went rafting on the White Salmon (for free) with River Drifters .  Old time US Ski Teamer Katie Hitchcock skied our GS course. Our jump line is being rebuilt and “sick tabletops coming in”. Rick says he’s been an employee for four years and still has not been employee of the month. The snowmobile is broken. Liz bought Elliot new flip flops that he has been talking about buying for the past three weeks. New wings are hotter, better and smaller than ever. A lady from Fox News was here writing a report about summer ski camps. Evan Mikkelson is here for climbing camp and ran a guest meeting on Friday night. Thomas Lowney turned 21. Elizabeth Fay Edmunds went to Charlie’s for the first time this summer to celebrate. Pat Tingle is forerunning Summer Fun Nationals. Connor O’Brien says he wants to get flow going by the end of the summer. Guest Coach Mark Wolcott almost beat up some “govy-ians” for being loud at GP apparently keeping him awake into the early morning. Sam Wright visited camp for a week. Heidi Gamma is done for the summer. Jasper, Jackie Guy, and Adrien (she took four showers) come back from a week off. 


Robin's session 9 update:
A photo-journalist from Denver was at camp this week preparing a story for her news station.  She was focusing her piece on the freeski segment of camp.  Scotty Veenis rode his bike up to Timberline Lodge on Tuesday morning before work.  He said it took about an hour. (see pic).  No more free parking available outside the Wildwood Park for wednesday camp picnics.  They want everybody to pay the $5 parking fee inside the park.  On Thursday's rafting trip, a hot twenty-something age chick flashed her boobs to our campers......there were only 3 campers all about age 12, plus 3 staffers that were witnesses.  My sources tell me that two of the camper boys said "ewwwwww", while a 3rd boy said "that made my day".   Mike Syrovatka did the salt-monkey-vapor-lock dance on the hill on Thursday morning.   Tom Lowney celebrated his 21st birthday on Friday.  Matt Stinson ran 3 miles at the picnic on Wednesday, then asked if that was worthy of mention in the staff update.   There's some chatter about a possible staff ski race challenge this coming Wednesday......2 runs of slalom, $5 or $10 entry fee.......winner takes all the cash.   The trash talking has already started.  Scotty Veenis was hit in the leg with the softball (it aint that soft!) while pitching to Jason Hey, who hit the line drive right at Scotty at wednesday's picnic.  The ball went off Scotty's leg, right to first base and Jason was out.  Former mhssc video asst Jeff Moore and his new wife Natalie, visited camp mid-week as they were mid-trip on their honeymoon. (see pics)  They stayed at Timberline Lodge and managed to get a 2nd night free lodging after they complained that their room didn't have a view out their window, which was one of Jeff's requests when he booked the room months ago.   Heat wave happening in the pacific northwest right now.  Still plenty of snow left to get thru till the end.  It's about a 5-7 minute walk from the end of the snow to the parking lot right now.   Kelsey Baron, Chad Kossar, Matt DePalma and Jackie Reis (ski racing counselors) all hit Darren Owen's mogul jump this week.  (see Kelsey's spread eagle pic below).  Robert Johnson got a haircut.  He donates his hair to cancer patients, who lose their hair during chemotherapy treatments.  The race coaches fired up the gas bbq at the top of lane 5 on Friday for the 3rd consecutive week.  Yummy hot dogs were on the menu.   It's almost time to vote for mhssc employee of the month for July.  If you worked at least one session during the month of July, you are eligible to vote......see Robin to vote in person or send him an email.  You cannot vote for Mike or Lynne Annett, John Rust, or Robin Cressy. 

MHSSC flashback to the 80's and 90's
.........in about 1989 (give or take a year or two), the counselors/cooks/videographers etc were summoned to help salt the race lanes each day.  We were split up into teams of 3 and at the end of the session, the 3-person team that the coaches deemed "best salters", would receive a free dinner at the prestigious Cascade Dining Room at Timberline Lodge, courtesy of Mike Annett.  Long story short, Mike decided to reward all the 3-person salt teams with the free dinner......So there were about 15 of us there (Mike was not there).......we charged up over $1,100 in food, beverages and desserts on Mike's credit card.  Mike said later, he expected the bill to be around $400.  Lynne also commented: "well, that's the last time we do that".  

The upcoming Session 10 is declared "nice camp" (5th annual.....originally invented by Terry McLeod).  Everybody is encouraged to be more nice to each other this week.  In honor of "nice camp", here's the "free hugs" video:


Session 10, 2009 update
This is an extra long mhssc update this week.  We had a lot going on including the usual camp stuff, a staff ski race, smith rocks climbing camp, sky diving, employee of the month, & lots of photos etc.  ENJOY!   

