Words & photos by Jeff Schmuck
Camp of Champions and Momentum are officially underway in beautiful Whistler, BC.
COC had their first day on hill yesterday and Momentum got things going today. Unfortunately the weather has been a tad on the uncooperative side of the fence since the lifts on Blackcomb opened, as some pretty damn pea soup-thick fog (and yesterday a heap of snow!) has affected visibility to the point where it's been fairly unadvisable to hit any of the bigger jumps that are dominating the horizon on the Horstman Glacier.
The Hostman Glacier, with Momentum in the distance
So although Mother Nature has caused things to get off to a bit of slow start, she hasn't affected the stoke factor of the first battalion of campers that have arrived from the four corners of the ski world to help kick off the summer ski season here in Whistler.
Joe Schuster, Matt Margetts & Leigh Powis with the campers
Camp of Champions, as to be expected, is already rocking and rolling via their consistently exceptional lane.
The big jump line @ COC
Two huge jumps ominously loom over the right side of the lane and a cluster of smaller ones (including the always kick-ass up and over jump) dominate the left side, while a series of creative rails that range in ability pepper the landscape all the way to the bottom...which is where things have been getting buck wild already.
Overlooking the rail garden
The rail garden in the lower left of the lane is more tricked out than ever, and possesses enough metal to make a fifth Terminator movie, highlighted by a nasty staircase that you can slide up or down. And topping it all off is a huge left side hip which already appears to be everyone's favorite feature.
The already well-traveled hip
Coaches Matt Sterbenz, Griffin Cummings, Finn Anderson, Cody Barnhill, Jess Cumming and the dynamic Canadian duo of Joe Schuster and Matt Margetts are in full swing and doing a hell of a job keeping the kids smiling ear-to-ear and learning all day long as they constantly gaze in awe at the overwhelming COC park.
Jess Cumming and her camper Ayla
The Dynamic Canadian Duo: Joe 'Cheese Belly' Schuster & Matt 'Marwants' Margetts
Over at Momentum, things were already trucking right along on their very first day.
The always hard-working Momentum diggers fine tuning the s-rail
The hard-working and hilarious crew of diggers have been busting their asses putting in John Smart's seemingly endless plethora of freshly painted rails and boxes that include: a series of flat and down rails and boxes, a mellow up-flat and up-down box, a flat-down rail and box, a down-flat-down box, plus the always popular s-rail, and overlooking it all, the ultimate mainstay on the Hortsman Glaicer during summer camp...the infamous Momentum wallride.
The big jump that resides at the bottom of the lane is primed and ready to go, although it wasn't open today as the coaches wanted their campers to take the first day to get warmed up.
Frank Raymond checks out the big jump
Momentum's wide variety of campers of all ages and abilities are already killing it and learning a ton of new tricks thanks to the prestigious coaching staff that includes Justin Dorey, Ian Cosco, Mike Riddle, Frank Raymond, Mike Henitiuk and many others, including in my opinion the best damn coach on the glacier, the legendary Chris Turpin.
Trennon Paynter leads the lunch brigade
Momentum camper Sam Winship
The diggers are just in the process of putting the finishing touches on the main lane and then will get straight to work on the piles of snow that are teasing everyone in the old High North lane, where two to three planned monstrosities are sure to emerge shortly.
The weather forecast is looking better over the next few days here in Whistler, so stay tuned for more fun updates from Camp of Champions and Momentum including interviews with the diggers, camp directors, campers, coaches and much, much more.