Summer Skiing Kicks Off At Mount Hood

Greg Limeberry

Mount Hood in Oregon

Each year on the longest day, a group of die hard ski bums make their way to Illumination Rock on the southwest side of Mount Hood. The destination is the site of the annual Illumination Saddle solstice celebration that serves as the unofficial beginning to the mountain’s summer ski season, Powder reports.

The destination is appropriate. At 9,500 feet, the ballast outcropping is known for catching the last of the afternoon sunlight and scattering the light, thus the name. So what better place to spend the longest afternoon of the year than Illumination rock. Besides the views, there is a conveniently placed ski pitch on the mountain’s south side.

The yearly event was began by Asit Rathod, an avid skier and famous partier out of Portland. This years event reportedly involved a “serious jump-building mission” on the part of the Home Grown crew made up of Tommy Ellingson, Josh and Mike Larkin, and Rhonda Shaheen. The crew took advantage of the late evening light with a succession of both-way 360s, backflips and saddle jumps.  All of this goes right until sunset at around 9pm, when the real party begins. The whole party made its way down firm, crisp snow back to the Timberline Lodge.

The Illumination Saddle solstice celebration is held every year on the longest day of the year. Learn more at Powder.