Scott Kern's session 10 camp update in blue
Hottest week this summer, it was 102 going to the picnic on Wednesday. Rodger Bay, Craig Bowden, Jaime DuPratt, Oilver and Mike Hay are coming to session 11. Arielle learned back flips cliff jumping. Matt DePalma found a new rope swing but it did not turn out so well. The rope caught him on the way down and left abrasions on his chest and wrist. Evan summated hood on the backside route and had to self arrest slipping above the crevasse coming down the traditional route. He said it was one of his best climbs but definitely sketchy. Evan saw the sunset and lightening along with the sunrise during his summit. Wednesday’s staff race was a highlight for many. Chad was the only competitor talking smack all week how Prescott or Pat were going to DNF, surprisingly it was Chad himself who fell. Shorty 40 stalled a mile from camp and was towed to western bus sales. Tom put pickle juice in Jackie Reis water bottle at Smith Rocks. Nolan Willard got his ski pass stuck in the lift and he rode around the bull wheel. On counselor day off Scott and Chad went water skiing with Spencer and was on the news skiing due to an upcoming wake regulation vote. The other counselors went sky diving, all said was a blast. Matt DePalma forgot his license and got into an argument with the manager and kicked off the property. The employees did not let him pick up the others after they jumped.  Liz Edmunds purposely missed her flight on Sunday because she wasn’t ready to leave for the summer and went to Evans house until next Wednesday. Hopefully she will be ready to fly home on Thursday after the picnic. Ian Cary came to visit camp and drive back to Salt Lake with Matt DePalma. They are driving to San Francisco, San Diego to visit Sam Wright and then to Salt Lake. Chad Kossar, Matt DePalma, Noelle Gillis, Liz Edmunds, Kelsey Baran, Matt Stinson and Arielle Richard left this week.

Robin's session 10 update:
"Nice camp" turned into "HOT camp".  We had the hottest week in Oregon recorded history.  It was 102 degrees at the camp picnic on Wednesday, to give you an idea.  On Monday, former mid-80's staffer Andy Jacobs showed up at camp. (he's the bearded guy in the pic below).  He was at camp 1984-86.  And he brought with him a 1985 mhssc group pic (see below).  Maks Gorham cut his head on the trampoline......a very bloody mess, but Lynne Annett cleaned him up and he was good to go (no stitches required).  Some staff decided to go skydiving on their day off....read Adrien Young's blurb below about that.  The bus broke down on Friday morning on the way to the mountain, so the kids were late getting to the slopes.  After I did my picnic run (102 degree weather), a 10 year old camper said to me: "what happened to you?  You look like you're going to die".  There was a rather large house cat in the lodge basement at 5am on Wednesday morning.  The cat was digging thru one of the garbage cans.  Prescott McGlaughlin cleaned the inside of the camp dishwashing machine on Friday.   We had a first ever staff ski race on Wednesday.  2 runs of slalom.  Entry fee was $5 dollars, winner takes all the cash.  Kelsey Baron won the women's race, and Prescott McGlaughlin won the men's division.  Fuxi raced too, coming in 5th.  Complete results below.  The mhssc freeski video that I mentioned in the last update (posted by a photo journalist from Colorado), is posted on facebook.  I can't send a direct link to it, but you can go to Sean Decker's facebook profile page, and find it there.  Chad Kossar and Scott Kern went intertubing with Spencer Raymond on their day off. (see pic).  The internet modem thingy at the lodge was replaced on friday, so perhaps the internet service will improve at camp?  (I'm hopeful).   Scott Kern crashed in a GS course on Thursday, nearly taking out Jason Hey, who was video taping him at that moment. 

MHSSC Employee of the Month for July 2009 goes to Ian Bigley!  Ian is one of our terrain park diggers and everybody tells me that he "kills it" in the park.  Congrats Ian!  You get $75 bucks and your name plastered to the wall in the lodge for all to marvel at.  Taking the Silver medal in EOM voting was Darren Owen...and tied for the bronze were Jon Winslow, Prescott McGlaughlin, Liz Edmunds, and Nate Reuter.  Also receiving votes were Nolan Willard, Matt Stinson, Elliot Halverson, Luke Wendel, Jason Hey, Matt DePalma, Maks Gorham, Mike Syrovatka, Mark Syrovatka, Scotty Veenis, Kelsey Baron, Thomas Lowney, Chad Kossar, and Craig Bowden

Ian Bigley, employee of the month!

Ian Bigley, mhssc July employee of the month!


