As we leave winter behind and welcome spring, many opportunities for students to explore their own interests in extracurricular activities present themselves. The spring weather has been warming up in the past weeks around Camas and students are finding their own ways to enjoy it.
Marilyn Green, a freshman at Camas High School has been hiking all her life but started getting more serious about it during the time the world was on lockdown because of COVID-19. “My dad used to climb mountains all the time, and one day I just said to him, ‘I want to climb a mountain’ and that’s when I really started hiking,” Green explained. “Last summer, we did South Sister, my first mountain. It was really fun!… I guess I caught the climbing bug. This June I’ll be climbing Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams!”
The best weather Green could imagine for hiking would be, “Probably sunny, partly cloudy so you don’t get too burnt. Maybe 60 degrees temperature or so.” To be cautious not to get caught in the afternoon heat, she likes to start in the morning. Late spring, nearing June meets Green’s ideal weather for hiking best.
Hiking in the spring has pros such as the “mild and sunny weather… The snow on the mountains hasn’t fully melted yet, but is packed in enough that it makes it great for climbing.” On the flip side, Green says, “Spring isn’t the most predictable, so sometimes mountain hike snow isn’t melted yet, or it’d be super hot one day but then could rain or even snow, especially in high elevations.”
High elevations are also known by current CHS senior Hailey Berry, who is a second-year student attending the aviation program at Cascadia Technical Academy and a student pilot at Grove Field. Growing up, she got exposure to aviation from her dad and stepdad who are pilots in Alaska, and her mom, stepmom, and grandma who are flight attendants. This last year, she’s gotten into Women in Aviation and is part of events with her flight instructor who is now the advisor for Berry’s senior project.
“Just like fall, spring has some unpredictable weather,” Berry explained when considering how springtime affects aviation. “I don’t have much experience flying in the spring. I did fly this last week and will say I love doing preflight in cooler weather. It is much more enjoyable… The pros to this, especially being so close to the gorge, student pilots get very familiar with high wind landings, takeoff, and keeping altitude. The weather may be beautiful to fly in, but it’s definitely a season to check the METAR/TAF for wind conditions.” Along with that, she shared some cons to spring flying. “The winds and cloud elevation are huge factors in spring flying. They are a huge factor any day of the year, but it’s a bit more extreme here in the PNW… My favorite season to fly in would probably be early autumn, the weather may not always be the best but the views are incredible… [Spring] weather is unpredictable; one minute it could be sunny and 70 degrees, and the next it could be raining… All in all, spring flying is great.”
Other than flying, spring is great for other aviation-related activities. “Some of my favorite spring and summertime activities are watching the planes land at PDX, Grove, or Pearson with friends. [It’s a] great time to see some student pilots have some rough landings or crosswind landings,” Berry shared. “Usually the Pearson Flight Museum hosts events, and the Alaska air show happens in May.” While those activities were canceled because of COVID, they are hoped for by aviation enthusiasts around the area to be able to happen again in the future.