Features 14.5: The Battle Of Brohm Ridge

In actuality, this is a story about the Brohm Ridge Superpipe snowboard camp. It’s a super fun backcountry halfpipe camp with an amazing mountain setting (Mount Garibaldi, B.C.) and is totally self-contained. Just getting up there is half the adventure, as you need a good four-by-four truck to combat the road. When you’re there, you’re there. But with amazing food and a huge chalet-style lodge to play in, you’re sure to be happy.

When you’re not riding the massive eighteen-foot-high hand-shaped halfpipe or hitting the jumps, you can skate the mini-ramp park or hang in the lodge watching movies and playing PlayStation. This all-inclusive camp is set up for the serious halfpipe rider who wants lots of riding time! Check out the Web site to get a glimpse into a summer up on Brohm Ridge: www.superpipe.org.

___Entry One
I’m lying in my tent underneath the turbulent black sky reflecting on the day’s battle. The storm is brewing, and the walls shake with each gust of wind-Mother Nature is punishing us! Today was a good day-only two casualties, but as the battle rages on, I wonder how many of our soldiers will see it through.Our encampment is a shantytown of tents, quickly thrown up and scattered across the area. It’s here our battalion sleeps. The officers and generals have more luxurious arrangements-an abandoned castle off the mountain pass from where we are situated. Also encamped there are the countless refugees we are taking care of. They’ve found their way here from all over the world, since their homelands have either been destroyed or are threatened.

The battlefield consists of a huge trench that took a massive amount of work to complete, but the backbreaking labor benefits us all; it’s so big it can accommodate the whole army. The warlord overseeing the construction of the trench does not tolerate laziness, and many slaves have already been banished.Surrounding us is a huge mountain that produces weather so quickly it’s sometimes hard to find our way back to camp after the day’s battle. Just getting up to this high of a point has been trying enough. Climbing over rivers, up rocky cliffs, and around tight switchbacks, this ancient trail is only now getting worn in.

The more experienced soldiers have been instructing the refugees how to fight-they look promising. Even some of the youngest members show signs that within a short time they will become some of the fiercest warriors out-battling their elders. At the end of each day we find ourselves gathered around the fire, telling stories of the day’s events. Hungry and exhausted, our only thought is for complete victory. Slaves have been brought in especially for cooking, since the one thing that keeps the army going is the food. Food has been pillaged from the farms and markets of the fertile valleys below and brought to us. I sleep now, as tomorrow we will try to finish the enemy off.

Entry Two
I awake to the approaching light and dew covering our tents. I think of the day to come, my family, and my past. After a quick breakfast, we head up into the mountain pass-our regular infantry, quite a few refugees, and even some nomads. We total about 120 soldiers, all eager to take revenge on the enemy and make them pay for the destruction they’ve caused. After a half-hour of traveling, we arrive at our trench and prepare ourselves. The general instructs some of us what to do when the enemy attacks, while some of the other lieutenants ready their shields and booby traps for the first wave of battle. For once, the sun is shining and gives us some sort of happiness. Little things like this make our morale grow and remind us of why we’re up here. We miss our loved ones in the valley below and hope for their safety. We are the front line, and if we can progress, it will show upcoming generations what can be accomplished.

When it’s time to battle, each soldier heads into the trench. They either defeat their foe or are injured in the process. Thankfully, as the day goes on, there are only minor casualties, but one serious injury requires medics to help the soldier off the mountain pass. When you’re hurt, it’s the traveling you hate most, not the pain itself.

At midday there is a lull in the war as ammunitions are exhausted. Then there is time for rest and reorganization. Some of the infantry heads to base camp and are replaced with fresh soldiers. At base camp, people sharpen and clean their weapons while others rest. Some even find the strength to play games or occupy their time with things that don’t require them to think of the battle. Still others help to keep our trench at the battle zone safe and in good shape.After a couple of hours, battle resumes with much of the same fighting and trying to stay free of injury. By the early evening, most are exhausted and worked by Earth’s elements. The soldiers wander back to camp through the enveloping dusk, following the trail. This night we have a sunset with looming thunderheads not far behind, which is a nice change indeed.

After a quick rest, we eat our biggest meal, and then each of us goes to bed or to clean our weapons. Sleep is valued greatly, so most use any downtime to rest.I go back to my tent and think of all the day’s successes and hope the next will be as victorious. This war has taken its toll, but it has also taught us about fear and strength. I know that the end is near, and we will prevail.