 MHSSC 1985 group pic    (photo by Brian Robb)


1986 MHSSC employee Andy Jacobs


Adrien Young's skydiving update:
Matt DePalma has some really good shots of us in our parachutes. (see below) It was me, Kelsey, Arielle, Michelle, and Peter who went. Matt got himself kicked off the premises of the sky diving place. Us girls went skinny dipping in Timothy last night. Hahaha.. but I don't know how update worthy that is.  Arielle and I hiked from the parking lot to the top of Palmer to watch the staff race. It took us two hours. Sean Decker gave us both piggy back ski rides down to the Mile where we could take the lift down.


MHSSC Staff ski race: Session 10, 2009  
2 runs of slalom          
course setter: Scotty Veenis          
start referee: Jason Hey          
Timing equipment: Mike Syrovatka        
Course maintenance: Mark Syrovatka, Andy Jacobs (80's man)  
RACE RESULTS          
Women racers 1st run 2nd run Total Time Diff.  
Kelsey Baron 41.28 44.15 85.43 0.00 GOLD
Alex Loren 44.24 45.89 90.13 4.70 SILVER
Noelle Gillis 46.13 46.13 92.26 6.83 BRONZE
Men racers 1st run 2nd run Total Time Diff.  
Prescott McGlaughlin 34.25 35.13 69.38 0.00 GOLD
Taber Engelken 35.23 35.30 70.53 1.15 SILVER
Patrick Tingle 34.73 35.86 70.59 1.21 BRONZE
Peter Jackson 36.92 36.99 73.91 4.53  
Fuxi 36.99 37.42 74.41 5.03  
Chad Kossar 41.26 37.72 78.98 9.60  
Jasper Newton 42.36 41.66 84.02 14.64  
Darren Owen 46.13 45.45 91.58 22.20  
Jon Winslow 54.71 44.00 98.71 29.33  
Connor O'Brien 36.63 DNF DNF N/A  
staff race winners!

2009 Staff Ski Race Winners: Kelsey Baron & Prescott McGlaughlin

Hottest Week in Oregon
Smith Rocks 2009
by Evan Mikkelson
Session 10 of 2009 was the birth week of the new "Smith Rocks Climbing Club."  After extensive deliberation between climbing coaches John Rust , Corey and Evan Mikkelson (me), and an enlightening consultation with Darren Owen, we decided to form a climbing "club" this year instead of the traditional  "camp" gig.  There were 18 people in the club: 10 campers, counselors Tom Lowney, Jackie Dude and Jackie ReisNate Reuter planned the food.  Nate's brother and dad, Matt and Kirk Reuter, were also members of the club, which already has it's own secret handshake and initiation rituals. Highlights of the 2009 Smith Rocks Climbing Club retreat included a tour of Metolious where we watched as John's 15 year old harness held 12.5 kN on the leg loops and about 24 kN on the belay loop (that's more than enough to hold even John).  We all peered through a blast shield as this crazy European climber scientist controlled machinery to stretch the harness.  On the way to Metolious John got a flat tire in the sweltering heat.  Evan stood guard on the margin of the busy HWY 97 into Redmond as John changed the tire.  Getting the tire changed right next to the white line with semi trucks whizzing by was by far the scariest and most dangerous part of the week.  Other events of the week included another successful Monkey's face Tyriolian traverse.  Corey and Evan aided into the mouth of the Monkey to put the belay rope and the traverse tightrope in place.  About 8 people did the traverse and 200 foot rappel, including Tom, Jackie R, and a camper's mom (Cooper's mom Dee).  Nate Reuter almost repeated last year's mid-rappel hair catching episode but luckily Nate's close shave turned out to only be figurative and there were no mishaps this year.  Thanks to a mid-summer heat wave we had Smith mostly to ourselves and never were never turned away by crowds but the heat made for some very tired campers.  One exhausted camper passed out for two hours in the grass next to the parking lot in the heat of the day.  Kirk Reuter thinks he lost 10 pounds in sweat, and also won the award for most knee blood left on the rock.  Due to the heat and a Deschutes county fire ban we didn't have a campfire at smith but back a MHSSC on friday one marshmallow starved climbing camper was able to stuff five marshmallows into his mouth and say "chubby bunny".  It sounded more like mmmsssmmlllppssmmmm.


