Colorado skiing summer camp near Denver | SummitDaily.com

Colorado skiing summer camp near Denver

by LEO WOLFSON

Summer camp is an experience like no other. When I was 17, I had the opportunity to attend summer ski camp in Oregon. As an obsessive skier, this was a dream come true. That week of camp ended up being the best week of my life.

Last July, I wanted to see if summer camp still felt the same as it did in 2008 by attending the Woodward Summer Ski and Snowboard camp at Copper Mountain Resort.

Back to camp

Our first stop was in The Barn, Woodward's indoor facility for off-hill fun. With a skate park, a handful of trampolines and three foam pits, the building is truly a mecca for extreme sports training.

Whether you're at a traditional camp and learning to build a fire, or getting that first 360 at a camp like Woodward, these concepts can be crucial for bigger and greater achievement down the road. After all, you can't start a double flip without that first 360.

Skis with wheels

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Inside The Barn lies a ramp with three jumps of different sizes, followed by a large foam pit. Campers use wheeled skis and snowboards, which are surprisingly agile.

Within minutes, I was able to use the wheeled skis to throw flips into the abyss of cubed foam.

A lot of the time when off-hill training, it's hard to replicate a true on-snow feel, but with these wheeled contraptions, I gained a newfound confidence. Riding off the jumps provides an exact equivalent for the trajectory and airtime of snow jumps, with a consequence-free foam landing.

Summer on the snow

The next day was Day One on snow. At first it seemed a bit surreal to be skiing surrounded by green grass and butterflies, but this crazy, wild adventure of doing something out of the ordinary is exactly what summer camp is all about.

Most coaches at Woodward are high-level skiers and snowboarders, so the chance to utilize their deep pockets of shred wisdom is a rare and beneficial opportunity.

Even in mid-July, the Copper Central Park snow lane featured three jumps, an inflatable airbag and more than 10 rails and boxes. It was an impressive setup considering the time of year, and I was even told that a chairlift had serviced the lane for the first weeks of camp.

When I was there, we had to hike down about 200 feet of dirt, after which we would wait for a van to take us back to the top of the snow strip. It was no chairlift, but the vans still provided relatively easy access back.

After a few days of skiing, I learned a couple new tricks and was stoked on the progress I had made. The coaches seemed almost more excited at times, often showing their passion by bellowing comedic support to campers through a mega-phone.

"Aww yeah, hit that rail like a piñata!" a coach screamed at me once.

Even though I was drawn to Woodward by the intrigue of summer skiing, the overall camaraderie and joy of being a kid again are what will last. It was, once again, the week of a lifetime.

WOODWARD COPPER: Ski & Snowboard Camps

June 19-25 Sponsored by 686, Sandbox, Arbor, Icelantic Skis and SPY Optics; Pros include Frank April, Scotty Vine, Mike Gray and Benji Farrow

June 26-July 2 Sponsored by Vans, So Gnar, GNU and Lib Tech; Pros include Blake Paul, Pat Milbery and more

July 5-9 Grom Week! Sponsored by Ride Snowboards; Pros include Brandon Davis and Spencer Whiting

July 10-16 Sponsored by Adventures in Transition, Videograss, Capita, Union and Coal Pros include Joe Sexton, Scott Stevens, JP Walker, Jeremy Jones, Banks Gilberti and more

July 17-23 Adult Week!

Sponsored by Burton, Anon and Wend Wax; Pros include Red Gerard and more

July 24-30 Adult Week!

Pros and Sponsors TBD

July 31-Aug 4 Grom Week! Sponsored by K2; Pros TBD

Visit http://www.WoodwardCopper.com to find dates for non-snow-related programs including skateboard, BMX, mountain bike, scooter and cheer camps.