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Tested in Oregon

SKI spent a week in late June putting all-weather gear to the test at Timberline and Hood River.

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It seems like Mt. Hood is the center of the ski-universe this summer. From Lexi DuPont to Chris Davenport to the U.S. Ski Team, there is no shortage of big names stopping by the lanes of Timberline’s Palmer Chair to snag some much-needed turns under the summer sun—or, as is common in the Pacific Northwest, a little bit of cloud cover and precipitation, too.

Some of the SKI Staff was fortunate enough to head to Timberline Lodge in late June to get some last-minute gear testing in before the production of SKI’s print run heats up. We were able to test a batch of next season’s carving skis for the December 2020 issue (subscribe now to make sure you see the results first), take some backcountry gear to the summit of Oregon’s highest mountain, and roll around on the trails of Post Canyon. Here is some of the gear that made the trip complete.

The North Face Summit L5 LT FUTURELIGHT Jacket

The North Face Futurelight Summit LT Jacket
The North Face Summit L5 LT Jacket in meld grey.Photo courtesy of The North Face

The Summit Series uses a type of Futurelight, TNF’s proprietary waterproof and breathable fabric, designed for alpine climbing. This means the Summit L5 LT jacket is super thin, very breathable, and has just the right amount of stretch. I wore this jacket in some unfrozen precipitation at Timberline, and, while riding the chairlift, I watched happily as water droplets rolled right off the jacket. The following day, under blue skies, gusty winds, and warming conditions, I wore the Summit L5 LT over a baselayer and maintained the perfect temperature touring up to the summit of Mt. Hood, and kept perfectly cool as I skied down. I still have some long-term testing to do, but for now, this jacket was a highlight of my time in Oregon. 

Dynastar Speed OmeGlass Master SL R22

Dynastar Omeglass Master SL
The Dynastar Speed OmeGlass Master SL R22.Photo courtesy of Dynastar
  • Lengths: 158, 163, 168, 173
  • Sidecut: 121-67-105
  • Radius: 12m (163)
  • MSRP: $900

The hum of Timberline in the summer is the race camps. From little groms to Steven Nyman (heal up quick!) and everyone in between, there seems to be a racer from every corner of the U.S on the Palmer chairlift working on getting to the next level. I never raced while growing up—while freeskiing in high school and college, I barely even turned—so race camp culture was something completely foreign to me. While I can’t give you a full review of these skis as they were entered in the Carving Ski Test (the results will be published in SKI’s December 2020 issue), I can say these were the only true-slalom skis entered, and I had a blast on the tiny 12-meter turn radius bashing imaginary gates while pretending to be Dave Ryding in the 2017 Kitzbühel Slalom. These skis were so fun, I almost feel the need to sign up for a Master race next winter, just to see if I’m actually missing out on racing. Almost. [$900,]

Voormi High-E Hoodie

Voormi High E Hoodie
The Voormi High-E Hoodie.Photo courtesy of Voormi

Whether I was getting ready for an early morning mountain bike ride in Post Canyon or relaxing after a day of skiing at Timberline Lodge’s Rams Head Bar, there was hardly a moment I didn’t keep the Voormi High-E Hoodie nearby in Oregon. The surface hardened thermal wool material has all of the great temperature-regulation capabilities of wool but is also water- and wind-resistant. Convenient, well-designed pockets and hidden thumb loops made keeping pen and paper for note-taking handy, and the hood is perfectly engineered to be both functional and comfortable. The balaclava-style high-zip was the only feature that left me confused as to how it could be useful, but a chilly night camping on the drive back to Colorado had me grateful for the high-zipper coverage to both stay warm and keep mosquitos at bay. [$229,

Saxx Blacksheep 2.0 Boxer Briefs

Saxx Blacksheep Boxer Brief
Saxx Blacksheep 2.0 Boxer Briefs.Photo courtesy of Saxx

The thing about summer skiing is that full-length baselayer bottoms can just be too much. I decided to free my knees but keep Saxx’s stretchy performance Merino where it counts by using the Blacksheep Merino boxer briefs. The natural Merino wool regulates temperature and wicks moisture better than any material out there, and Saxx’s signature BallPark pouch provides support in places you never knew you needed support. The company also redesigned the waist to be more comfortable and cover more ground than prior versions, something that was especially appreciated during the hike to the top of Mt. Hood. [$45,]

Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104

2021 Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104
The 2021 Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104Photo courtesy of Black Diamond
  • Lengths: 166, 172, 178, 184
  • Dimensions: 132-104-108
  • Turn Radius: 22m (178)
  • Weight: 3 lbs 3 oz. (178)
  • MSRP: $880