Session 11, 2009 update
Robin's session 11 update:
On Tuesday, a 14 year old girl in Craig Bowden's group, crashed big time off the first roller in lane 6.  And yes, it was caught on video which you can watch below (via youtube).  Watch her right knee buckle, before she launches on to the top of her head, then flips back over at which time her left knee buckles.......before flipping again and sliding to a stop.  She got up and skied away with only a scratch on her forehead.  Jason Hey established a mhssc world record by pouring a 40 pound bag of salt into the salt monkey in 12.54 seconds.  (time starts when hand touches the red lid on the monkey, and ends when the red lid is screwed back on all the way tight).  Jackie Reis and Jackie Guy saran wrapped Thomas Lowney's car and Pat Tingle's skis all together up at the Coho Lodge (see pic below)......the Jackie's did this as revenge of previous pranks done to them.  When Thomas saw his car, he said he thought it was funny, but also mentioned that it was an "amateur" prank.  Connor O'Brien passed the written part of his CDL test.  Pat Tingle was running really really fast at the picnic......insane fast.  Andrej Jerman, who got married back on July 4, sent me a link to his wedding photos, which you can see here. (you can use your right and left arrow keys to quickly go from photo to photo) Those are the best wedding on-line photos I've EVER seen. Go check them out.  In Andrej's words abut his wedding day: Wedding day was awesome. We were really enjoying our time. We had great but very hot weather, so I has sweating my ass like crazy. But it was great! The atmosphere was very calm and I guess everybody how was there was having a great time. Honeymoon in Tanzania was also very nice. We were 7 day on safari seeing lots of animals and we had a chance to see the Big 5, elephant, lion, leopard, African buffalo and rhino. We went to see the Masai tribe, natives who live just like they did hundred years ago and also the Bushman. With them we went hunting. For hunt they use only a bow and arrow. Being with was really an unforgettable experience. After that we went for 4 days to Zanzibar island and in the end for another 4 days to Pemba island which is located north of Zanzibar where we enjoyed beautiful white sands beaches and warm sea. The whole trip was amazing. Take care, Andrej

And speaking of mhssc weddings, Willy Johnson is getting married today! (Sunday, August 9).  Congrats Willy!  Former staffer John Mulligan is headed to New Zealand with some of the Canadian ski team members for a month of ski race training.  Kevin Malone put together a mhssc trampoline video, which can be seen here.  The heat wave ended in the pacific northwest.  On Thursday, we had a few rain showers on the hill, and it even snowed lightly for like 5 minutes around 12 noon.  On Friday, the ride up the magic mile was intense......wind, fog, rain. Half up up the magic mile, Mike Syrovatka called down on the radio suggesting that the lifts should be not be running.  But up on Palmer it was sunny and nice....light winds.....a big time inversion.  2 significant rock slides happened on the SE side of the upper mountain on Friday.  It was impressive.  Roger Bay fired up his coleman stove for a friday hot dog cookout at the top of lane 6.   There was a giant dungeness crab on top of the Wy'East day lodge. (see pic). Fuxi skied the mogul lane (see pic).  4 more weeks of camp left.  People are still signing up for these late sessions.  Still lots of snow left.  Nolan Willard hasn't brought a lunch or water to the hill all summer, and he also doesn't put on sunscreen.  Mike and Mark Syrovatka finished up their summer at hood this week, and head to Chile in 10 days for more on-snow training.  Liz Edmunds intentionally missed her flight home last weekend.  In Liz's words: i wanted to send you pictures from when evan, tom, nate and i decided that i would not be getting on my plane home and instead drove to evan's house in eugene! (see pics below)  Michelle Schmitt and Adrien Young have a pact to go swimming in a lake every single day.  They usually end up at Timothy Lake, but sometimes go to clear lake.  Late 80's, early 90's mhssc race coach Tom Wirth sent me a photo of himself and his 2 year old daughter fishing in a lake (see below).




Tom Wirth, 2009


Session 12, 2009 update
Mother Nature was angry this week!  The photos below tell the story.  Wednesday and Friday were the worst days of the week, but the other 3 days were no picnic either.  Just a rough session of fog, wind, rain, snow, freezing mist.  On Friday, Timberline decided to close the lifts around 9am as ice was forming on the lifts and lift towers.  Stu Halverson had surgery to remove his appendix on Monday.  I didn't get the whole story, but I heard Stu is resting now in Govy and recovering so he can head home for the summer.  One of the main floor toilets in the lodge dorm room overflowed and water was leaking thru to the basement ski room.  The kids went bowling/movies or climbing at smith rocks on Friday due to the crappy weather.  Jason Hey did some impressive stunt driving when he went to pass Sean Mailey's car on dead-man's curve with another car coming the other direction.   The "whale joke" was brought back to life this week at mhssc.  The whale joke was originally told by former mhssc k-staff Micah Rome (aka "johnny waffle dropper") several years ago.  There are now rocks at the top area of our race lanes, and rocks at the bottom of the public lane...but other than that, the snowpack is hanging in there.  We have plenty left for the next 3 sessions.  I think we go to a 7:30am lift schedule this coming session, then probably bumped to 8am the final 2 weeks.  Extra sleep is a good thing. The K-staff is dwindling quickly.  Adrien Young has been recruited from the counseling staff to K-staff to help fill the void.  Former mhssc mogul coach Jon O'Brien was on the snowfield this past week, coaching some athletes from his program.  The 'crash of the decade" video posted last week, had over 200 hits in the first 24 hours.  Special thanks to Scott Kern for writing up mhssc staff updates the last several sessions.   Good work!

