Let’s get something straight: the world is a big place, and there are few things more meaningful to a snowboarder than packing into a van with a bunch of friends and going on a real, old-fashioned, four-wheels-to-the-ground shred exploration of that big ol’ world. With that in mind, we grabbed our passports and hit the open road with team CAPiTA for an end-all European summer-camp tour through the Alps. And oh, man … what a trip it was.

In addition to myself and photographer Neil Dacosta, the entire CAPiTA pro team was occupying seat space in our VW rental van–this includes Travis Parker, TJ Schneider, Tyler Lepore, Corey Smith, and Ryan Thompson. Sitting bitch and/or squeezed into luggage space were also ams Dave Rouleau and Jonas Karlsson. And at the helm of that shoddy ship was none other than CAPiTA Co-founder Blue Montgomery. In case you’re counting, that totals ten people in all. In case you’re wondering, it was tough indeed to fit all those people and their gear into a nine-seater van. Although it definitely defied the laws of physics, we managed … somehow.

The trip? It was a glorious thing, both ugly and beautiful–a road trip in the true sense of the word: pack in tight, drive all night, stop at random, skate to clear out the cobwebs, sweat on each other, eat each other’s snacks, breathe each other’s air, hate each other, love each other, get out and fucking ride.

We started off in Geneva, Switzerland and wound our way up into the looming French Alps to a town called Les Deux Alpes. Here, we shredded Big A Snowboard Camp facilities for a few days, which included jumping, jibbing, and fording rivers of dirty glacier melt. Then it was off to the heat and sweat of Torino, Italy to visit the European CAPiTA distributor and chill on the shores of balmy Lake Como. I’m telling you, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Corey Smith learn to windsurf. Next, it was a brutal all-nighter climb onto the Italian side of the Matterhorn to a resort called Cervinia–another Big A Snowboard Camp location. This is the highest resort in the Alps and one of the most dramatically beautiful places to shred that most of us had seen with our own two eyes.

Stay tuned for a full account of the trip in the pages of an upcoming issue of TransWorld, where I’ll expose every last dirty detail I learned about each and every CAPiTA rider inside that van. Just kidding. Maybe. For the meantime, here are a few tidbits that became apparent over the course of the voyage: Tyler doesn’t wear deodorant (it gives him a rash). Jonas got the entire team hooked on Snus (Swedish chewing tobacco). Travis is concerned about “side fat”. Blue has a very odd iPod selection–but Ryan has a Creed song on his. Dave has a scab farm on his side from repeated falls in corn snow. TJ is scared of things like turny roads and reckless driving. Corey maintains that he’s an international Playboy–not a sexual predator. Neil’s hair will outweigh his body in another week or two. And me, well, I’m irritable in the morning, so don’t fuck with me.

Anyhoo, a documentary-style DVD of the tour will be available off the CAPiTA Web site soon. Big thanks to Peter with Big A for putting us up and putting up with us, and oh, yeah, thanks to Europe for having us. Good times indeed.