Day 1: Winter Park Oakley Expression Sessions

Saturday at Winter Park for the Oakley Expression Session. Photo: Ned Cremin

Saturday at Winter Park for the Oakley Expression Session. Photo: Ned Cremin

From the Oakley Expression Sessions — Winter Park, Colo. (March 21) — The first day of Oakley Progression Sessions at Winter Park kicked off with a bang. Blue skies, freshly groomed snow, and 35 excited women ready to get down with their freestyle riding selves assembled in the lodge to take park in Chanelle Sladics' yoga class, build custom goggles, grab sweet gift bags, and get ready for a weekend of awesome riding.

For this stop of Oakley Progression Sessions, Chanelle, Marie-France Roy, and Kristi Leskinen were on hand to lead groups onto the mountain. Instantly, the OPS women were ripping through the trails, moving together as an energy-filled pack.

From the start, the pace of trick progression was unbelievable. Women who had never ollied were hitting jumps, riders and skiers who had never spun before were throwing threes, and all of the different levels of participants were cheering for each other and offering helpful advice to their fellow riders.

The Winter Park Park Crew built a fantastic private park for the group, featuring a progression jump and multiple jibs, including a flat box, flat rail, and down rail. As a bonus, they situated everything on the sunniest part of the mountain, right next to the Rerailer Park.

The energy and spirit of the OPS women was amazing. There was a large group of women that, while they had advanced all-mountain skills, had never ridden through a park before. They picked up the basic with ease and were sessioning jumps and rails before lunchtime. Said Emily Moore, "From where our group started this morning, to where we are now, the progress that we made is unbelievable. So many people were intimidated before we started, but then everyone hit the box, we all learned halfpipe, everybody tried it. I just really enjoyed it. I like riding with Trevor, my boyfriend, but riding with a group of girls was amazing."

Alena Anderson, a Winter Park local, was beaming at the end of the day because she had been able to regain confidence she had previously lost due to an injury. "The past two years, I had never hit jibs at all and today I cleared a rainbow before noon. I've been petrified of jibs because I broke my arm and OPS gave me the confidence to hit them again. I ride by that rainbow a lot and before today, I was like, 'I'm never going to hit that.'"

As Day 1 drew to a close, the OPS women enjoyed a fantastic après snack provided by the awesomest Winter Park chef, and then headed to the village for a celebration at Doc's. Smiles were everywhere as the women shared their experiences from the day. New tricks, new friends, and fun in the great spring weather—can't ask for anything more at Oakley Progression Sessions.

The next Oakley Progression Sessions camp is slated for this weekend, March 26-27, at Northstar-at-Tahoe, Calif.