RECAP – GIRLS SNOWBOARD CAMPGirl's just wanna have fun!

Katie Blundell


1 month ago in Snowboard

After a 2 year hiatus I reclaimed my role hosting the epic Girls Snowboard Camp in Meribel with large boots to fill (thanks Jenny Jones) and set off with way too much luggage to the mountains…

DAY 1- ARRIVAL DAY

I rounded up half of the girls at the airport and we piled into our transfer up to the mountains. The girls were getting on like a house on fire, I KNEW immediately that we were in for a good week. There was excited chatter on the journey, obviously all about snowboarding/ skiing/ mountain chat in general. I started to feel like snowboarder Katie again, going to the mountains felt like I was coming home (cheeeeesy).

We arrived at out PIMP chalet, picture perfect set up on a little hill surrounded by snowy views. And yes, there was still snow, lots of it for the end of the season. So lucky! We were greeted by our lovely chalet hosts Anabel and Joey (who ruined my hopes of a bikini body with their delicious food) and Gwil, the resort manager. Smiley happy shiny people! The rest of the girls arrived throughout the day, completed by the crème-de-la-crème, Corrine Mayhew (aka Cozza). Cozza was to be our snowboard coach for the week.

Sure I’ve mentioned before, but she is one of the most highest qualified female snowboard instructors in the world. Just saying. The rest of the day is a fuzzy glow of chatter, cake, tea, Nikita goody bags and maybe even some champagne?! Ps. Did I mention we had a hot tub?!

DAY 2-BACK AT IT

Yessss Meribel!!!! We woke up to sun streaming into our chocolate box chalet. A breakfast spread for champions had been set, and once we were filled, we got ready for the first day. For many of us, it had been a while. The nice thing about girls is we were all honest that we were nervous and had forgotten how to snowboard. It was heartening we were all in the same boat.

Once we had successfully strapped into our boards and navigated the first chair lift semi smoothly, Cozza set us all at ease with some fun warm up games. Not only did these get the blood pumping and muscles warm, they really broke the ice. We did a few “remembering how to snowboard” runs, revealing that all the girls were actually at similar levels. The good thing about there being 2 of us (ie: me and Cozza) was that we would be able to split the group if necessary. However, everyone seemed happy to stick together and we could all work on similar things.

We focused on getting our legs back and ironing out our basic technique, giving us a good base for progression later on. We rounded off the day with a firm favourite….The Snowboard Tripod (a real thing). The girls snowboarding mojos were back and we headed down the mountain for our afternoon yoga session and afternoon tea. We had definitely earned at least 2 slices of cake each!

DAY 3- BILLY MORGAN EAT YOUR HEART OUT

Cozza and I knew that we would have to be flexible with our itinerary due to weather etc. But when we both got up that morning and saw another beautiful sunny day, we both thought the same thing…..FREESTYLE. Great minds.
After another fun filled Cozza style warm up then we started tackling some flat land jibs. Buttering and 180s first….then Ollies. I may have even witnessed some of the girls doing 180’s off some side hits. Triple corks next?!

Refuelling with a hot chocolate break (we are ladies after all), we headed to the park. Cozza let me lead the session as I used to dabble in the park back in the day!! I think Park Rat may have been the term? More like a park Gerbil but same same.

I LOVED leading this. It’s one thing doing freestyle, but teaching it to a group of keen ladies gives you the ultimate buzz. We found a line of perfect little jumps to practice getting some airtime. We lapped this and also found some rollers after the park to incorporate into our mega lap. Once the coaching session had finished, the girls stayed and lapped the park even more. Me too of course. Well, when in Rome!

And what’s the best way to end an epic freestyle day?? An epic après session of course. We headed to the Folie Douce, danced on tables and used our gloves as twirling batons. Spirits not broken by afternoon beer, the girls were well up for QUIZ NIGHT, a night I had been planning/hatching for a while. All the games were loosely centred around “helping” their snowboarding. But I shall not reveal more as it will be a spoiler for next year’s games. What happens at Quiz Night, stays at Quiz Night.

