The sun was just beginning to emerge from behind the peaks of the White Mountains early on Sunday morning as a few dozen women loaded the Kanc Quad at the Governor’s Base of Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. The air was crisp, but the clouds began to part, allowing bright, spring rays to warm the atmosphere. As the Beyond the Boundaries crew shuttled up the lift for St. Patrick’s Day early ups, untouched corduroy stretching out on the trails below, the crew kicked of day two of the annual women’s park camp at Loon.
The weekend women’s park camp for both snowboarders and skiers, which began at Loon in 2005, builds its foundation with park progression. Loon Mountain Parks Manager, Jared Minassian, and his crew of rake-wielding park rangers design a private set up that provides the ideal setting for riders of all ability levels. One of the hallmarks is the box and rail progression set up at the top of the park. Four jibs in succession on a single table allow women to test the waters of hitting a box and then build up their confidence and skills by moving from flat box to elevator box to tube to rail (and then to the role jam and side-approach down box nearby). Just below that, a gap-to-butterpad catalyzed creativity and stretched everyone’s pressing abilities. Next up was a tier of two jumps that led into an eight-foot quarterpipe. Coaches Nirvana Ortanez and Ari Morrone taught handplant basics on the QP while Savannah Golden passed along her surfy sensibilities with a low impact lesson on slashing with style. Coaches Christine Savage, Kelsey Boyer, Ashley Giangregorio, Alice Gong, Megan Schneider, Jade Chretien, and Taylor Elliot were on hand offering instruction on all aspects of freestyle riding and the ways that different park tricks influence and affect each another.
Loon’s superpipe is the only one in New Hampshire, and the only one on the BTBounds event tour, and so the crew makes sure to take advantage of the pristinely-cut walls. Red Bull pro rider, Queralt Castellet, flew out to NH to coach a halfpipe clinic, providing tips and tricks and providing inspiration with her proper method on the rider’s right wall. The pipe session was definitely a highlight of the weekend, as ladies hiked up and dropped in repeatedly before breaking for Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day apres.
At the heart of BTBounds at Loon is #teamfunloon. Team Fun started as a group of ladies ten years ago at the camp and has grown into more of a philosophy of the entire weekend. Team Fun’s basis is built on having fun on hill (as well as at apres) and the emphasis has grown each year through welcoming inclusivity. It’s a hashtag that represents the entirity of the weekend, from early up laps to afternoon feature hiking to rowdy dance parties that always explode during Saturday’s apres. This year, for the 15th anniversary of the event, further cemented the community-driven vibes and brought more women into the fold of the BTBounds crew.
Thank you to everyone who came out to ride at Loon for the BTBounds weekend! Big thanks to Gus, Jay, Norton, Kevin, Scambio, Kima, Stefanie, Stacey, Allie, and everyone who made this weekend a blast! See you next year! For more info, check out www.btbounds.com.