Friday (August 14) was the 7 year anniversary of Kees Nederhand's fatal accident on the mountain.  His memorial is still up there at lift tower 8.  It's still hard to believe that that happened here. 

Check out the coolest basketball ski pole trick EVER!  (videography by Darren Owen)


Session 13, 2009 update
Worst snow in camp history.........there, I said it.  Of course "worst" is subjective, but the snow in our race lanes has been pretty crappy for the last couple of weeks.  It's really inconsistent.....bullet proof smooth ice in spots, regular summer snow in other areas, and then there are large patches of ice cubes......it's like those roundish shaped ice cubes they put in your coke glass at a nice restaurant.  Try skiing a slalom turn over a sheet of ice cubes......or carrying two or more 40-pound salt bags over that crap without blowing your knee out!  It was really sketchy in spots.  The staff has quickly dwindled down to the bare minimum for our last 2 weeks of camp. CIT Rachel Hausmann broke her clavicle in a freak accident when her ski pole slammed into her shoulder on Thursday, so she went home a week early.  There are officially zero K-Staff left on staff for upcoming session 14.  As mentioned in the last update, counselor Adrien Young is pulling double duty, helping cook meals in addition to her counseling duties.  Adrien has the mhssc breakfast dialed in, but I think Mike Annett is going to help her out with dinners and prep......Alex Andrews is coming to camp next week as a camper.  We only had 2 race coaches on the hill this past week:  Jason Hey and Olivier Lacaille.  Setting and salting is a lot of work for just 2 guys.....they killed it all week long.  After dealing with cold wet weather session 12, the sun came back out and we had a 3-day heat wave in the Pacific Northwest.......more t-shirt weather on the mountain.  Nolan Willard thought it was the hottest day of the summer on Wednesday.  Darren Owen had 10-11 skiers in his group last week.......the ability level in his group ranged from a little girl that could barely wedge, to ripping mogul skiers that could do 720's.  Andrej Jerman sent me this youtube video link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkwh4ZaxHIA  And speaking of youtube, check out K-staffer Prescott McLaughlin at the 6 second mark of this video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAM35UFG2AY  I didn't know that little kid with the crazy hair was Prescott, until Pat Tingle pointed it out to me a couple weeks back.  As you can tell, I really don't have much to write about this week (basically nothing exciting happened at camp session 13), so I'm grasping at random youtube's and talking too much about the weather and snow conditions to fill up space.  But you know you'll just keep reading everything I write because you LIVE for these silly little updates.......right?   Somebody stole Darren Owen's ski poles from the top of lane 5 this week.  This is the 2nd time his poles have been swiped in the last month.   Timberline is no longer delivering salt to the top of our lanes.....they laid people off, so they too are short handed for the last couple weeks of summer camps.  And there is no public terrain park anymore.  Windells and High Cascade are done for the summer, so the only park left on the hill is MHSSC's park.  So yeah, it's pretty quiet up on the mountain these days, with just a handful of camps left. 

Sean Decker has been hanging at mt hood in his K2 RV, known as "Charlie".  He's going to be touring in the K2 "Charlie" RV this fall.  Check out Decker's awesome video tour of his new traveling home...


