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Going to Snowboard Camp with Ross Powers
by Lauren Traub Teton

I attended Ross Powers snowboard camp at Belleayre Mountain, in the Catskill Mountains of NY state on January 31 and Feb. 1 2004. In case you need a refresher, Ross won the gold medal in halfpipe in the last Olympics, (Park City) and bronze at the Nagano (first snowboard!) Olympics. He has a long list of other wins. It was the first time he brought his successful snowboard camp from Stratton, VT, to NY, and riders from the NY metro area gave hearty approval to the idea of having a great camp nearby.

Ross Powers Camp Photo

32 campers attended the camp, and they ranged in age from 7 to 47. They ranged in ability from beginners to competition level. Campers were grouped by ability and interest. Intermediate and advanced riders spent their time in Belleayre's halfpipe. And in the park, where we worked on straight air jumps, hips and spines, and an assortment of rails. Coaches worked our group on riding switch. And doing 180s over small jumps. And we had a fun run through steep bumps covered deep in untouched powder. Most of us fell down there, but it was playful and joyous.

I have found that most campers at the camps I go to have already spent a bit of time trying tricks. There are always a few who are riding the pipe, etc., for the first time. But I think it's best to have worked on tricks on your own or with a coach or friends before going to camp, and then using the resources of camp to refine your tricks.

Sometimes at camp, I am just not ready or willing to do what the group is working on. No problem. I'm usually not the only one. It 's better to heed your intuition, and work on what you need to work on. There's no stigma involved. Just work on what you're feeling, and steer around the jumps or rails on your run down if you're not feelin' it.

Ross Powers and Lauren

The camp was produced by Gerry Pallor of RadX Sports, ( and much of the camp was filmed by his group. Campers will be able to buy the video, which will help them improve by watching what they do right and wrong as well as provide fond memories of a great weekend. Ross Powers will show up on tape throwing down his tricks too. This camp was held the weekend before Ross's big showdown with rider Andy Finch for the Chevy Grand Prix Finals at Mountain Creek.

This was the 5th snowboard camp I have attended since July, and this one was right up there at the top of the pack as far as organization, progression, and FUN! Ross is personable and as well as being a good speaker who can command the room when he speaks, in a friendly and down to earth way. On the mountain he spent time with each group. The coaches who worked with us were helpful and skilled. Dave "Goes Big" Meckes, Avery Jenkins, Georgia LoPresti and Jamie Rizza from Belleayre's snowboard school led groups. Jamie Rizza has been teaching at Belleayre for 9 years and was particularly clear and effective as a teacher at camp. Ross's buddy Carter Olcott coached us also.

The weather on Sat. was nasty cold, with wind. I spent a little time on my own at the lodge at the top thawing out. It's always better to leave your group and go inside than to get frostbite! Snowboard camp is hard work. You probably spend more time on the hill than you do when you go riding other times outside of camp. Some days are hard. Hard work, and not seeing results. The results sometimes show up later. Other days are great, when your new riding skills and the weather all join forces to bring bliss.

We had orientation the first night, and after Ross introduced himself, he asked for questions from the group. Everyone was too shy to ask anything. But this same group was comfortable and loud and happy together by the last day. A bonus was the delicious camp lunch of baked ziti we had on Sunday. Props to Gerry and Ross for running a successful and fun camp on their first endeavor together.


Lauren and Carter Olcott


"Let's Ride!"






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