AVSC wraps up sixth annual Glacier camp at Buttermilk

Austin Colbert
The Aspen Times
Jose Upczak of Nederland takes part in the AVSC Glacier Camp on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times).
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Winter finds a way to endure when you live in the mountains and can’t get enough of the white stuff. For the sixth year, the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club hosted its Buttermilk Glacier Summer Snow Sessions, which allowed athletes to train on real snow despite the 80-degree June temperatures in the valley.

“It was a really successful camp,” said AVSC freestyle program director Eric Knight, who runs the camps. “We had a record number of athletes and got the whole four weeks in.”

The camp, which concluded this week with its fourth and final session of the summer, is held on the X Games Aspen superpipe at Buttermilk Ski Area. By packing the pipe with the season’s leftover snow, the AVSC crew is able to create a “glacier” that holds well into the summer and allows for extended training.

“It held up excellent,” Knight said of the snow. “We have a pretty good formula where if we fill the pipe up over the top with snow it will last for a month.”

Most of the training is limited to a single jump into a large airbag, and occasionally the AVSC will put in a few rails or other small features to practice on. It’s a cheap, local option as opposed to the long drives and steep costs that come with similar camps at places like Mount Hood in Oregon and Mammoth Mountain in California.

“The camps kind of deliver a chance for everyone to get some summer training and a low cost,” Knight said. “We had about 60 different kids come through, and a total of about 90 weekly campers.”

Many of the AVSC athletes will get back on snow later this summer, but they’ll have to travel well out of the Rockies to find it, including out of the country to places like Argentina and New Zealand.

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