Session 14, 2009 update
14 weeks down, 1 to go.  As you can see in the first photo, we moved race headquarters from the top of lanes 5-6 to "Gilligan's Island", which is about 40 yards below the top Palmer road.  The snow at the very top of the lift is pretty thin these days.  The groomers have somehow pushed enough snow from who-knows-where, so we can still unload the Palmer chairlift with our skis on, but it's getting pretty bare up there.  The "worst snow in camp history" that I mentioned last week, finally self corrected into normal summer snow.  On Friday Roger Bay and Jay Hey fired up the coleman grill at lunch time and fed all the coaches/campers some delicious hot dogs/sausages for lunch.  We had 19 total campers.  Alex Andrews came to camp this week for some race training with her dad.  She was sort of a part-time staffer, helping out here and there when needed.  And you can see below, Gregor Druzini (sp?) and Alex posing for a photo in the top terminal.   Also late 90's mhssc staffer, Ryohei Akiyama (Yohay) was on the hill for some mogul skiing.  He lives in the Portland area these days, is married, and works at a sushi place.  He can still rip up the moguls up at age 30.  Mike and Lynne cooked up the camp dinners all week.  A nine-year old camper boy fell madly in love with a 19 year old female camper and he wrote her a big long love letter on her iphone (or something like that........I didn't get the whole story).  I rode the chairlift this week with world record for the most consecutive ski days Rainer Hertrich.  He's up to 2129 days in a row.  It will be 6 years skiing everyday come Halloween 2009.  And he's also approaching 70 million vertical feet skied too.   He plans to keep the consecutive days record going until something beyond his control stops the streak.  When Mt Hood closes on Labor Day, he jumps on a plane to South America (Chile/Argentina) to keep skiing each and every day.  Rick Millett brought his little dog on the hill this week.  There's some funny follow-cam video of his dog chasing him down the mountain.   Timberline salt crew/skier services dude, Victor Beckman, ran in the the hood-to-coast relay race this weekend.  Victor and Logan Stewart made a guest appearance at the camp picnic this week.  They ate ALOT of burgers.  There was a cool cloud above the mountain on Tuesday (see photo below)  Mike began the session 14 camp orientation meeting saying to the campers that he planned to do a lot of windsurfing and tennis this week IF nobody got hurt at camp, so he wouldn't be spending his time driving kids to the hospital.  On Friday, a girl racer, broke her leg in the GS course, and a boy snowboarder suffered a minor concussion after landing hard off a jump.  I believe the broken leg girl rode an ambulance to the hospital with counselor Tom Lowney.   Most people are downloading the magic mile chair at the end of the day these late summer days.  But Darren Owen hasn't downloaded the mile since the bad snow year of 2005.  It's about a 7-10 minute walk from the end of the snow to the parking lot.  Got an email from John Rust.  He said his new job is "go'in great", but he misses everyone at camp.  There's a rumor floating around that he's going to make a one-day guest appearance next week during adults only camp.  I beat Jay Hey in a game of H-O-R-S-E for $1 dollar on Thursday night.  He said he just wanted to go thru the experience of playing me, knowing his chances of victory were roughly 0.00001%. 

It's time to vote for mhssc employee of the month for August, 2009.  If you worked at least one week during the month of August '09, you are eligible to vote.  If you've already gone home for the summer, please vote via email, by clicking here.  (August 2009 includes sessions 11, 12, 13, 14 and the Monday of session 15). 

Next week, we wrap things up with the annual adults only session.  About 25 adults are signed up.   Last year there was a giant cooler of beer sitting next to the salad bar all week, and we had an eventful trip to the Oregon coast on a rain day.  (scroll way way down to read all about it)                       I wonder what will happen this year...


