WVSC, WB to offer summer snowboarding camp

It looks like a snowboard camp will be taking place on Blackcomb Mountain’s Horstman Glacier this summer, after all.

Whistler Valley Snowboard Club (WVSC) and Whistler Blackcomb (WB) have recently teamed up to offer summer shredding in the area that had previously been occupied by the now-defunct Camp of Champions for nearly three decades.

WVSC owner and director Rob Picard said he was “surprised and shocked” to hear news of Camp of Champions’ closure earlier this month, citing the program’s importance in the Canadian snowboarding industry. But with the void the camp’s closure left, he saw an opportunity to continue the summer boarding tradition while giving the club’s athletes an opportunity to continue their training throughout the warmer months, with the same coaches they ride with in the winter.

“It’ll give us a little bit more of a year round, structured program,” he explained.

While Camp of Champions owner and founder Ken Achenbach cited an inability to build a sufficient park due to lack of snow — and glacial deterioration caused by global warming — as the main reasons behind his decision to shut the camp down, Picard said WVSC and WB are working to build a park that will satisfy snowboarders’ needs: mainly, the desire to keep snowboarding.

“We’re not planning to develop a huge park… It’s going to be in a good, private zone for our athletes to get some good training,” he said. “Obviously the glacier is deteriorating every year, but there’s enough snow to build some jumps. It wasn’t quite what Ken wanted to build – he developed a really great park and put a lot of effort and customization into it. Obviously there may not be enough snow to be able to pull of what he wanted.”

Camp organizers plan to build a park accessed via the Horstman T-Bar, comprised of one large size jump, medium size jumps and a four pack rail line. While the park may be of smaller scale than Camp of Champions’…

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