Saturday, February 8, 2014
After overcoming challenges with both lack of funding and snowpack this winter, the Hood River Valley Snowboard Team is officially back in action and ready for an abbreviated season of Oregon Interscholastic Snowboard Association competition. In addition to having a strong turnout of 16 snowboarders to fill the roster, the team’s prayers for snow seem to have been answered this week, as the slopes of Mount Hood are forecast to get up to a couple feet of snow in the next several days.
The team has four Gorge League events before the state competition, scheduled for March 12-16 at Mount Bachelor. First up is slopestyle Feb. 14, followed by boardercross Feb. 23, another slopestyle March 8 and halfpipe March 9.
Returning head coach Phineas England said gearing up for this season has been a challenge due largely to the being a club and not an official high school sport.
“That means we don’t get funding from the school and have to come up with it ourselves,” he said earlier this winter. “For a while it looked like we weren’t going to have a team this year, but some volunteers stepped up to help get things going.”
England said it’s hard to predict how individuals on the team will measure up to the rest of the state, but that he expects his riders to perform well in league action despite having a shortened season due to a dismal winter thus far. To the team’s advantage, despite having very limited snow to work with, Mt. Hood Meadows has had multiple parks to practice on for much of the season.
Last season the team swept Gorge League action by claiming several individual titles and overall boys and girls team titles and brought home a girls’ first-place team trophy in the halfpipe and second-place team trophies in boys halfpipe and slopestyle.
“Some of our best riders from last year are no longer with us, but we have some good young talent ready to fill their shoes,” England said. “It’s always fun to see how the kids step up to the occasion when they face the pressure of competition.”
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge