Words - Doug BishopPhotos - cko I'll tell you... it's always a cool feeling when you roll into the park in the morning and Progression is running at your mountain. In a sport where the lineups to hit on girls are sometimes longer than the chairlift lines, it's fantastic when you see such a massive group of the better sex hanging out and riding the park. There were 41 girls at Progression, which is pretty much the most girls on twins I've seen in one place ever. I actually felt quite out of place being a guy hanging out in the park and doing my thing. I don't know if anyone here has ever attempted to teach a girl to ride park. It does work, but there's always a certain gender barrier when the phrase "come on don't be a pussy" just doesn't quite cut it... sure it works for your buddies, but the ladies just seem to hit me when I say that. What's great is to see how much the ladies work together to improve when they're in an environment like this. Denise has really come up with an unbelieveable formula for a camp, and I've never seen a progression camper un-stoked on the way things run. Hell my brother's girlfriend Lia took part in the camp, and had pretty much never ridden in a park before and by the end of it was hitting the pipe, and sliding the little rails. I know it took me a lot longer than that to learn those things...Anyways, I really can't say too much, as my penis doesn't allow me to take part. So instead of going for the scissors, I decided to ask the girls a few questions on progression, women in skiing, and whatnot!Some Highlights from camp:- the presence of several under the age of 13- the presence of a pregnant journalist and 54 year old freestyle judge- the fact that that same 54 year old tried a 180, switch 180 and several rails/boxes- the amazing condition of the park given the earlier weather conditions and the willingness of the staff to fix stuff up for us (at least i saw some willingness...twice ... from the same person...but he was very willing ;) )- 'we started out by just getting a general overview of the park - by about 11:00 the four groups were spread among the features of the park - some were doing jumps to pipe, some jumps to box, some rails to pipe, some just rails... - by the end of the day, almost everyone had made some attempt at each discipline, and by the end of day 2 all i could see out my periphery were girls doing 360's and switch 270s onto boxes HARDY HAR AHRAHAR AH [get it?]Someone tell me who this is... that rail is super gnarly, and she's just absolutely killing it! Doug - What is it that you liked about Progression?Ayriane - This year my absolute favourite part of progression was the number of young women there. there were 41 women DOMINATING blue's park on twins. The park dynamic changed so much and I felt that the way gender is typically constructed completely did a 180 and I believe that the number of women was the main factor. We were intimidating! I ski five days a week in blue's park, and normally I am the only, or one of two, female skiers. Usually I feel vulnerable about trying new tricks or new features at blue because of the large masculine dominance. But, this passed week I knew that the rules had changed and women had taken over by this one incident: I think there 3 groups of girls all sessioning the pipe. Hopelessly, a male skier called dropping on the pipe. Even though I noticed this (I was downhill from him), I turned up hill, yelled "dropping!!" more enthusiastically than I ever have, and he stopped!!I couldn't believe it! Normally guys poach MY runs at blue, but this time I think that the number of women there intimidated him and he shook in his boots. In any case, the only thing I don't like about progression is when it's over, and women lose their park power of numbers and everything goes back to the way it was: guys taking over, saying rude things like "aren't you going to go?" or "go already!Ē and also poaching my sweet lines. Alex - It was nice to out number the boys for once in the park and have them yeild to us. It provided a great environment to try new things as everyone supported each other. Lia - It's a total confidence builder in a really relaxed, fun atmosphere. It's not at all intimidating, and it's just a group of girls coming together to cheer eachother on, have some fun, learn some tricks and get 'er done. Kim locking it down on the street rail.Doug - What Tricks did you learn? Sarah - 180/ switch 180 of a small jump, regular 3 in the pipe, new grabs, getting more height off the top of the pipe Christina - I learned a switch 3, and to get air out of the pipe. Since Iíve never hit a pipe before, and I learned better techinques for the rails. Emma - I learned bigger 180s, 360s, and bigger rails. I also learned how to ski pipe, because i had never done that before. Alex - I learned how to do a 360! Sarah making the halfpipe her bitch.Doug - Ive noticed that at progression, the campers seem to have more motivation to try stuff. Discuss your feelings on skiing and learning in an all-girl environment. Ayriane - Skiing in an all women environment is beyond words. Because it's such a rare phenomenon for me [ed], I feel that I am more motivated at progression than skiing on my own or with other boys. Although blue's environment is very supportive, skiing with the other women and coaches in progression offers much more positive reinforcement. For example, once you're determined you're