Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What age campers do you accept?
A. We welcome males and females ages 9 to 20 at Youth camp. Adult camps are for ages 21 and up. The Workshops are designed for ages 13 and up.
Q. What’s included in the cost of camp?
A. Everything but airfare (Each camper is responsible for booking their own flight into and out of the Portland Airport on the first and last day of their session between 8am and 4pm).
- Transportation from the Portland Airport and back
- Demo equipment (2014 Snowboards, boots, and bindings)
- 24-hour SuperVision™
- Snowboard lift tickets
- Snowboard coaching
- Access into our two private snowboard parks and skateboard parks
- 3 meals per day (spending money is recommended, $50-$75 per session for drinks & snacks)
- All camp activities (including whitewater rafting, paintball, etc)
Q. Snowboarding in the summertime – are you for real?
A. Yes, we are… Timberline’s Palmer Snowfield hosts North America’s only lift-operated summer snowboarding. They have snow 365 days a year and have been running their lifts for summer skiing for over twenty years. High Cascade has been running snowboard camps on Mt. Hood since 1990, and we’ve never run out of snow.
Q. What makes High Cascade better than the other camps?
A. 100% Snowboarding – HCSC is the only summer camp in North America that is for snowboarders only. It’s not that we don’t like skiers, but snowboard culture is unique. Our parks are 100% built by snowboarders with snowboarder’s wants and needs in mind.
Best Snow - Timberline (Mt. Hood) is the only summer snowboard area in the United States and the only one in the world that allows moderate usage of salt. The salt preserves our facilities and allows our campers to ride longer in the day and into the late summer. Salt is our way of combatting the hot sun taking all our snow.
Best Facilities – Pat Malendoski, designer and builder of the 2002 Olympic halfpipe in Salt Lake City, designs and builds HCSC’s exclusive private facilities. Our park is groomed nightly and meticulously hand-maintained throughout the day providing the very best in freestyle snowboard facilities.
Best Weather – Of the few places in the world where you can snowboard in the summer, Mt. Hood has the most sunny, warm days of them all.
Best Employees – When it comes to staff, we have the cream of the crop. Our employees are better paid, better trained, better respected and better rewarded than any snowboard camp staff. Every staff member passes required drug testing, criminal background checks, is CPR/First aid certified and receives over a week of intense training prior to the start of camp. Roughly 50% of our staff are college graduates, while the other half is working their way through school or chasing their dreams in snowboarding, skateboarding, and endless other passions. Over 80% of our staff return to work at High Cascade each summer.
Closest Camp to Mt. Hood - HCSC is the closest camp to Timberline (Mt. Hood). This means less time spent in a van, and more time having fun.
Q. What is the difference between The Lodge and The Chalets lodging options
A. The Lodge (Only open to boys ages 13-17)
The Lodge is the epicenter of camp life. There’s never a dull moment since it’s where we all meet to go snowboarding each morning, do afternoon activities, see shows, BBQs, etc. Out the front door is the skate park, and out the back door is Trampoline land. The Lodge sleeps 60 boys, with 12-24 boys per bunk room.
Do your research and you’ll find that our Chalet lodging option is the best snowboard camp lodging out there. These mountain style vacation homes sleep approximately 10-16 campers and are separated by age and gender. (young boys chalets, young girls chalets, older boys chalets, older girls chalets, adult chalet, etc.) Each room sleeps approximately 2-8 campers.
Q. What skill level do you need to be to attend HCSC?
A. All skill levels are welcome. All our full-time summer coaches are required to take an AASI level one certification course, ensuring that they are qualified to teach all levels of snowboarding—from complete beginners to experts. Our Soft Start™ program has been specifically designed for never-evers and those who have only tried snowboarding once or twice.
Q: How does it work with so many different ability levels at each session?
A. Campers are placed into small coaching groups with 6-8 campers per coach. These coaching groups are based on ability levels, so that you feel comfortable progressing with riders of similar ability. Before you come to camp you’ll fill out an ability questionnaire which will help us place you in the best possible coaching group. It is important that you fill out the ability form accurately so that you placed in a group appropriate for your ability. If you end up in the wrong group we can move you to a new group as needed.
Q. Which session is the best session to attend?
A. There is no ‘best’ session. Each session has different Signature Session™ Pros, but other than that, you get the same great value Session 1 through 6. Our parks have consistent snow coverage all summer long due to their higher up location on the mountain. The loss of snow as the summer progresses is seen mainly in the public areas of the resort, not in our parks. The majority of the campers at High Cascade spend 99% of their time in our private parks, so the public terrain available isn’t much of factor to most campers. We do recommend that beginners attend Session 1-4, as that is when Soft Start™ is offered and there is more beginner terrain available.
Q. Do campers ever stay for more than one session?
A. Yes, many campers stay for multiple sessions. Special supervised activities are planned for our stay-over campers. The campers will not be snowboarding due to our private park being shut down for maintenance. There is a $100/day charge for in-between days to cover supervision, lodging, meals ,and activities. All in-betweens are two days.
Q. What’s the weather like on Mt. Hood?
A. The weather on Mt. Hood is generally very nice but can be unpredictable. When snowboarding at Mt. Hood in the summer it is best to layer up as the mornings can be brisk and the afternoons warm. (The first session during the beginning of June may be colder and require heavier gear.) Late in the summer the temperatures in the village of Government Camp can reach over 90 degrees. The majority of the time it is shorts weather, but be sure to pack pants, sweatshirts and additional layers for cool evening weather and varying on-snow conditions.
