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Versant Avila - AKAMP Day 2 - June 29, 2019

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After a late night Friday, we took it easy Saturday morning and I didn't get to the Nikita Girls Who Ride jam, which was from 1-5pm, a shift from last year's evening session, one that offered perfect daytime conditions. We got to Saint-Sauveur around 3:30, just in time for the deluge of rain falling from the sky. Due to the severity of the weather, they stopped the lift for a brief time until the risk of lightning and wind had passed. We hung out in the car during the rain and got ready to ride!15797862_June292019107.thumb.JPG.c4abfd62440707297c81c2225bc0f30f.JPG 

After checking in, I headed to the lift, people were trickling back in after the rain, and soon every chair on the lift was filled with a steady stream of skiers and riders. People would cluster at the top and drop in to the park, with the first feature being a large tube to ride over, followed by a pipe. Then, the main section of the park had twelve or more features with several possible lines. 

I skied through a number of runs and then paused for a quick break, right next to the skate ramp; which was also in full use. Then I headed back for the next round of loops.The lift was still full, and stayed that way most of the night. At some point during my next break, it started raining again but this time the thunder and lightning stayed at bay and the lift continued running. Only towards the last hour of the night, the flow of people tapered off a little bit. This made it much easier to do faster loops through the park with fewer skiers and riders to be mindful of. 

After the lifts closed, we headed over to the AKAMP party at the water park, unfortunately we missed the cutoff time to access the free surfing lessons and waterslide, but it was great to hang out at the T-Bar and sip on pina coladas. At the end of the evening, we headed home to après ski: grilled cheese with aged cheddar on apple bread to wind down the night and relax before day 3 tomorrow!

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The first feature, with a pipe immediately following.

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The view from the chair!

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The park viewed from the lodge, with the sk8 park under the white shade structure.

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There were always at least twenty people or more in the park with the chairlift being full of skiers and riders!

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After the rain, the sun came out!

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The AKAMP rainbow!

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Ilana shredding through the park.

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Last run of the day pano!

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The mist floats over the mountains in the distance.

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Girls who ride: late night edition.

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Ilana and the sunset.

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AKAMP after party with a free surfing session for AKAMP participants!

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The T-bar serving up delicious drinks.

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Pano of the T-bar, wave pool and lighting.

I captured some video of the stream of people hitting the top of park features:

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This just looks awesome. I always wanted to do the AKAMP, but the past editions looked a little intimidating to me, with hiking up, or rope tows. This year it looks more reasonable, especially with the chairlift and the flatter runout at the bottom of the slope. When the snow conditions are a bit choppy or soft like they would be end of June, makes for an easier time trying to stop when you have speed.

Really nice setup this time around.

I was also under the impression in the past that it was more of a training camp than just a summer snow jam for freestyle and casual skiing.

Love the chairlift video too. Thanks for sharing.

Seems like you are having a great time.

I'm curious when you mention that there was free surfing lessons at the wave pool for AKAMP participants, and also access to the waterslides (which ones did they keep open for that)?

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@Shane yeah I didn't go the first year I heard about it either because it sounded more like a training camp, but last spring I messaged them and they said it was totally cool for me to come ski through the park, and just to be mindful in the park of other skiers/riders using the features. Last night there was another skier who showed up to do the same as me! Day 3 and 4 had me too beat to think about writing trip reports, so those are forthcoming today :D

Also, with the lift or without, it's not a huge hike up as the park isn't all that long. Maybe a ten minute hike depending on how fast you are? I hiked it a few times last year when I didn't have the right gloves on the first day, and then learned how to use the rope tow, it was kind of fun! Albeit a little bit sketchy. Currently, it's really great to be able to watch all the participants from the chair. 

For the waterslides, we didn't make it in time, but last year it is the one directly behind the wavepool where you carry up an inflatable and ride down on it. Not sure of the name, but I'm assuming they opened the same slide this year. Also the surf lessons were for "pre-inscrits" AKAMP participants so I'm not sure if that means the people who registered for the whole session or everyone taking part in a session. Either way, it's a huge bonus!

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