Words & photos by Kyle Meyr

Not

much beats the feeling you get walking through the summer heat with your skis

slung over your shoulder. Turned heads and cocked brows fuel the excitement as

you drag your poles in smug anticipation towards the greatest week of your

life. You’re going to the glacier.

Micky slays the jump line with a cork 720 tail grab.

Summer

skiing marks the pinnacle of progression in our sport. Soft landings, perfect

parks, and warm vibes beckon for that extra 180 or a tweak of a grab. It’s an

experience those who’ve lived it would do anything to live again and those who

haven’t drool over, but a rare one for us outside of the

Americas. When newschoolers across the pond are slaying slush and sun, we’re

stuck with our eyes glued to our computers waiting for the newest edits and

articles from the camps. “A camper corks a 540 at Momentum”… “Line Traveling

Circus rocks Windells”… It’s about time Europe was put on the map! That’s where

What! Summer Camp comes into play.

Victoria held it down for the women; always the first one up and the last one riding for both sessions.

The Folgefonna glacier is a Mecca

for skiers throughout Europe. Sculpted every year by renowned shaper Emil

Fossheim and the Mushroom Crew, Folgefonna is the epitome of perfection for any

skier trapped at home by the summer months. The glacier is complemented by the

most beautiful scenery one could ask for only found in the depths of the most alluring

corner of the Earth. It’s heaven on Earth and it beckons to be ravished by us

skiers.

Campers eye up a diving board over the fjord.

Co-Founders David Kantermo and Henrik Windstedt personally tend to the welfare of the park.

2008 Freeride World Champion

Henrik Windstedt and Norwegian Freestyle Team Head Coach David Kantermo sought

to make the experience more accessible by creating What! Summer Camp. “We wanted to make it as free as possible,” said

David Kantermo. “You can do the freeride thing the whole week or you can grab a

coach when you want.” “It’s a place where you can eat tons of sugar and go

bananas,” continued Henrik Windstedt. Henrik went on to describe how much he

always enjoys coming to the Folgefonna glacier himself and how he wanted to

share that experience.

The football tournament gave campers and counselors a chance to enjoy time off the snow.

However, with glacial weather

habits in mind, Henrik and David decided it was important to make the camp just

as fun on days where skiing wasn’t an option. On the one day of the week that this

was the case, they more than proved their point. With multiple trampolines, two

xbox areas, a miniramp, and a summer setup to drool over, the campers were

occupied the entire day with smiles from ear to ear. As if that wasn’t enough,

within walking distance are the most righteous amenities one could ever dream

of. A beach volley ball court with a view worthy of a postcard, a football

field home to one of the most intense competitions of the week and water ramps

that saw more doubles than a nearsighted drunk.

Kalle shreds his way to victory during the summer set-up competition.

David helps a camper perfect his backflips on the waterramps.

Atte tricks on the gymnastics trampoline with campers looking on from the airbag.

Sig tries in vain to backflip a snow racer off the water ramp.

Niklas serves up a storm at the volley ball tournament.

But it was when the weather

decided to cooperate that the camp really shined. Breakfast at 08.00 and up on

the glacier by 10.00, the campers got their money’s worth and more with obscene

amounts of shred. Emil Fossheim had the park shaped better than Latin ass and

the sun guided the clouds astray by the mornings’ end to reveal paradise.

The three-hit line at the bottom of the glacier is a great place to show off.

A camper grabs tail on the final jump on the glacier.

Fueled by perfection and copious

amounts of Red Bull, the campers lapped the park until closing time every day

only taking breaks for lunch and to share stories or exercise bragging rights from

landing new tricks. The week saw a blizzard of excitement harnessed by the

councilors and released by the campers in a frenzy of slides, flips and spins.

It was all out war as campers of all levels where putting new tricks to their

feet. From grabs to corks, rails to doubles, the world-class coaches Sig Tveit,

Niklas Eriksson and Klaus Finne were joined on slope by David and Henrik

themselves to help the campers step their game up.

Sig Tveit 270's onto the first rail of the rail line.

A camper shreds the rail line at the top of the glacier.

Backflips were in full effect on the progression kicker built exclusively for the campers.

Atte flatspins the progression kicker.

The campers even got a chance to

ride with the guys from Field Productions as they made an appearance on the

glacier to warm up for a shoot. Watching the likes of Kim Boberg, Aleksander

Aurdal, Anders Backe and the “Pretzel Man” himself, Tom Wallisch, lap the park

amongst them stoked the riders beyond belief to push themselves beyond their

limits.

The week was capped off with the

“Harbor Huckfest”, a collection of the camp’s most daring riders being winched

into a jump that goes straight off the pier in the town of Jondal. The riders

were towed into the jump at the mercy of Henrik himself to throw flips, spins

and dives to their heart’s content as the locals and the rest of the campers

cheered. It was a wildly imaginative end to a week no one will forget.

Henrik cranks up the winch as a camper heads straight for the fjord.

A camper lies tired and inspired after a long day on the glacier.

Thanks to Henrik and Tove for making the camp possible.

After just two years of

existence, What! Summer Camp is

finally putting Norwegian summer skiing on the map. It’s a step towards

eliminating the exclusivity of summer skiing and an invitation for anyone

looking to slide some soft snow to escape the dry summer months on the

Folgefonna glacier. It’s the opportunity Europe has been dreaming of;

unhindered, unseasonal progression in the sport we love.

For more information on What! Summer Camp, check out http://www.whatcamps.com.


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