Sun Peaks Carve Camp

March 27-April 1, 2004
Sun Peaks, British Columbia

Snowperformance held their annual spring carve camp at Sun Peaks Resort in Canada.
7 riders on plates + 2 coaches + 4 days. Here is my report, along with some commentary courtesy of Günther, my split-personality alter-ego.

Ja! Günther likes dat alpin Fahrvergnügen!


Sun Peaks is a miniature version of Whistler, but without the crowds, the sketchy weather, or the iffy grooming. Ja - vee tink it's more like Sölden, und less like Verbier.


Another bonus: To compete with Whistler, Sun Peaks is pushing over-the-top customer service everywhere in the resort, so the groomers gave us whatever we asked for and did not require bribes of any kind - Ja! if vee vant extra über-grooming any vhere else, vee have to bend over backvards! - und forvards! Ach!


Alpine coach Mark Harris digs back into his closet - way back, for an outfit to match the Donek topsheet, and comes up with this retro gem, which lasts about one run before starting to tear apart. Actually, it's beyond retro - it's retrograde. It also does wonders for the Snowperformance marketing visibility - Ach! Vee tink dat is current style in Austria - dier idea of fashion ist alvays "retrograde"! Dat lederhosen vould blend right in!

Mark Harris speaks softly and with few words, much like the protagonist in a gothic comic book, but gives you exactly the information you need, and nothing more. Arnold Schwarzenegger earned about $21,000 per word in Terminator 2, but Mark's priceless advice does one better - Ja! can vee rent out Mark by zie minute? ... Ach! Vee don't mean it like dat! vee know vhat your dirty mind is tinking!

Plus, he can take an alpine board into the pipe and work it.

To the right is Sean Cassidy, pro-gold-deluxe limited-edition alpine coach - Ja! dat guy ist carving rocket scientist. He teaches zie unified field theory auf carving. Just call him Werner von Cassidy.

To the left is Marty, a camper who spent 50% of the time doing some assistant coaching - Vee tink Marty ist die vunderkind auf carving!

So we actually got 2.5 coaches - Ja! vee had 7 carvers auf plates, und 2,5 coaches. Hmmm .. dat vould be ... 2,8 carvers per coach! - dat's da vay to go baby!



Peter is doing the "quiet upper body" drill - Ja! mit none of dat evil counter-rotation!


The camp was Lisa's first time on plates. In total, there were 3 beginner carvers, and they all went up the learning curve quickly - Ja. Dey carven sie up in no time!


We got video analysis at the end of every day, and then gathered for dinner du jour. The village caters to the international crowd, and features The Stromböck, a German speaking hotel and restaurant, as well as other Euro-friendly establishments - Ja! don't even try hitting on doz St. Pauli Girl vaitresses - dey not dat easy! leave doz to a pro - like Günther!


Sun Peaks has three mountains, two with the best morning snow, and one with a different sun exposure that gets the best texture in the afternoon. It's win-win. Like everywhere else in the Pacific North West, conditions were freakishly warm in late March, but the camp was able to juggle among the various mountains and find the best terrain.


The first two days consist of drills to help rebalance everyone's chi, in preparation for the gate training on the last two days.


Meanwhile, Gavin coaches the skiers, and provides unlimited amusement for the carvers - Ja! vee got to practice some of dat conversational Scottish! - "If it's naut Scottish, it's crrrrap!"


At lunch, there's no dress code - it's strictly come-as-you-are. The village is small enough to get to know people, and Canadians are disarmingly friendly, in a Dudley Do-Right sort of way - Ach! except doz customs officers, eh? - vee still valking funny! Ach!


Then, back to business. The last two days we get to be legends in our own mind on the race course - Ja! dey set up PGS. Vee rippen sie up!


Meanwhile, we confirm our long-held belief that resorts fill marketing PR with sweet shots of carvers laying it down, even though hardly anyone carves - Ja! dis is vhut vee call "carve-porn"!


Snowperformance is full service, and that means demo gear and a tuning clinic. Peter and Sean debate the relative merits of base edge angle - Ach! dat Sean Cassidy ist ATM machine auf tuning - In goes zie bier, out comes zie advice.


In carving, you can never have too much advice, and we got plenty of it. Thanks to Sean, Mark, and Gavin, and also to Donek and Bomber for the demo gear
- Ja! Vee vant von of doz FC II 179! Dat von has cruise control!

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