The Black Diamond Helio Carbon 104 was entered into SKI’s Backcountry Ski Test, and a full review will be published in the 2021 Gear Guide (subscribe now to make sure you get a copy!). But I will tell you now that from the 11,250-foot summit of Mt. Hood back down to the base of Timberline, these skis impressed. The key things that stood out about the Helio Carbon 104: On the uphill, they are very lightweight for a ski this wide, which was a key factor in making it to the summit quickly. From the summit back to Timberline Lodge, I faced still-frozen ice, perfect corn, and sloppy slush. Thanks to a paulownia core and pre-preg carbon laminate, the Black Diamonds ate up the conditions with gumption and, even with generous rocker, remained chatter-free at high speeds throughout. These are not the only data points we’ll use for the full review in the Gear Guide (did I mention you should subscribe?), but the ski was certainly pretty great in Oregon. [$880,]

Mons Royale Temple Tech Hood

Mons Royale Temple Tech hoodie baselayer
Mons Royale Temple Tech Hoodie for men.Photo courtesy of Mons Royale

This super lightweight baselayer from Mons Royale has the brand’s Merino Air-Con fabric, which is essentially wool-wrapped nylon with a touch of elastane. This offers the comfort and temperature management of wool and combines it with the durability of nylon plus the ideal amount of stretch from the elastane. The top is plenty warm, and I was very comfortable in brutal weather conditions on the chairlift. The back of the Temple Tech Hood also has micro-perforations, which helped keep my body’s temperature at the perfect spot while hiking to the summit of Mt. Hood. This baselayer is definitely one of my go-to items for any adventure in the mountains right now. [$130,]

Cusa Lemon Dark Roast Cold Brew Coffee

Skiing in the morning, post-test discussions, and riding mountain bikes in the afternoon called for long days and much-needed coffee breaks. I was skeptical of Cusa Tea and Coffee’s Lemon Cold Brew flavor at first, but by the end of the trip, it was my favorite version of their single-use instant coffee options. The coffee has minimal bitterness as it’s cold-brewed before being dehydrated, and the addition of real lemon adds a unique and enjoyable zing that pepped up my afternoons perfectly. Cusa Lemon Dark Roast Cold Brew coffee has since become a staple to my afternoon routine, it’s probably only a matter of time until you add it to yours. [$7.50 for box of 7 Sachets;]

Yeti Trailhead Camp Chair

Yeti Trailhead Camp Chair
The Yeti Trailhead chair in Grey.Photo courtesy of Yeti

My favorite place to enjoy the Cusa Coffee was in this incredible throne from Yeti. The FlexGrid Fabric is more supportive and comfortable than any chair I’ve ever sat in, including my office chair (perhaps I’ll start using the Trailhead chair there too). Yes, it is a little more expensive than something you might find at a generic superstore, but like all things Yeti, it’s built to last and practically indestructible. Best of all, the oversized cupholder was rarely empty in Oregon thanks to the great beer options in Hood River, the Cusa Coffee, or just a regular water bottle. This chair is an investment, but the returns have been phenomenal so far. [$300,]

Bonus: Mountain Bike Gear

Jon Jay riding Post Canyon trails
SKI Digital Content Editor Jon Jay rides Post Canyon trail.Photo credit: Lucas Herbert

While summers at Timberline are usually pretty sunny and warm, we did face one down day due to weather. With the Timberline bike park still closed during our visit, the SKI Mag crew drove one hour north to the world-class trails of Post Canyon, outside of Hood River. We connected with the good folks at Discover Bicycles for some sweet demos, but I decided to bring some gear to test on the trails, too.

Sweet Protection Bushwacker II Helmet

Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II helmet
Sweet Protection Bushwacker II HelmetPhoto courtesy of Sweet Protection

While I was fortunate enough to not have to test its impact resistance, I can say that the Sweet Protection Bushwacker fit my large head like a dream, was light enough to pack without issue, and looks great to boot. The Norwegian brand’s helmets, from skiing to biking to river sports, all seem to meet and exceed in these critical criteria. With simple and intuitive adjustments and optional MIPS versions, the Bushwacker impressed and I’ll continue to wear it throughout the dry months back in Colorado. [$220 with MIPS, $190 without;]

Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts

Patagonia Dirt Craft Shorts
Patagonia Dirt Craft Shorts in Camo.Photo courtesy of Patagonia

There is just something about Patagonia’s mountain biking chamois that is better than anything else I’ve ridden in. The Dirt Craft shorts feature that chamois in a removable liner for easy cleaning, but when worn together they perform seamlessly on the climbs and descents. At Post Canyon, the berms and jumps demand flawless bike short performance, and the Dirt Craft delivered. Did I mention that the chamois is phenomenal? [$159,]

Flylow Shaw Shirt

Flylow Shaw Shirt
Flylow Shaw Shirt.Photo courtesy of Flylow

As Hood River is a world-renown kiteboarding location, it’s worth noting that the Post Canyon biking area sees its fair share of cool wind. I was glad I brought along the long sleeve Shaw shirt from Flylow to maintain a solid temp while my riding partners shivered in short sleeves. With a loose fit, comfortable stretch, and UV protection, this might be the perfect shirt for biking, hiking, and even ski touring throughout all of Oregon, not just Hood River. [$75;]

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