Words and Photos: Mary Walsh @walshmt
Summer is rough. Sure, the weather’s nice and the days are long, but there’s a distinct lack of snow in the majority of the Northern Hemisphere. While for many, that’s a reason to rejoice and fire up the barbeque, for those of us who love taking lap after lap at our local resort, opening day just feels like a long way off when it’s early June.
Enter snowboard summer camp at Woodward Tahoe: one of the best ways to kick off the warmer season with sunny, slushy snowboarding in a park designed for having fun and learning new tricks. The first week of June, Beyond the Boundaries Women’s Snowboard Camp hosted an adult snowboard camp during Week 1 at Woodward Tahoe, bringing a crew of coaches including 686 rider Fancy Rutherford as well as Taylor Elliott, Savannah Golden, Madison Blackley, Ashley Giangregorio, Summer Fenton, Cali Doerfler, Jes Albery, and BTBounds Co-Founder, Christine Savage to Boreal along with a dozen women for a grown-up take on classic snowboard camp.
Beyond the Boundaries has been working with Woodward Tahoe on women’s-specific weekend winter camps for the last couple of seasons; the collab summer camp week launched last year in 2018. Woodward Tahoe is pretty much a summer paradise, with lift-accessed snowboarding and skiing, multiple outdoor skateparks, and The Bunker, Woodward’s expansive indoor facility with trampolines, foam pits, tumble floors, multiple launch ramps, an indoor skatepark and miniramps. Where BTBounds Week 1 comes in is to customize the summer snowboard camp experience for women, with dedicated coaching on hill, off campus lodging, and adult-specific evening activities like nights out in Truckee, wine tasting, yoga sessions, skate clinics, catered dinners, and more.
Tahoe had an epic winter so Boreal was stacked with snow. The Woodward Tahoe park crew, led by Mizl, constructed four lanes of jumps, jibs, a minipipe and a quarter—a practically unheard of set up for summer. It was nuts. During the day, the BTBounds ladies sessioned all areas of the park, honing their skills on boxes, learning to hit side-approach rails, and becoming more comfortable in the air off of jumps. Fancy imparted her jibbing prowess and helped everyone perfect their presses.
In the evening, after learning new skills on the trampolines and into the foam pits in the Woodward Bunker (thanks Blake for the coaching!), the crew hung out in the BTB house in Tahoe Donner (complete with hot tub), enjoyed dinner in downtown Truckee, and relaxed before more riding. Coral Taylor, local yoga teacher and ripping rider, helped everyone stretch sore muscles with a yoga session at Donner Lake.
Midweek, Woodward held a sunset shoot for the visiting pros and invited BTBounds to come ride, too. Mizl set up a stall on the rider’s right deck of the halfpipe and the crew rode until the sun had set behind The Sierra. The next day, SNOWBOARDER Magazine’s Pat Bridges and Mark Clavin held a handplant clinic just for BTBounds and everyone familiarized themselves with the basics of planting, a challenging thing to learn with how unfamiliar the movement can feel, made much better by everyone trying together. 686 rider Darrah Reid-McLean was at camp with SNOWBOARDER and joined in, as well.
In the afternoon, Alexandra from Skate Like a Girl SF Bay hosted a skate session in a pop-up park next to The Bunker and helped everyone get more comfortable on their skateboards, whether they were learning ollies or just pushing around for the first time. (Big thanks to Alexandra from SLAG and to Santa Cruz for the decks!)
No summer vacation in Tahoe would be complete without spending time on the lake. So, before the week was through, the ladies linked up with Rent-A-Boat Tahoe for an evening cruise on a two-boat floatilla with captains Nial and Brian. The weather was perfect and with music pumping and beverages in hand, the crew wound down the night floating on the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe…and then of course jumped in.
By Friday, everyone had gotten in tons of sunny park laps, but no one was ready to call it quits. The women boarded until the lifts stopped turning, getting in all the summer shred possible. New tricks were learned, new friends were made, and it was an all-time week to start summer off in the best way possible. See you next year at Woodward Tahoel!
Want to join BTBounds for a week-long trip or a weekend park camp? Check out www.btbounds.com for more info.