A whole lot of kids, a whole lot of snow and a meaningful competition for Central Oregon high schoolers.
Hoodoo Ski Area is hosting the for the first time in more than 20 years.
On Wednesday, 250 students from more than 53 high schools around Oregon descended on Hoodoo to prepare for the big event on Thursday and Friday.
It’s the fourth and final year of competition for Sisters High Senior Corbin Fredland.
“Senior year, home mountain, feeling lots of pressure,” he said.
In his last races, family and friends will finally get to watch him compete as he shreds the slopes on his home turf. He’s placed in the top three in almost every race in his league this year. The Emerald League consists of 18 schools around the state.
“I feel kind of honored that we were able to host this year’s race, given that we haven’t done it before,” Fredland said. “So it’s kind of a honorable thing, I think, for our team to finally get a chance to show off our mountain.”
“Last year, a couple of the leagues from up around Portland and Mount Hood came and held one of their league races here at Hoodoo. They had a really good time and they proposed at the end of last season, hey, could we have the state championships here at Hoodoo?” said Gabe Chladek, the Programs Director at Hoodoo and the head coach for the Sisters High ski team.
The Outlaws have their largest ski team to date this year, with 33 skiers taking the lifts.
“It feels like a little nerve racking because, like, you have to kind of keep up with like a persona I guess and make sure that you’re really hosting well,” said Sophomore Tallis Grummer.
Grummer has placed in the top three in every race in the league this season, the result of the 8-15 hours of training the team undergoes each week.
Although this year’s competition might be their home mountain, you won’t see this team slacking.
“We’re definitely here to compete,” said assistant coach Natalie Grummer, also Tallis’s mom. “Our boys team last year ended up in the top three, and our top boy racer ended up as the state champion. So, you know, we have some of that pressure coming to us.”
Pressure also reflected on the course, with a bed of new snow making it less ideal for competition.
“I’m hoping to get top five and maybe top three if I’m lucky,” Fredland said. “But who knows? We’ll see. It’s soft snow, interesting conditions. Anything can happen.”
Those attending the races on Thursday and Friday will need a lift ticket in order to watch from the starting line, but you won’t need one to watch from the finish line on the ground.
You can find more information about the event on the race’s website here.