By Ben Gavelda

Lucas Debari Droppin\' Hammers

It has been a wild journey already and after the shake down at Customs in Vancouver, the TWS crew is on scene at the summer’s first session of Camp of Champions in Whistler-Blackcomb, B.C.  Joe Carlino (videobro), Chris Wellhausen (photog), and Ben Gavelda (pencil dude) are watching the shred go down as riders chase the snow into summer on the Blackcomb glacier. COC is hooked up and one of the hottest spots to catch up on some new tricks and kick back with an eclectic, international vibe at the village. The camp is thriving in its twentieth season and seamlessly blended with the Whistler-Blackcomb area as host. This year’s spot is littered with perfectly groomed park features and tons of off hill activities. When the fun is all done on the snow, there’s enough stuff scattered throughout the town to keep you hyped all summer. Props include a freshly carved up COC mini-ramp that’s been popping to the tune of skateboarding since the last screws sunk in. With so much going on, this camper point of view will fill you in on how you would spend the average day. 

7:00 – You’re quick to wake up early because you’ve waited two months since the last time you went snowboarding. Last night you met your coaches and hung out with pros like Simon Chamberlain, Chris Dufficy, Torstein Horgmo, Elena Height, Chad Otterstrom, and Nick Dirks amongst others. OG shred, camp director, and snowboarding hall of fame member Ken Achenbach filled you with how everything is set up and gets you pumped to ride.

8:00 – It’s time to snag a hot breakfast at the 21 Steps restaurant and meet some new shred friends. You scarf down some belgian waffles and eggs amongst a newfound crew. The village is starting to churn with shredders, bikers, and hikers, as you head to the lifts amongst the COC friends, coaches, and pros.   

9:00 – Whistler’s lifts send you up the hill to camp while you spy on bears hanging out on the hill. Aside from the bears, the ride up delivers a sprawling view of the Coast Mountains and valley below. When you get to the top the sun’s out and the park is snappy, slushy, and ready to go.

9:30 ’til you’re pooped – The buttery, slurpee-like snow is ripping and all the features from hips to flat-down-flats are dialed in by the digging staff. Some new tricks are definitely on your mind and doing laps with your coach helps you dial in the fun. Yep, no hiking here, just full park laps all day on the t-bar. You can get plenty of runs in so don’t forget to take a break and get down on a hearty lunch and snacks while you re-up on the sunscreen.

4:00 ’til it’s time to crash – Back in the village to wind down and disperse amongst the campers and activities.  The whole place is literally a playground and the camp lets you choose from paintball to guitar hero and everything in between. The village is always crawling and it’s a rad place to just kick it. Instead of that sloppy buffet line dinner, you get treated to any number of restaurants in the village.  KCF to Sushi Village to Mongolian Grill, everything you need is here. Don’t forget the gelato too.

10:00 – Even though the sun is still out, you’re beat from running around all day and it’s time to pass out so you can press repeat for tomorrow. 

The camp is already off to a rockin’ start and with the Forum and Bataleon teams rolling into town things are bound to heat up.  TWS is stoked to be here so check back later in the week for more photos, video, and the all happs.

Keeping in tradition with the TWS numbers, here’s what’s gone down in the numbers department:

Black Eyes: 1

Canadian chocolate bars consumed: 11
Combined seconds of airtime at camp: 367
Hours spent driving lost and/or aimlessly (whoops): 2.17
Cool points the camp has earned: 1,527 (700 after the first night)
Number of steps on our granite chief hike: 1,608 (Thanks Priscilla and Crispin!)
Percent Jonas Michilot’s foam dinosaurs have grown since he put them in the water 2 days ago: 38
(the box said they’d hit 600)
Take a glimpse for yourself at the photo gallery: Camp of Champions / Wilderness Report II