- Check out conditions at Timberline, the ski area where our private parks are located.
- Check out weather in the village of Government Camp, where you’ll spend your off-snow time.
Q. Should I bring my snowboard and skateboard?
A. It is up to you! You can bring your own snowboard equipment and helmet if you have them—especially if you are comfortable with your setup. HCSC has a full Demo center with complimentary 2015 snowboards, boots and bindings from our sponsors to demo if you would prefer to try something new. All demo equipment is FREE to campers and you can ride the same set-up all session long, or try out new stuff each day. Using demo equipment is a great idea if you don’t want to hassle with checking a board bag or pay extra baggage fees. If you would like to skateboard, please bring a skateboard and helmet. We do not have demo skateboard equipment.
Q. What should I bring to camp?
A. See the list of what to bring in the Camp Guide.
Q. What airport should I fly into?
A. Portland International Airport. Portland, Oregon. Airport code: PDX.
Q. How far is High Cascade from the Airport?
A. About a one-hour drive.
Q. When should I arrive for my session?
A. Please make plans to arrive on the first day of your session. The first and last days of each session are travel days, and there is no snowboarding. If you are flying, please book flights to arrive on the first day of your session at PDX between 8am and 4pm and to depart on the last day of your session between 8am and 4pm. Flights booked outside this window will be charged a transportation fee.
Q. How are youth campers supervised?
A. Experienced adult counselors live in camper housing with campers. A maximum of ten campers are assigned to each counselor for campers 15 or older. For campers under age 15, each counselor is assigned to eight or fewer campers. All activities on-snow and off-snow are supervised at a maximum ratio of eight campers per staff member. HCSC employs a full-time registered nurse who is on call 24 hours a day.
Q: What is your policy on drugs and alcohol?
A. We enforce a zero tolerance policy at High Cascade when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Any camper caught having anything to do with drugs or alcohol at camp will be sent home.
Q. What happens if a camper gets hurt?
A. We have a nurse on-site 24 hours a day. If your child is sick or injured our nurse will assess the illness or injury to determine if additional outside care is needed. If a camper needs to go to a hospital, they will most likely be transported to Hood River Memorial Hospital, which is about 45 miles from camp.
Q. What does ‘Grom’ mean?
A. Short for ‘grommet’ this term was once a way to describe young surfers, but now has crossed into snowboarding, skateboarding and other ‘action sports’. Basically it’s endearing term for the ‘younglings’ participating in action sports.
Q. What is your ‘Grom Program’?
A. The Grom Program at High Cascade is our way of accommodating our campers, ages 9-12. Although campers mature at different ages, we’ve recognized that our youngest campers ages 9-12 need more supervision and structure than our older campers. Extra check-in points, smaller SuperVision™ ratios, and earlier curfews are just some of the ways our groms are accounted for at camp. Each session there is a minimum of one Grom Chalet.
Q. What is ‘HCSC Girl’?
A. HCSC Girl is optional all-girl camp programming promoting a fun, relaxed environment within the co-ed setting of our camp. High Cascade may be a co-ed camp, but sometimes it’s nice for girls to do their own thing in a supportive all-girls environment, especially since there are quite a few more guys than girls at camp.
As far as off-hill activities go, each session we have several afternoon/evening “All Girls/Only Girls” Activities. Some of the past activities have been Roxy Night, Bonfire S’mores parties, Burton activities, All-Girls Skateboard Clinics, All Girls Mountain Biking, Guest pro Q & A’s and so much more! All Sessions feature optional HCSC Girl programming. If you’re more of a guys’ girl, you won’t be forced into any of the all-girls activities you don’t want to do.
Q. Are cell phones allowed?
A. Yes, campers are allowed to bring cell phones. All major cell phone providers receive service on Mt. Hood, and are permitted at camp. Grom campers (campers ages 9-12) must turn in their cell phones at bed time to aid with homesick prevention and interrupting other campers’ sleep.
Q. What is The Staff Sale?
A. Each session High Cascade’s staff and visiting pros sell their new and used gear at the legendary Staff Sale™. It’s kind of like a snowboard flea market – deals of the century can be found on new and used boards, boots, bindings, goggles, clothes and accessories. Since this is a flea market setting with staff members selling their personal items, only cash is accepted. Amounts of cash ‘needed’ for the camp sale ranges anywhere from $0-$500 depending on what you’re shopping for.
Q. How much spending money is needed?
A. All meals and activities are included in the cost of camp so the only extra spending money you may want would be for snacks and drinks and for any extra shopping. $50-$75 would be more than sufficient for snacks and drinks for a session.
Read more about spending money at camp in the Camp Guide
Q: Does High Cascade offer Travel Insurance?
A. High Cascade recommends Assurance Solutions, Inc. for our campers’ travel insurance. Call Assurance Solutions, Inc. at 502-762-9185 or www.protectmytrip.net. Travel insurance will repay lost deposits or tuitions, flight costs, and even pays some medical expenses.
Q. What is the deposit required to register?
A. Online registrations require a $500 deposit with a VISA or MASTERCARD. If you would like to pay by check, please call 800.334.4272 to register over the phone.
Q. When are final payments due?
A. All payments must be received in full no less than 30 days before the start of your session. Failure to pay in full by this date may result in removal from the session and is subject to a $200 cancellation fee. All registrations on or after June 1st require payment in full. For certain situations, payment extensions can be granted when pre-arranged and authorized.
Q. How do I register?
A. You can register online with a VSA or MASTERCARD or over the phone if you’d like to pay with a check or you do not have internet access.