Ski and board enthusiasts of all ages and skills attended Saturday’s Winter Gear Swap, hosted by Hood River Valley High School downhill and freestyle ski teams.
“It’s a kickoff for the season and a great fundraiser for the high school ski team,” said ski team coach Jesse Scroggins. “It’s what we get most of our revenues from to hire coaching and pay for equipment for the rest of the season. This is a great fundraiser and we put a lot of effort and it’s very successful year after year.”
Scroggins added, “The snowboard team is starting to grow; we bring them and the Nordic athletes in as partners, they volunteer with the event and get a part of the proceeds.”
Gear came from vendors and consignment, with some attendees paying a premium admission price to get first-crack at selection.
“We’re making the change from Cooper Spur to Meadows, so there’s more equipment involved,” said Seth MacPherson, who with his wife, Caroline, found a full array of gear for their daughter, Eve, a freshman.
Heather Patt of Trout Lake, said she was thinking good thoughts about snow, while buying first-year gear for her daughter, 10.
Luke Watson was there to find helmets and other gear for his two children.
What was left over from the same consignors came back to reclaim, while some leftover gear is taken on by 2nd Wind Sports in Hood River for sale with the rest of consignment merchandise in their store, with proceeds going back to the snow sports teams.
“It’s been a continuous circle where 2nd Wind has been great about taking stuff and helping the ski team out,” Lamer said. Scroggins and event coordinator Leslie Lamer said the event looked well on its way to meeting the annual $15,000 goal.
“It feels better than last year. We really focused on getting the word out this year better,” Scroggins said. Lamer noted that in 2018 the event happened on the day Mt. Hood Meadows opened for the season.
“We’re pretty busy, and lots of people are happy,” she said.
The event had a real start-of-winter vibe. Scroggins noted that the forecast is for snowfall this week.
“It can come in bunches. I never get worked up about it. It gets here when it gets here.
“We’re scheduled (as a team) to start Dec. 2 on the snow, so we still have that time to find that base.”
Dry land training starts
Scroggins said he expects about 30 skiers this year between race and freestyle.
Despite no snow, the team is busy working out, four days a week in what is called dryland training.
This involves two days working with weights and two days of outdoor training.
“We try to keep them busy,” Scroggins said. “Outdoor training involves a warm-up, anaerobic stuff with fun games like relay races with different types of exercises that coordinate you toward the skiing part of things, working with balance and position and flexibility but with an anaerobic component and then finish up with a fun game of frisbee or soccer.”