There were a few more hoots and hollers than normal this past weekend at Washington’s Stevens Pass Resort. In addition to over a foot of snow in 24 hours, approximately 70 lovely ladies from ages 10-50 came together for the 6th annual Burton Pillow Fight women’s snowboard camp. While most of the participants came from around the Pacific Northwest, from Auburn, WA to Kelowna, BC, some special guests flew in from Vermont and California. Burton Snowboards President Donna Carpenter and long time professional snowboarder Shannon Dunn-Downing shared their experiences over a lunch question and answer session on Saturday, encouraging all of the ladies to continue to share their love for the sport of snowboarding beyond the weekend event.
It was great to hear how Burton has made it a company wide priority to include women from the ground up. Whether that’s encouraging shop girls, increasing maternity benefits, or simply getting four employees from marketing and sales out to the PNW for a girl’s weekend. What a treat to finally get to share some turns and smiles with Danielle Hambleton and Kelly Stoecklein as well as get to know Stephanie and Katie.
Donna mentioned that the PNW has the highest percentage of women snowboarders in the US, and it was pretty apparent with the strong showing throughout the weekend. All of the ladies had blue bandanas tied around their legs, allowing us to head to the front of the ski school lines, well worth the price of the camp for those looking to lap as many powder runs as possible.
On day two, I lost my crew on the first run, only to continue down the hill and connect with a new group of blue bandana wearing ladies. They were practicing riding switch. At first I thought, oh great, I’m in with the park progress crew. Lucky for me (my cartilage isn’t what it once was), they were simply focusing on technique, and I ended up with the perfect crew for the day. Fun to meet some new friends, these ladies were mostly nurses who make an annual trip to Pillow Fight and were working on overall progression of their skills. I had the opportunity to take a hike up to Piss Point and drop into Hollywood Bowl with them. So fun to watch the ladies take their first untracked pow lines. After the first bowl, we found ourselves on Rooster Ridge, just below my original crew. Instead of running to catch up to the og crew, I finished out the perfect run with a trip down a natural halfpipe with my new friends. I was so honored by how these ladies had welcomed me. The entire weekend was about meeting new friends and taking new runs.
Whether the goal of participants was to learn how to make turns, meet new riding buddies, demo new boards and stance options, improve park skills, or learn how to ride steeper and deeper terrain, progression and smiles were plentiful. In addition to an abundance of hugs and high fives, the ladies went above and beyond to raise money for Burton’s Chill Foundation and help provide access to snowboarding for at-risk youth.
Thanks to Stevens Pass for hosting, Jaymie and Kelly at the Sales Asylum for organizing, and Burton for continuing to support the ladies. Nothing is more fun than turns shared with friends, and Pillow Fight definitely turned up the fun factor while passing on some valuable skills. Ladies, this years event was packed, so be sure to watch the Stevens Pass and Burton Snowboards websites in 2014 to join in the fun.
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