going to try something new, the coach tells you some pointers and then says something positive and to the effect of "you CAN do this", and regardless of whether you land it or not, a coach is always waiting to encourage you to try it again, that "you have it" or "commit and you got it". I like that no matter what happens, I never feel let down or like I failed.Jen - I think the girls pump each other up.. when you're skiing with guys you see them do something and you're like, "ya that's sweet.. but i can't do it..", but when you see another girl go out and bust the same move, then you're pushed even more, like, "i have no excuse, if she's doing it why can't i?".. that kinda sorta thingy -also: it's sweet to ski with girls cause we are all around cooler than guys.. chair lift gossip is just so much better with your girl-friends -theres also that intimidation factor as well.. skiing with the boys can be a little rough as far as that goes sometimes.Lia - Way cool! Because girls can tell you what you did wrong and what you need to do and they don't at all use it as a judge of character. Guys? they just tell you to get off your ass and do it over again. It was a great way to learn, cause you see other girls, in the same boat, doing the stuff and it's just the right amount of pressure to make you give enough to land something. Soooooo many girls on twins... this is less than half of them too.Doug - Why cant boys teach girls properly? Ayriane - Although women are generally more socially competitive, i don't believe that they bring this same aspect to sports in the same way that men do. Men are socialized to be competitive, that there is a winner and loser, and that being able to do something that someone else can't do makes you more masculine. On the hill, I find that women are supportive when they compete, even giving pointers to the other woman DURING the competition and cheering each other on. Sarah - Boys have less fear, and when skiing with them, there approach is to say just do it, and tend to think about it less. This can be good in a sense because it makes you think less, and to just go for it. Mary - Because they smell. Emily - It's not that boys can't teach girls properly, it's that skiing with all girls creates this amazing learning environment that lacks a lot of the intimidation generated in a co-ed setting. No one will deny that there are anatomical differences between men and women, and there really are some things that one gender can do better than the other - when it's all girls, you have no excuse...anything she can do you might be able to do better..! I think it really gives the campers the confidence they need to try all the things in the park they may have been nervous to try otherwise. -- And it's really fun. Unknown skier sliding the box... there were lots of spins onto this box by the advanced ladies.Doug - What do you think about the state of women in the sport of newschool skiing today? Ayriane - I can see that women are becoming more and more involved in newschool skiing and getting out there in the competition world. I want to see more support of sponsors in female freeskiing (so that competition prizes are in male sizes and I end up giving the prizes to my boyfriend) and more women will get out there to compete and have fun. A wise woman I know once commented that female competitions are easy to win because most of the time no women show up! (Denise Jaworsky) although there is a growing enrolment of women to park skiing, we are far from having equal support between the sexes. Emma - I think women right now are good, and they are just going to get better and better. Now that there are more girl skiers out there, we can start skiing with each other, especially with opportunities like this, and we will all get way better. Andrea - We need more of them...so props to Denise and all the coaches for doing Progression and getting more of us involved! The whole crew chilling at their tent.Doug - How did you feel about Sarahs article in FHM? Did it promote women in skiing, or was it degrading to the stature of women as proficient skiers?Christina - shes a hot babe lol Andrea - Well she's looking damn hot so I'm sure it got a few glance and therefore promoted women in skiing!! And she's got talent and people can see that so I think it promoted women in skiing! Emma - I think Sarah's artice in FHM is great. Its getting the sport of skiing out there for everyone to see. Megan - sarah is wicked awesome, one of the chillest people ever, i liked the article, i dont know why she did it, but i dont think it promoted or degraded women in skiing either way. i mean maybe more people will watch the xgames. but its not like shes the first one to do it. plus if FHM asked me to be in thier magazine i would jump at the chance. Ayriane - I am proud of Sarah for doing the article, for being that confident and comfortable with her self to do it, but I also feel that the world of women in sports needs to change. Freeskiing for women will never become equal with these articles continuously being written. That being said, I know that since men dominate freeskiing, and that media can be said to be by men, for men, and about men, where androcentrism is the norm, I know why these articles exist. Men are their target audience and market, and since men think Sarah is a hot skier, lingerie photos will sell more copies. Still, let's support the movement not just the image!