Lack of snow sends snowboard team north

Ashland, Ore.- Every week the Ashland High School snowboard team heads up to Mt. Ashland ski area for practice. But not tonight.

“We’re not snowboarding, I don’t know what else to say about that,” Brian Jimenez, Ashland High School snowboard coach said. “It’s incredibly painful, all of us love to snowboard. We are behind two months where other leagues have had two months of practice.”

The mountain was only open for eight days, before the warm weather forced it to close.

“Every day that they were operating one of the coaches were up there,” Jimenez said.

Now, instead of shredding the slopes they’re trying to find creative ways to practice without snow.

“Been going to the ice rink, we went to Rogue Air (Trampoline) Park to get on the trampolines and try to get some air awareness,” he said.

But with warm temperatures, and no new snow in sight they’re running out of ideas, and out of time.

“We’re force to have to move our operations to Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hood pretty much the remainder of the year until snow starts falling locally,” said Jimenez.

Not only does the team have to travel far to practice but it also has to pay out of pocket.

“It’s a little pricey,” he said.

But it’s a price they’re willing to pay to compete in the sport they love.

“Praying for snow, and staying positive and having a good time,” Jimenez said.

The team has won the Oregon State Championship four years in a row. They have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover their traveling fees and other unexpected expenses. If you’d like to donate, you can find more information here.

NBC5 News reporter Karen Tang graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in communications and a master’s in journalism.

Before coming to Medford, Karen was an intern at WUSA9 and NBC News Channel in Washington D.C.

During her time in Maryland, Karen was an NCAA Division I student-athlete on the Maryland gymnastics team. She competed against Big Ten universities and made the Big Ten All-Championship team.

When Karen isn’t reporting, she’s at the gym working out, taking pictures with her dog Boomer and searching for the best food in Southern Oregon.

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