I awoke at 3:30 am in Montreal ready to head back out on the road and get myself out to what for sure was going to be an incredible experience. Newschoolers week at Windells was about to kick off, and I only had a few thousand miles and a couple of flights in between me and what is one of my favorite experiences in the world - summer camp. I wake up, grab a taxi, wait through customs, fly, stopover, fly, grab luggage, wait and then Jason Arens, my gracious host for the week, arrived. We scraped up Khai Krepela who had got a coaching job at the last minute and headed up to Hood.
We moved our gear into Mantana, which has been freshly renovated into a pro hosting palace, and got set to welcome all the campers who were anxious and excited both for the best week ever and to see their favorite athletes who had joined us. At various times, Sean Jordan, Will Wesson, Dale Talkington, Matt Walker, Charlie Lasser, Sammi Ortleib and Andy Parry all rolled into town.
The entrance at Windells is fantastic. All the guest pros, coaches and the rest of the staff line up in a gigantic high 5 gauntlet and everyone bursts through getting a solid high five both from staff and their heroes. This moment in a young skiers life is something they will never forget.
Now that is a stoked dude.
On the first day, things were just getting warmed up. The morning was filled with dusting the cobwebs off skiing skills unused for a few months, and getting acquainted with the park. Obviously Timberline has much lower than normal snow levels, but what the park crew has done here is extremely fun to ride and totally impressive. Campers set up with coaches, pros started to ski.
And in true summer camp fashion, massive sessions broke out all over the place. The first one I was a part of was on the huge quad kink that was freshly set up, and the tricks were on. Will Wesson, Khai Krepela, Tom Wallisch, Andy Parry, Dale Talkington, Various Hood Crew members and a whack of campers were all going for glory. Swiss Park City transplant Alex Hal came hard in the paint with the big boys, showing that there's talent absolutely everywhere.
Will Wesson is a ninja on the rails
At one point, while in the process of filming the next episodes of On The Road (which will launch in the fall) we had a rail battle break out between Khai Krepela and Tom Wallisch for who could get the first Blind swap to blind swap on this burly quad kink. Khai and Tom starting a rail jam and it turned into an open contest with Dale... and after blowing the trick multiple times, Andy Parry stepped in and showed the guys who is the boss in these parts.
The following days have been filled with all kinds of action and excitement. Jonah Williams going crazy on everything, Torin Yater-Wallace absolutely murdering the big jump with the steeziest cork 5's I've probably ever seen and watching Will Wesson destroy the lap park with more tricks than your mind can process. Dale has had some fun on the hip in the snake lane, boosting it and throwing all manners of insane tricks.
Now that is style...
What I love most about these things is meeting all the NSers out there who are hanging at camp, and sharing the stoke. Dudes like Big_mtn, The freshly minted "Mediocrew" and all the rest of you that I've had the chance to share a liftline or lunch spot with. Actually getting together with people and going skiing is the single most important thing about this site.
The Bottom of Timberline
Our Athlete's sponsors for the week hooked us up with a ton of product - big Shoutout to Spy Optics, Dragon, On3p, Scott and Bern.
With all this product, we decided to give back. To give the campers a taste of our Tell-A-Friend Tour, we enlisted Andy's help. The jam session was on, and its basically the most fun you've ever had. The format is simple - Andy calls tricks that he wants to see, and there's prizes on the line. Everyone tries things they've never done before, there's an energy in the crowd like you'd never believe, and all involved walk away stoked as can be.
Check some photos:
Andy takes over the reigns from Mr.Bishop as the main man behind TAFT
The Participants are hungry for some prizes
Andy directing the herd
Getting the first one foot
Andy knows how to make a crowd do tricks
Andy Parry and Mr.Bishop after a satisfying taste of Tell A Friend Tour
What do you guys think of what you've seen so far? Would love to hear feedback and am happy to answer any questions you have. Stay tuned for more adventures as we continue our summer camp adventure.