February 5, 2021 / Comments (250)

Popular Coach Seriously Injured on Mount Hood

Long-time Oregon snowboard coach Mike Archer was transported from Mount Hood to Oregon Health Sciences University hospital on January 30th after sustaining serious vertebrae injuries from a fall on the ice.

As of Friday morning, February 5th, Archer was still in the intensive care unit at OHSU, with very little movement from the neck down. Medical staff at OHSU were planning to move him to an inpatient rehabilitation facility, pending bed availability.

Friends have established a Go Fund Me page to help Archer’s wife, Shelly Syth, to pay medical bills and support their four children.

Archer grew up snowboarding on Mount Hood and took a job with the Mt. Hood Meadows park crew in 1999. That same year he also started working for Windells, working his way up to head coach over six years at the year-round snowboard camp.

During his stint at Windells, Archer coached top riders such as Louie Vito, Kevin Pierce, and Sage Kotsenburg, who won a gold medal in slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He also coached many high school riders during his stint as head coach of the Sam Barlow High School snowboarding team. Athletes and friends praise him as a super-chill guy who loves the sport and brings a lot of humor to the mountain life.

Two friends who recently donated to the Go Fund Me page wrote, “Arch and fam! We’re all thinking about you and sending lots of love. Arch, YOU GOT THIS! You absolutely have got this. We all believe in you!!!! Love Kirby & Amy”

Archer shifted from coaching on the mountain to working in construction in 2004, following the birth of his first child. He remains a dedicated snowboarder, with many friends on the mountain.

The ice Archer slipped and fell on was the lingering result of a massive rainstorm on January 12th and 13th, followed by a sudden drop in temperatures on Mount Hood. Fresh, light snow covered the ice, but conditions under the deceiving layer of fresh snow remained quite dangerous, and hazards still remain.

Best of luck to Mike and his family — and be careful out there, people!

Last modified: February 6, 2021

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