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About the Olympic Skibowl Ski and Snowboard School
Mt. Hood ski and snowboard lessons are provided by Olympian Petr Kakes and the Olympic Skibowl Ski and Snowboard School.
Either skiing or mountain biking, Olympian Petr Kakes works and Plays Year-Round at Mt. Hood Skibowl. A shared love of the mountain lifestyle and a strong desire to succeed have linked Kakes with Skibowl owner Kirk Hanna for over twenty-five years.
If you’ve spent any time at Skibowl, you’ve seen Petr Kakes. In the summer, he is the head of mountain bike operations and the owner of Hurricane Racing, often seen directing competitive mountain bike races, leading mountain bike tours, or working on trail maintenance with his companion pup, Bara. In the winter, he operates the concession service at the Historic Mid-Mountain Warming Hut at the top of the Lower Bowl, directs the Hurricane Ski Racing Demo and Service Center and runs the Olympic Ski and Snowboard School which each year trains 4,500 for riding fun each winter.
The name of his ski school is the only clue to one of his athletic accomplishments. During the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, Kakes placed sixth in Speed Skiing while on the Czech Republic team, where he was clocked at 139 miles per hour.
Kakes moved to Mt. Hood in 1988, after a couple of seasons training at Timberline. He approached a few local ski operators about providing ski services in the winter. When that didn’t work out, he opened his own rental shop in Government Camp. That was the same season when Kirk Hanna purchased Skibowl out of bankruptcy.
“One day our rental shop had people backed up waiting to get gear. I didn’t want them to have to wait and so I literally loaded up customers in my Suburban and drove them to Petr’s shop to get them fitted with equipment,” recalls Hanna.
“We barely talked that day, but I could see that Petr was a hard worker and I sensed that we were both in a survival mode with our businesses” he added.
The following season, Kakes came over to Skibowl, starting a relationship with Hanna on a handshake that has stood the test of time. They were both in their late twenties at the time. 25 years later, they have no contracts.
They shared a passion for skiing and later when Hanna opened one of the first summer mountain bike parks in the country, Kakes was there to help run it. He has since emerged as one of the leading mountain bike race directors on the west coast, annually coordinating 6-8 major races each summer at Skibowl and at other Northwest sites.
“We met each other at the right time, and it’s been a great relationship,” said Kakes. While running his Skibowl- based businesses, Kakes remains a talented athlete and a fearless competitor. He continued to compete in the FIS Speed Skiing World Cup, was the US Speed Skiing Champion in 1991 and 1992. And for 23 years in a row, he has gone to the remote Hoodoo mountains 150 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska to compete in the extreme Arctic Man Competition, winning it three times and finishing second six times.
Courage is essential in the Arctic Man race, considered one of the World's Toughest Downhill Ski races. Competitors race ski 5 ½ miles in just over four minutes, combining extreme downhill skiing with the horsepower of a snow machine pull. Kakes won the event most recently in 2006 and before that in 1996 and 1999. Even at 55, he remains a top Arctic Man contender each year skiing against world cup racers young enough to be his son.
“I don’t know how much longer I can do this, but I’ll go as long as I can,” he said. In preparation for the next event, Kakes traveled to Austria last spring to consult with race technicians at the Atomic ski factory and to select skis for the next competition. “I’m not done yet “
Overall, 25 years later, Kakes is happy with where his life has led him—to work at Mt. Hood Skibowl and live life on Mt. Hood.
“I left my own country and figured out how to do things. I was very fortunate that I met Kirk because together we made this work. This is home now.”
For More Deatails: 503 272-3206 x 1131
|Hours of the Olympic Ski School|
|Mon:||2:30pm – 7:00pm||Fri:||9:00am – 7:00pm|
|Tue:||2:30pm – 7:00pm||Sat:||8:30am – 6:00pm|
|Wed:||2:30pm – 7:00pm||Sun:||8:30am – 6:00pm|
|Thur:||2:30pm – 7:00pm||Holidays:||8:30am – 6:00pm|