Words: Josh Bishop
Photos: Riley Snyder & Darcy Bacha
In the early 2000’s, film crews would embark on their annual pilgrimage to Mt. Hood, Oregon to capture the most progressive and groundbreaking skiing in the world. Jumps over halfpipes were built, the loop was constructed, sunset shoots were pioneered, skiers boosted to skyscraper-like heights on hip jumps, and the energy they created spread faster than the Enron scandal. Unbeknownst to them, the cinematographers illuminated the heroes of tomorrow, athlete segments proved legendary, and their films would be played in VCR’s for years to come. Although the tricks, athletes, and features have changed over the past decade, the aura surrounding Windells Camp remains the same. Large features, talented athletes, private shoots, and campers alike are staples the “Funnest Place on Earth”. The slushy jumps that saw the first d-spins, misty flips, and switch tricks are now encouraging skiers to stomp multiple variations of doubles, lofty switch cork 3’s and zero spins, along with Sammy’s mind blowing switch triple. Holding true to the historic nature of Windells, Session 3 was characterized by a host of bluebird days, the opening of a dry slope airbag, the Sammy Carlson Invitational, and the most innovative park skiing ever witnessed on a dormant volcano.
Watching orientation is downright hilarious. Coaches are introduced, products are thrown, and some campers act as though they’re taking their first steps on the moon. Welcome to Windells!
Windells Academy is incredible. For anyone questioning how good they will become after 365 days in ski boots, just ask Nick Goepper, who can boost 9’s well into dusk on the new airbag.
At camp, varsity in-run calls for varsity flat 5’s.
Extra curricular actives include foam pit jousting…
Exploring the culinary arts…
Stretching, yoga, and gymnastics…
…and eating fine cuisine.
Given that the academy is aimed at developing worldly curiosity as much as ski ability, students have the ability to explore a vast array of wildlife.
“This week, my only goal is to stomp a 180 with afterbang” – from a Camper Goal Sheet. Above, Collin Collins turns dream goals into reality with his 180.
New for session 3, the 100-foot rail was one of the best features in the park. Icing that beast feels absolutely glorious. Just ask this camper!
The NEFF wallride was a fresh addition as well. Once Dane and Spriggs eyed the gap, a handful of coaches and guest pros sessioned this unlikely feature. With a landing full of ice boulders and groomer debris, this gap is far more aggressive than it looks.
Spriggs drops a rodeo 7 from wallride to a sketchy landing.
Mandatory snowboard shot. Staale Sandbech boosting the dream feature.
The level of talent among the campers of Session 3 was astounding. It truly brings a new meaning to “advanced” when browsing the group lists.
Session 3 also hosted the Sammy Carlson Invitational, which never happened after two days of inclement weather. Thankfully, Sammy and the SCI crew made the best of the circumstances and held multiple private sessions of the jump. Above, Spriggs drops a switch 10 mute to the bottom of the landing.
Just incase you couldn’t see trick from that angle, here’s a shot of JF Houle from the deck of the jump.
Alexis Godbout gets wild while Liam Downey casually admires from the knuckle.
On the day of the event, fog rolled in, and variable speed and poor visibility made the jump relatively un-hittable. Determined to please the crowd, Sammy sends a huge switch dub 9 in the fog.
Back on campus, campers got stoked at Disorientation, collected products, and packed their bags.
Jeff Kiesel and his crew of athletes for Session 3.
Liam lounges with the campers
Campers collecting gear!
Spriggs launching an inhumane switch 10.
And last but not least, Twitter.com/CamperQuotes was in full force during the session. Here are a few of the finest:
"You're right. That was really hard" - Liam's camper after getting destroyed trying lip 2.
"I just bought a Skullcandy sticker and had it signed by TOM WALLISCH! It's my most prized possession" - Stoked camper at the staff sale.
"Is there a ladies tee on the second jump?" - camper to Ben Moxham
“You know why they call him Ocho don't you? He has 6 toes.”
“Where do bees sleep at night?”
Camper: "Dude. That's Mike Hornbeck." Camper's friend: "No way! You would never recognize him in real life."
Windells Session 3