Session 15, 2009 update
GAME OVER!!  Longest summer in camp history (15 weeks, compared to the usual 14).  Kudos to the three people that worked ALL 15 sessions on the hill this summer:  Jason Hey, Mark Stegall, & Ryan Anderson.  (what about me?  Well, I missed day 1 of session 1 this summer, so I'm what they call a "short-timer").  Nothing too earth shattering happened this last week of camp '09, but here are some of my observations of the annual adults-only session.   Former staffers John Rust and Eva Gonzalez met up with some of the campers on Monday night after cliff jumping for taco night in Hood River.  John also made a guest appearance for pre-picnic rockclimbing and the picnic too.  Most of the dozen plus adult campers that went rockclimbing showed up with 6-packs of beer at the picnic. The wildwood park employees are pretty anal about closing the park gate at exactly 8pm.......Well at around 7:55pm, I looked at my watch and starting telling people "5 minutes until they lock the gate".......and sure enough only about half the adult campers, and coaches made it out on time.  Mike had to go beg the lady to come back and open the gate.  I heard that some of the adult campers got out of the van and started drinking beer while they waited.  I ran 8 miles at the picnic, tying my all time picnic distance record.  I saw 2 young couples making out on the trail during my run.....they starting laughing when I said to them "I saw that".  Adult camper "Scott" spent over $750 at Fuxi's store on Tuesday night, buying some top-of-the-line racing gear, including $200 shin-guards......this guy is an intermediate skier.  K-staffer Bill Toney returned to work the final session after leaving camp around session 5.  He and camper-staff Trenton, both received generous $ tips from some of the adults.  Former staffer Fritzy showed up at Charlies on Friday night.  On Thursday, an unexpected chunk of shitty weather put the lifts on standby. Visibility was brutal.  Roger Bay, Jason Hey and myself rode up to the top of Palmer to check it out to see if we could train.  We got up to the top around 7:45am.  The ski patrol told us they'd make a decision in 15 minutes (8am)......at 8am, they told us they'd delay the decision until 8:30am.......and so on and so forth, every half hour, until around 10am, the weather cleared and we ended up having a good day.  You can see some of the silhouette pics below of Roger and Jason Hey goofing around in the Palmer lift terminal as we waited for standby to end.  Jason Hey shaved his scraggly beard thursday night.  (see the before and after pics below).  Adult camper Janie, told me she'd order a video and add in some $ tip, if I included footage of Darren Owen shoveling snow with his shirt off.  I obliged.......well actually Darren obliged.  Another adult camper, Steve, did a funny Fuxi impression on camera.  Speaking of Fuxi, he held a raffle thingy for the adult campers.  I think everybody won something.  I went to Fuxi's store on his final day of being open, and walked away with 2 fuxi wall clocks, a t-shirt that says "Fuxi for Government Camp Mayor", a Fuxi water bottle, and a Fuxi chapstick.....all for the low low price of......free!  The snowboard campers (all 2 of them) had a mini terrain park set up at the very bottom of Palmer........one or two jumps, a box, and one rail.  Snowboard video man Ryan Anderson shot some of the video from the chairlift overhead....Ryan got very creative with the camera the last couple of sessions when we only had a few snowboard customers........Mark Stegall drove his truck up to the bottom of Palmer to collect all the terrain park "stuff" the last 2 days of camp.  Luke Wendel and his girlfriend Emily came up the last day of camp to ride.  Mike and Lynne's daughters Michelle & Jennifer, came up for a little clay court tennis tournament on the camp tennis court over Labor Day weekend.  They got rained out on Saturday morning.......not sure what happened after that.  Michelle is slowly recovering from micro-fracture then cadaver surgery on her ailing knee. Camp photographer Brian Robb, was hired to photograph at the winter olympics in Vancouver this coming winter. Former mhssc mogul coach Jon O'Brien brought a group to train on Palmer over Labor Day weekend, but the weather went to crap, so I'm not sure if they even got to ski.    The final day on snow was good.  We could still ski off the top of the lift, but as you can see in the photo below, it was getting very thin in spots. Roger Bay fired up the coleman stove one last time to serve yummy hotdogs to the campers & staff at lunch time at Gilligan's Island. So that's sort of what happened the last week of camp.   I added a photo of the mountain from session 1 below to show the drastic change from the beginning to the end...........

MHSSC Employee of the month for August went to Darren Owen!! 
2nd place was a tie between Adrien Young and Jason Hey.  Also receiving votes were Roger Bay, Jackie Reis, Michelle Schmitt, Rick Millett, Mark Stegall, and Sean Decker

Darren wanted me to pass this message on to you guys:
Last night I was informed of my Award for employee of the month. I take pride in my work thank you for your votes. I feel many people step up at Mhssc every day without recognition or thank you because we are all on the run all summer. I am thanking you now.  I would also like to thank John Rust for all of your hard work over the years. You have been a positive influence on countless Skiers, climbers and staff.  I will always miss your no thumbs up, thumbs up and your no smile, smile. Good luck!
Have a great winter everyone ( let um run )


So another summer is in the books. Thanks for being faithful readers this summer!  I hope you were entertained. I'm next headed to the Oregon Coast for a few days to relax and drink a beer.......Robin J. Cressy



BEFORE (May 24, 2009)

AFTER (September 4, 2009)


Post camp September 28, 2009 update
Hello people of mhssc staff!   Most of this post-camp '09 update is a bit dated, but you know you'll read it because you LIVE for these updates.......right?

Some basic mhssc randomness:  Jason Hey got a haircut to go along with his freshly shaven face (sorry no pics, post hair cut).  For you 80's mhssc people, you probably remember Jerry Oh.  Well Jerry is getting married in December in Los Angeles.  Congrats Jerry!  Another late 80's staffer, Lynn Gibson, is running in the Portland marathon this coming Sunday.   Sean Mailey is playing on a soccer team in Portland.   Rick Millett and Mark Stegall were still working at camp, last I heard.  Former staffer Emily Longfield  recently played H-O-R-S-E with former NBA player Brian Grant, in his driveway (he lives in the portland area).   The nice weather we've had in portland for the majority of September is supposed to be replaced with cold and rain starting tomorrow.  We might not see 80 degrees again until spring.  So sad!  Timberline Lodge is reporting that there will be no training on Palmer this Fall season due to low snow levels but a little bit of snow is in the forecast this week....And I'd like to welcome long lost late 80's mhssc staffers Steve Lawrence and Jonathan Georgeades to this newsletter.

