By Ben Gavelda

Whoa. This is what summer camp should be. COC slipped the fun bug under everyone’s skin and by the end of the week we were itching to extend our stay. Here’s what the COC masters of summer threw on our plate.

Over a massive table of food and drink, COC welcomed the Forum Team and the giant euro-posse simply deemed: Pirates. Their video projects have been slaying it in Europe and Asia, and with riders like Gigi Rüf and Sani Alibabic leading the pack it’s on the checkout list fo’ sho. They started a little buzz by giving the camp a taste of their new movie Overseas.  Oh, and the Forum Team, yep they were ripping it as always. This year they’ve compiled a star-studded crew for their flick Forum or Against’em. And from what I’ve heard, the guys put together another banger that follows in the tracks of classics like The Resistance and True Life.

After a day of boardin’, the TWS crew rounded up a posse of daring campers for a couple rounds of paintball fury. At first, the thought of getting blasted by a paintball at three-hundred feet per second makes your butt pucker, but throw in a handful of grazing black bears on the course and all worries fly out the window.  Apparently the veggie-based paintballs are like M&M’s for the furry beasts and they could care less if you’re popping off rounds of paint right next to them. “Game off! Bear on the course” was uttered more than once. While all the campers dawned camo jumpsuits, TWS photographer Chris Wellhausen got stuck with a bright blue jumper. The campers wasted no time in covering this smurf up with paintball goo, just ask him about his welts.

A dusty trail could be seen Wednesday afternoon as a convoy of trucks climbed up the mountain carrying shreds John Jackson, Daniel Ek, Lucas DeBari, Torstein Horgmo, Chad Otterstrom, Nick Dirks, and Jonas Michilot. The weather wasn’t exactly ripe for a perfect sunset shoot with clouds and fog rolling in. Regardless, the TWS These Days crew was able to catch a few last shots under some shady lighting conditions. Even though the jumps were sculpted well, it was like falling out of the sky because you couldn’t see the landing in the flat light/darkness. Chad said he’s never hit a jump like that in the dark. Woo! Even though things were a little edgy, these boys managed to throw it down for the cameras. There is definitely good shred chemistry going with the These Days posse so get ready for the premier this fall.

The rain and snow on Thursday gave many a break from riding and little time to catch up. Some decided to charge the hill, others hit the covered mini-ramp, and the TWS crew tore up the mountain on two-wheelers. Bike day was a good way to mix things up between boardin’. Whistler/Blackcomb is also an epicenter for downhill/freeride mountain biking with trails, cliffs, and jumps galore strewn all the way down the hill. COC hooked up some rides from their bike camp and everyone was pumped as stories of jumping bikes as youngsters were traded. All the trails were buttery smooth and even the huge jumps sent you sailing smoothly.  As our outcast posse ripped through the woods amongst moto-x looking bikers we overheard “hey, look at those kids in tight pants.” Joe “rad air” Carlino, Dustin [Craven], Chad [Otterstrom], Chris [Wellhausen] and myself sent it like a scene out of Rad.

After some moisture moving through the air for a couple days, all those on hand caught a perfect summer day to round out the week at camp. The air bag jump finally got set up to absorb anyone who wanted to chuck themselves off the aerial jump into the giant air cushion. Some of the bag blasting highlights were sent by coach Chris Wimbles letting loose a couple double backs and Dustin Craven dropping some double-cork 10s. Some skier went flipping and flailing, just catching the corner of the bag too. Sketchy.

I’m convinced slush-puppy snow (the conditions everyday on the glacier) is the next best thing to powder, especially when it’s blue bird. This last surfy day wound down with a COC barbeque on the banks of the Fitzsimmons creek and a chill-out sesh at the beach of Lost Lake. This little recharge was enough to send up a slew of riders for another go at a night photo/video shoot. This time it was a combined effort with the Pirate and TWS convoys headed to the hills. The sunset, riders, and features: epic.  Check back and keep your eyes peeled for the goods from this shoot. 

It wouldn’t be a proper send off without celebrating COC’s twentieth birthday party though. This went down late Friday night and was seasoned with a smorgasbord of riders, babes, and friends. Thanks to Ken Achenbach, Fabia Grüebler, and all the COC staff for hosting an awesome time. Just like Dustin Craven’s newly printed tattoo states, this is the “best summer ever.” See y’all next year.

Here’s what’s gone down in the end for the numbers department:

Black Eyes: 1

Number of bears spotted: 23
Number of mountain lions spotted: 1
Canadian chocolate bars consumed: 24
Combined seconds of airtime at camp: 2,437
Cool points the camp has earned: 5,000 (I think they beat the game)
Percent Jonas Michilot’s foam dinosaurs have grown since he put them in the water 7 days ago: 117
(the box said they’d hit 600)
Check out the full scene at the photo gallery below: