FHC skiers showcase their passion in Mount Hood, Oregon


This summer, junior Grace Kline found herself looking down hundreds of feet from the top of a 4,000-foot mountain. Teetering on the edge with her poles gripped tightly in her hands, she released any fears and with mighty force, counted down to zero and pushed herself down the mountain.

Whizzing past everything around her with her eyes solely focused on her path ahead, Grace conquered Mount Hood, Oregon. Immediately after reaching the bottom, she returned to the ski lift, traveled up hundreds more feet, and proceeded to do it all over again.

Along with fellow juniors Myah Leavenworth and Courtney Mcalindon, all three avid skiers traveled over 2,000 miles West to experience skiing like no other. This unparalleled experience taught them so much about their sport but did not come without hard training.

“Before this trip, we did have to do a lot of preparation,” Grace said. “I’ve been skiing for eight years and racing for the past two. But when you have a passion for [skiing], it really doesn’t feel like work because you do enjoy it.”

For Courtney, her training had taken place over the past 10-12 years of her life. Ever since she can remember, skiing has been apart of Courtney’s life. Her immense experience gave her the capability to both vastly improve her skills and to master Mount Hood.

Even with the girls’ experience and passion, this trip could not have taken place without the Boyne Racing Club. Every summer, the club- based in Northern Michigan- takes a group of enthusiastic skiers out West. Dubbed “the best summer training venue in the world” by Boyne Racing, the club promises improvements in skiing every second that participants are in Oregon.

“I really worked on my basics for the entire trip,” Courtney said. “Even though the skiing is always so fun every year, there was a lot more snow this year. That made it a really good trip, skiing-wise.”

Although this was Courtney’s third trip, Grace and Myah were newcomers to this experience. Going into a completely new setting to ski took some adjustment, but it was both exciting and thrilling for them.

“I didn’t really know what to expect going in,” Grace said. “But the skiing in Oregon was better than what we have in Michigan. It was steeper and icier in the morning. But by the afternoon, the snow loosened up, making for really good conditions.”

Apart from the daily skiing, Courtney, Grace, and Myah also had the chance to explore their surroundings. Staying in a hostel with other dedicated skiers, they got to meet new people who had similar interests and all shared the same passion.

A favorite pastime while they were there was exploring the sights to see around them. Some of their best memories were actually made off the slopes. They even incorporated soccer, another one of Grace’s passions, into their trip by seeing a pro-soccer game on their day off.

“We really got to do so many cool things when we were there,” Grace said. “I’ll definitely remember the hikes we went on as a group and swimming in really cold waterfalls. The whole trip was just about spending time with people and making memories.”

For Courtney, Grace, and Myah, this trip was an experience like no other. Thanks to Boyne Racing Club, their skiing flourished in one of the best training facilities in the U.S. By the time ski season comes around, the Michigan slopes will be easy to conquer after the challenges they faced in Oregon. When the season starts, they’ll definitely be forces to be reckoned with.

“When you’re about to race, it looks really steep from the top, and you kind of get nervous when you look down the slope,” Courtney said. “But from when you first push off, the adrenaline kicks in and everything comes to you so naturally. Once you start going down, it all falls into place, and you really realize what you’re doing.”