Fourth of July on the Blackcomb Glacier

Whistler, BC (July 8, 2009) – With beautiful weather in the forecast for the Fourth of July weekend, I made like any respectable “American Citizen Born Abroad” and returned to “abroad”—in this case, Whistler-Blackcomb and the Camp of Champions (COC).

wizard chair

While I may not have grown up in Whistler, I paid frequent visits as a child, and even got to shred the glacier once in 1995 on my brand new Sims Shaun Palmer. It had baseless bindings, and a rocket on it. Back then, the public park was home to the first real halfpipe I had even ridden, and COC was still pretty small. To quote Biggie Smalls, things done changed.

COC now runs the left half of the Glacier, with a few camps sharing the right side, leaving a skinny lane for the public park separating the two. With COC closed for dig day on Saturday, the one kicker and jib line of the public park were all that was left to ride in perfect, bluebird conditions. Side hits were plentiful and the cat track sported a few natural quarters to session before jumping back on the t-bar for another lap. Like that visit in 95, Sean Johnson was even there—this time riding with the Stepchild team and testing new product.

back 1

While the three hours the public gets to ride the glacier may not seem like a lot, quick laps and t-bar lines are enough to wear down anyone who hasn’t seen snow in a month, and it was with sore legs that we retreated to Alta Lake to wash off the sunscreen and get ready for a day at the Camp of Champions.

t bar

Sunday broke a little hazy but still plenty warm, and the diggers at COC did a great job getting the park together for their third session of the summer. Big tables and hips dominate the terrain but dozens of smaller kickers, and creative jibs provided ample terrain for mini-shred laps. There was even a mini pipe with coping extensions to bring me back to the early days.


Thanks go out to Whistler-Blackcomb’s Ryan Proctor and Ken and Fabia from the Camp of Champions for helping make this happen. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the Fourth of July weekend.


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