Words & photos by Jeff Schmuck

Well...it's over. Summer camps have officially concluded in Whistler (although there's still lots to come at Windells, D-Splash, South America Snow Sessions, Evolve Chile and others), and what a summer it was.

The scorching hot sun that has graced us with its presence for the better part of camp continued to be omnipresent on the last week of the glacier season, where Camp of Champions ruled the Horstman following the conclusion of Momentum's third and final session.

Camp of Champions

As a result of COC being the one and only freeride lane still in operation, the last week at the biggest camp on Blackcomb Mountain was an all-star game of pros getting their last licks in on the jumps...

Matt Margetts, Joe Schuster, Simon Dumont & TJ Schiller

Joe Schuster on the cannon box...

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...and the big jump.

Sammy Carlson

Tommy Ellingson

Anthony Boronowski

Sean Pettit

Matt Margetts

Simon Dumont

Simon Dumont made an appearance last week after taking a much-deserved vacation to South America with his family, so needless to say, he was jacked and tanned and all smiles...

The Dumont

And much like when Sammy Carlson first arrived on the scene earlier this summer, the legions of campers were chomping at the bit to ski with Simon, who happily obliged and helped show the kids how it's done.

Dumont about to lead the campers down the path of righteousness...

...before becoming the ring leader in the media circus.

But more importantly than all the pros being so damn pro, the talent pool that was the last group of campers at COC was arguably the most impressive all summer long...

NS intern and Gnarshmellow/COC contest winner Malcolm Arcand also showed up to claim his prize (a free session at COC), and quickly hit it off with Voleurz' intern Mathieu Soumet by complaining in French about their oh-so-terrible and slave driving bosses.

The Interns. NS' intern Malcolm Arcand & Voleurz' intern Mathieu Soumet. Stay tuned next week for a hilarious and not to be missed interview (aka INTERNview) with Mathieu on his unforgettable summer in Whistler.

And as anyone who's been to the last session of COC in the past knows, the last day of camp is gear swap day, where the snowboard coaches get on the bitch sticks and the ski coaches rock the slowboards...

Matt Margetts, Sean Pettit & Joe Schuster...cool boarders.

Margetts

Pettit

Schuster

Even the legendary head of Camp of Champions Ken Achenbach finally took a day off from running his massive operation to make a much-welcomed appearance on the hill during the final day of camp...

The Man, The Myth, The Legend...COC's Ken Achenbach

All in all, the last session of camp tends to be one of the most fun of the entire summer, and this year was no different. It's 33.3% because of the amazing weather we were blessed with, 33.3% because of the all the smiles and good vibes that were had over the past month, and 33.4% because camp is about to end, so everyone scrambles to have as much fun as possible before it sadly comes to a Marmot-screeching halt.

And now that the camps have begrudgingly brought in the fat lady to sing, I figured I'd take the time to reflect on just a fraction of the things (aside from the actual skiing) that we'll miss about summer camp, and already start looking forward to for next year...

We'll miss Johnny, the best damn bus driver in the whole damn world...

We'll miss the choice of scoping breathtaking views on the always fun chairlift ride down...

7th Heaven

...or the Peak to Peak tram across to Whistler Mountain...

Sean P & the P2P

We'll miss Colin at COC keeping the poachers out...

We'll miss Matt Sterbenz running the COC Fights...

We'll miss hangin' loose...

We'll miss the camp barbeques...

We'll miss seeing the campers take home a mountain of free swag...

We'll miss Momentum's Skullkley Challenge...

We'll miss the COC Compound...

We'll miss COC's Fabia Gruebler, The Longhorn's Harrison Stoker, Buffalo Bills' Jason Smith, Savage Beagle's Nicole Althoff and Garfinkels' Mike Hofbauer for the amazing amount of hospitality, parties and free drinks they hooked the coaches (and journalists!) up with so they could 'unwind' after a hard day's work. Thanks guys!

Garfinkel's Mike Hofbauer at A Midsummer Night's Dream...the final (and best) party of the summer.

We'll miss getting Jacked & Tanned (aka Jackie Tanned)...

We'll miss lunch at the Horstman Hut and in the 4FRNT tent, along with camp dinner at the unbeatable restaurants in Whistler Village...

We'll miss the always available camp staff who bend over backwards to make sure everyone has the best summer of their lives...

We'll miss the hard-working diggers who spend countless and back-breaking hours building, shaping, salting and fine-tuning the multitude of features while making sure they're safe for everyone to enjoy. Thanks diggers!

We'll miss the coaches and all their knowledge and antics...

We'll miss the mighty Horstman Glacier and all its features...

But most of all, we'll miss the campers. We'll miss them meeting their heroes, learning new tricks, making new friends, and their never ending smiles. Because without the campers...there would be no summer camp.

See you next year!


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