The summer shred is in full swing north of the U.S. border-that is when Canadians can find time to squeeze in riding between celebrations for their love of the maple leaf. TransWorld sent a couple certified Yanks up there to find out what really goes down on Canada Day at the Whistler summercamps, and yeah, it’s more than just fireworks and singing “Oh Canada.”
Several camps are scattered across the Blackcomb glacier, the most recognizable being the Camp Of Champions run by snowboarding legend Ken Achenbach. Coaches are down-home Whistler locs like Wes Makepeace, Kevin Young, Roberta Rodger, and Gaetan Chanut. On-hill facilities are small jumps and jibs specifically designed for camper fun. What does all this mean? Absolutely NO SCENE (and I mean that in a good way, because it IS all about the campers). That’s right, no 80-foot table tops, no media blowout (well, we were there, I guess), and no swarm of pro snowboarders trying to get video parts and shots for next year’s ads. Good living for a young snow schralper on snowboard vacation.
While we were up north, we noticed that Canadians never stop partying. First it was Canadian Independence Day, which is done with equal pomp and production to the U.S. one, maybe more when you keep in mind that Canadians have always had a weirdly fierce national pride. Then early the next morning it was the announcement that Vancouver won the bid to host the Olympics in 2010, something most Whistler locals were actually less-than-psyched on because of what it means for rental prices, as well as the general annoyance factor of all that surrounds the Olympics. We were choking on the maple leaf by the time we cut out of there, and are still upspeaking a bit but have yet to end any of our sentences with “eh?” thank god.