Words & photos: Jeff Schmuck
The second week of business and pleasure on the vast snowy tundra that is the Horstman Glacier atop Blackcomb Mountain has just wrapped up, and as always, the smiles were as plentiful as the sun amongst the throng of campers who made their annual summer pilgrimage to Whistler, BC.
The highlight of the week was the first of four sessions at the iconic Camp of Champions, which is bigger and better than ever this year thanks to the acquisition of an additional two lanes, which has ballooned their already enormous offering of terrain by a lavish 20%.
COC Digger Bailey Mitchell and his handywork.
Ken Achenbach & Co. have taken full advantage of the new real estate, moving their immaculate two-jump line further to the right and making way for the biggest jump on the glacier, a 90-foot step over gap that would make Jon Olsson and Nico Zacek smile. The hysteria got off to a roaring start last weekend during the Five Star TTR Billabong Ante Up Big Air event, where Torstein Horgmo and a platoon of snowboarding’s biggest names christened the monstrosity in style.
Following the throw down a few days worth of less than stellar weather prevented any of our skiing friends from taming the beast (yet), but the all star cast of coaches and eager campers more than made their mark all over the rest of the gargantuan and diverse park, which includes a nifty drop-off jump right below the 4FRNT tent…
More metal than the Sunset Strip, most notably in the rail garden in the bottom left corner and an urban-style down rail and down-flat-down box mid-lane…
This camper wins the award for my favorite camper of the week thanks to his Vancouver Canucks jersey.
A mini-shred pipe where constant shenanigans take place from first chair to last…
Matt Sterbenz gets his pipe game on while COC photographer Dice-K Maru gets the shot.
A box to wallride combo in the shadow of the soon to be completed (and massive) hip jump at the bottom of the lane …
…and in the spirit of big, a really, really big Air Bag…
Joining head coach Matt Sterbenz and the usual (and unusual) suspects that are Sean Pettit, Matt Margetts, Joe Schuster and others this summer in their tireless quest to shape the imminent young guns of our sport are some shining new faces, including but not limited to Callum Pettit, Austin Ross, Finn Anderson, Will Berman, Mack Jones, and to the delight of all…Reed Speedman.
Ladies and gentlemen, Reed Speedman International Nothing.
Sean Pettit takes a break from dropping 100 foot cliffs to grease some steel.
Matt Margetts, butter 270 on.
Joe 'Cheese Belly' Schuster
Also in attendance this week was the Euro trio of Sven Kueenle, Paddy Graham and Bene Mayr (who’s going to blow your mind when you see PBP’s new film Revolver…trust me), who were in attendance as special guest coaches for the first of four ‘Send it With’ signature sessions at COC and to GTS for their new film project ‘Legs of Steel’. Click here to check out the trailer for their upcoming film, 'The Pilot'.
Bene Mayr and COC ski filmer Charlie 'Chunk' Grinnell. Check out his kick-ass edit at the bottom of this article after you try to claim first.
The session culminated with the always entertaining COC & Roll contest (formerly known as the COC Fight), where the campers enthusiastically showed off what they had learned under the watchful twinkle in the eye of their coaches.
COC N' Roll
Off the glacier, COC has continued their inflation by not only amplifying the size of their lane, but also of the playful COC Compound, which includes a 20-foot larger tent, complete with a mini-ramp, table tennis, pool tables, and big screen TV’s with Rockband and Skate 3…
The COC Compound...
Pro snowboarder Cornell Agee Jr. showing a camper who's boss at table tennis.
Adam 'Gnarsh' Sullovey (the creator of Gnarshmallow) takes a break from his own game to take in some Skate 3.
A newly constructed outdoor street skate course…
...and another new and fine addition, dirt jumps for the mountain bikers and BMX’ers, complemented by grandiose drop-in ramps and an air bag.
Rain, snow or shine, day or night, there’s always some sort of non-guilty pleasure to indulge in at Camp of Champions.
Over at Momentum the recently erected Air Bag was name of the game during the first fog-filled half of Session 2, where flashbacks to Poor Boyz Productions’ Degenerates and 13 were abound as Trennon Paynter and Tobin Sutherland were showing the kids how it’s done with some Dave Crichton-esque flatspins (who speaking of which, is rumored to be making an appearance sometime this summer).
Trennon Paynter, showing the young bucks how it's done...
Momentum digger Sash Lazic
More Happy Campers...
Dara Howell, flatspin to win.
As the fun kept on truckin’ on the new toy, the A-frame step up and Momentum’s urban landscape of rails, the mad scientist himself Chris Turpin was busy constructing two more mutations in the old High North lane with his choir of hard working diggers.
Chris Turpin drops in switch to his latest creation.
While last summer a lone and already legendary step over jump loomed over the lane, this year things have taken a different and more prolific turn with a large and in charge poppy true table into a carbon copy of the A-frame step up in the main lane…on steroids. Stay tuned throughout the rest of the summer for the absurdity that will surely be going down on these two animals.
Session 2 of Camp of Champions kicked off today, and it’s going to be another big week, as dual X Games gold medalist Bobby Brown is in town for his signature session with Banks Gilberti and Kolby Ward, while Momentum will be equally exciting with their Girls Session, the Splashdown water ramp event on the 6th, and the presence of Olympic gold medalist Alex Bilodeau.
Banks Gilberti, Kolby Ward & Bobby Brown arrive for Session 2 at COC.
Stay tuned for more updates on Camp of Champions and Momentum from Whistler, BC.
The Camp of Champions - "Skiing Camp A 2010" from Camp of Champions on Vimeo.
Momentum Session II 2010 from Momentum Ski Camps on Vimeo.