DAY 4-FREE DAY

Mid-week we have a free day and the girls can do as they please. Of course, they were still up at the crack of dawn rearing to go snowboarding. Judging from the photos, I’d say they had a pretty good day. The gossip in Meribel is that they took themselves to the park! And what did Cozza and I do??? We had a beautiful day of park laps, tranquil coffee
drinking, hot tubbing and napping!! All of which I never get to do at home, #mumlife

That evening we joined forces with the Girls Ski Camp that was running a long side and went for a huge group meal out. Then it started snowing…….

DAY 5- POWDER DAY

No friends on a powder day?? Not here! We wolfed down our breakfast and eagerly got ready. We were greeted by a totally different scene on the mountain. Meribel had been covered in a beautiful layer of glistening white powder. And it was cold! It felt like mid-winter again. Riding powder is a totally different technique. Cozza knows her powder riding inside out and gave the girls the low down. They took to it like ducks to water and we managed to ride fresh snow pretty much all day.

When the visibility got back, wise Cozza took us lower down to some trees so we could see more. One of the prettiest runs of the day was a run in-between the trees. It was magical. The other good thing about cold snowy days is its totally justified to stop for coffee. The girls had been nailing the powder all day so it was a welcome break.

Not strictly part of the itinerary, but a very effective snowboard muscle recovery technique……The Hot Tub Plunge. You have to go from the hot tub, to rolling around in the fresh snow (techniques varied), to quickly (never seen the girls move so fast) back into the hot tub again. This is good for your circulation and aching muscles.

The day finished with a chilled girls movie night. Cheesy chick flicks, pyjamas and wine were all part the agenda. ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz

DAY 6- BRING YOUR SNORKLE

More snow? And sun? BLUEBIRD!!! We had pencilled in some Transceivers “just in case” and as soon as we knew it was an official bluebird powder day, we put the plan into action. Transceivers meant that we could access more terrain and better untracked snow. All in a safe way. Cozza gave us all a brief run down on how they worked and tested them all out for us. Then we set off.

We headed to some terrain that wasn’t too steep and gnarly, but was enough to get the blood pumping. It was right next to the piste so we had that “out” if any of the girls weren’t feeling it. We went down one at a time and always had a safe stopping point where we would all meet. The snow was amazing, and judging by the girls smiles, I’d say they had a pretty good time.

But all good things must come to an end. I had to leave the girls here as I had to fly to the Philippines for my brothers wedding! Oh such a hard life (actually was pretty hard, 14 hour flight with 2 kids ahhhhh, but that’s another story!). I really didn’t want to go, but glad I was leaving on a high.

DAY 7- LAST DAY

I spoke to the girls about what went down, and reports were they had another epic park session. I have no doubt Cozza taught them all some new tricks to take home and impress their mates. And did they go wild the last night?? I guess I will never know……..

FINALE

The girls snowboard camp was amazing from start to finish. Snowboarding wise we covered so many different elements in one week and were blessed to ride so many different conditions, not to mention score a couple of powder days. Cozza has this was of making everyone feel relaxed and making learning really fun. This non-pressured environment is great for progression. We made sure we spent time with each girl individually working on stuff and giving pointers. Cozza really listened to the ladies and worked on what they wanted to, but also suggested new things maybe they hadn’t thought of/ or been too nervous to try previously. I saw the girls literally growing in confidence as the week went on, it was lush. The camaraderie between the group was top notch.

Everything else just seemed to fall into place. The activities, the yoga, chalet life….the hot tub! There was a nice balance of chill times and energetic times. For me, I was nervous to be leaving my kids for the first time. However as soon as I met the girls (a lot of them shred mums too), I relaxed. Obviously, they were always going to be a cool group of lasses as we were all there for the same passion…snowboarding. What a nice break from motherhood. Honestly the best week of “work” I’ve ever had! I just felt like I was just riding with a group of mates for the week!

So thank you guys I’m hanging up my boots for the season now, but I’m already counting down the days until next year’s camp. Can’t wait to see you there 🙂