Check out the rest of the update.......some good pics and staff updates below including weddings and babies: 

When camp ended a couple weeks ago, I spent a little time on the Oregon coast.......relaxing in the sun!

Congratulations to mhssc race coach Willy Johnson.  Willy got married back on August 8 to his now wife Jessica. Check out a few pics below, including my favorite, the hula-hoop one (have you ever been to a wedding reception that involved hula hooping?)

And another congrats goes out to former staffer Hiro Taniguchi, who recently had a baby!  In Hiro's words:
Emilie gave birth to a little boy Tora yesterday 9/9/09.  What a great day it was. He's 50cm and 3450g.  Emilie said he crapped twice this morning and everything looks good. 

Mark Stegall and Co. (Rick?) repainted all the terrain park boxes and rails GREEN once camp was over and all the stuff was brought off the hill.  Mark said we needed a new color to distinguish ourselves from some of those other camps.


End of year 2009, Happy New Year almost 2010 MHSSC update:
Hello and happy holidays MHSSC staffers from past and present!  I know it's been a good 3+ months since the last update, so it's time for a camp update, wouldn't you say? 

Today (Dec. 29) Andrej Jerman won the men's world cup downhill race in Bormio Italy! 


Andrej's crash just 10 days earlier:


Patrick Deneen won the Olympic qualifier last weekend and is guaranteed a spot at the Vancouver games.

Former mhssc staffer Tim Feeney was on the cover of the Washington Post last week:

Washington Post reader photos

Tim Feeney jumps at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. 

Jay Panther competed in the U.S. team selections a couple weeks back.  In Jay's words:
U.S. Ski Team Selections is over after a long week in Winter Park, CO.  We competed this past Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and traveled Sunday.  I am pleased with how I performed.  My four best runs were my contest runs, unfortunately I did not receive the highest scores.  I ended up 25th, 18th, and 14th overall, only making the 16 man final round, Sunday.  I competed and landed my California Roll on Sunday as well.  I now know my schedule for the season.  I will be in Park City from Christmas through the end of January.  I am excited to have that solid block of training before the North American Tour starts.  January 26th I leave for the East Coast and come back to Park City February 8th.  February 16th I leave for Canada and come back March 6th.  March 22nd-29th I am in Lake Tahoe for Nationals

Joe Reis sent me some old school MHSSC comics (Joe coached at camp back during the Reagan administration before coming back to work again at camp in recent years) The artist is Johanna Hall, coach in the 80's.

Rafting - We had just started Rafting and then as now thought it was too dangerous to throw kids who had no sense into a raft and expect that everyone would be alive at the end of the trip.  For a few Friday night meetings Mike let me do a safety talk but that was short lived...

Lynne - Lynne was the video person before you.  She was always wary of someone hitting her and hurting her knee again.  One day I came down ahead of my group, hip checked and came close to taking her out.  You can imagine the look on her face.  I think I still have the video with her not happy comments on it.

Becky and Dave - Dave Martin coached with us one or two years and his wife or fiancé worked in the kitchen.  The coaching staff got the usual meals except Dave.  Sometimes Becky would create something special for him - we were awfully jealous!


Ray Dicius and I drove buses this year. Anyway, one day Ray was bringing kids back to Snow bunny after soccer in Welch's and was about up to where the bridge crosses over to Golden Poles.  A drunk driver in a pickup came screaming up behind the 15 MPH bus and rammed into the rear of it.  The State Police took the guy into custody and Ray drove the bus onto Snow bunny. 

Mike Annett has been coaching the mhssc winter camps alongside daughter Jennifer Annett-Bard.  It's good to see Mike back out there on the hill with a bundle of gates, a drill, etc coaching away.  Mark Stegall has been coaching the snowboarders and the freeskiers. 

Former MHSSC cook Michelle Schmitt turned 21 last month.......her and AJ Crocker talked me into joining them at "The Cosmo Lounge" in SE Portland for her birthday bash.  They were funny!   Michelle is attending school in Vancouver, BC.........AJ is going to school @ Portland State University.

Bill Whalley made the news in Hawaii:  Read the article by clicking -->> here

Rogan Connell is engaged!  Congrats Rogan! 

That's all I have.  Not much actual camp news.  It's snowing in Portland as I write this.  There might be a solid 1-inch of snow on the ground at my place......enough to create a panic in this town. Happy New Year!