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Oakley Progression Session


The weekend of Oakley Progression Session finally arrived!  I was excited to go and get coaching at Mammoth Mountain.  A few days before OPS, I saw that the weather was calling for blizzard and tons of snow.  Great if I wanted to ride pow, but not so great for learning park and spins.  Still I was excited to see what kind of coaching I would receive and where the private park would be located.

On Friday afternoon I arrived in Mammoth to ride at least an hour or two to get my legs back.  I arrived to Main Lodge and I just saw blizzard conditions.  None of the lifts were running except for Discovery which is a bunny slope chair and most people have left the mountain.  My heart sank a little because if the same conditions presented itself the next day, I can see the camp being cancelled.  This has happened to me last year for the So-gnar camp.  The second day, the winds were so bad Mt High closed on Sunday at 10am and they kicked everyone off the mountain.  So on Friday I rode discovery chair until the lifts closed and went back to the condo.

The following morning I woke up to the snow still falling and reports of at least 2ft of pow on the mountain.  I arrived to Mammoth Mountain Inn for the yoga session to start and to get out there.  Due to the inclement weather, people were having a hard time getting to Main Lodge area on time so yoga wasn’t started until well past 8am.  I guess I didn’t need to arrive on time since I just sat around for quite some time.  The yoga instructor they had in honesty, wasn’t that great.  All she said was you can’t do yoga wrong, but I feel that if you don’t have the proper positioning you could possibly pinch a nerve or hurt something.  Not sure why she didn’t demonstrate how to do positions in the front.  I saw girls looking around not knowing exactly what to do.  After warming up with yoga, we were broken up into groups to go ride powder.   The pow was deep, but the visibility was bad.  I couldn’t see the snow so I was just relying on feel and hoping I didn’t accidentally flip.  Since we had such a late start, most of the runs and the areas in the trees were chewed up.  Also I haven’t had one pow day this season so when I saw an untouched pow area I went straight for it forgetting the rule of don’t go into pow areas when the run isn’t at least a blue.  I got stuck, bad.  I was literally digging myself out for 20-30min.  My group left me and I was by myself with the groomer being 20ft from me.  I finally got out and made it down to Mills hoping to see someone from the camp.  I was able to find one person since she was wearing a jersey and another coach next to her.  Apparently with the pow and the weather, groups were getting broken up with people going out to ride pow without the group or people getting stuck.  Organization was completely gone.  After riding pow with one other girl and the coach we went in for lunch.  After lunch, we could either go ride more pow, go to the kicker that people built in the pow, or go through the park.  For the stupidest reason I went for go through the park.  I should’ve gone for the pow kicker so I could just throw flips and spins with abandon, but I didn’t.  Probably because I was so tired from digging myself out of pow and walking in pow.  Visibility in the park was difficult and the coaches couldn’t do much since they couldn’t see.  One of the coaches had the approach of just hit it…when it’s like…ummm shouldn’t you break it down, give them advice of keep your board straight, no turns 3 ft in front, etc?  I wasn’t too happy with the coaching in the park.  After lapping through the park and my guy friends pretending to be one of the campers (with high pitched voices and jerseys and making some of the girls wonder are guys poaching our camp?!  how dare they!) we went back to Mammoth Mountain Inn for the afternoon yoga session which was pretty good.

Apres was at Lakanuki in the Village.  Free drinks and food, but there was a private party there at 6pm when most girls arrived at 5pm.  We were able to order food before the kitchen closed down and they cut off the bar at 5:30 and started kicking people out along with moving all the tables and chairs around.  Since we were a group of 20 girls, they let us stay making us wonder what this private party was.  Before long, the music changed and ripped guys in green booty shorts got up on the table and started dancing.  Apparently it was Elevation in Mammoth on St Patty’s day so a lot of the bars in the village was reserved for that.  It was fun hanging out with the girls and watching some of them stuff dollar bills down the guys pants.  But…we were kicked out in the end.

Sunday the weather let up a little and the park crew was able to dig out the private park for us to ride.  For reasons that make no sense to me, the private park was at Canyons, but the meet up point was at Mammoth Mountain Inn at Main Lodge.  It takes at least 20minutes to travel that distance if you know where you’re going.  They should’ve had the meet up point at Canyons because girls that were unfamiliar with the mountain got lost and it took them hours to find the private park.  Even coaches got lost and didn’t get there for an hour or two.   Also the day started off late with me arriving at 8am and wondering why did I even get here on time if we start so late?  I should’ve just gone out and rode.  The private park consisted of the usual park they have at wonderland park at canyons.  A jump, pipe, and jibs set up at the bottom.  Wasn’t feeling the jibs and I wanted to focus on spins so I just hiked the jump over and over.  Got my front and back 1s after getting the tip that I was spinning too early.  After spending the whole day in the park, we went back the MMI for the awards ceremony.

OPS was fun, but I’m having mixed feelings about whether I would do this camp again.  The organization wasn’t there and pros are sometimes not the best coaches.  Some of the coaches were great and knew how to break it down, others not so much…  Another thing which makes it difficult is, a lot of the girls arrived with their friends.  If you’re by yourself and not good at being overly social, it is difficult to feel like you belong.  Sometimes I felt like I was intruding on groups and I was making huge efforts to be friendly.

Pros of OPS : all women, pro coaches, apres included, private park, pretty nice goodie bag

Cons of OPS: pretty disorganized, coaching wasn’t that great (it was a hit or miss depending on who was coaching), a little too much estrogen for me, groups already formed

Here’s a pic of the custom Oakley goggles I got to make and keep.  Pink iridium lens.


Pic of the goodie bag with tons of stuff.  This bag itself pays for the amount of OPS.  Plus 2 days of lift tickets are included in the pass so if you don’t have a season pass, it’s a great deal.


Pic of the coaches during awards ceremony.

For more info (pics and vids of that weekend) visit their site:

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