The “Spring Fling” kicked off in the dark depths of winter. It was the most snow I had seen all season. Next year we shall call it “Winter Fling??” However, Spring Fling was all about the friends and the good vibes. We packed so many different conditions and activities into 7 days, months of planning all slotted into place. Corinne Mayhew (aka Cozza) and myself had run these camps before but it was the first one in Tignes, and I think we pulled it off??!
By Katie Blundell
Day 1 – Welcome to Winter
Arrival day, plunged into winter. Travel strikes, sketchy roads and missed transfers, but the girls all arrived in time for the Girls Spring Fling official welcome meeting at their new pad, The Hideout Hostel. Every year we get a group of top-notch ladies that always seem to be up for a laugh. I instantly loved the gang this year, so didn’t even need any “Dutch courage” to do the welcome meeting. We handed out the goodie bags (thank you Eivy, Yeti, Pura Vida, Salt and Stone and Four Twentea) and played some semi awkward ice breaker games. With everyone feeling quite delirious from the journey, early nights with CBD Tea (thanks Four Twentea!) was on the agenda.
Day 2 – Getting the Legs Back
We start the day checking everyone’s equipment and sorting out the age-old question of “how many layers are you wearing?”! We always use day one to get some basic techniques dialled in and generally find our legs (me included). With the powder gods delivering, we felt it rude not to nip off the sides of the piste to get some fresh tracks. We finished the coaching session with practising presses, butters and the “Tripod”. Always a hoot!
I like to do a Games Night on the first night to bond the group and break down inhibitions. All the games are aimed to improve snowboarding both physically and mentally (haha), however I was concerned of serious injury from The Cereal Box Game (if you know you know!). We also concluded that Hemal Hampstead is in fact a snowdome in the UK, not a ski resort!!!!
Day 3 – Blizzard and Coaches Day Off
Winter hit in the form of a blizzard! The lifts didn’t open in the morning so after some chats with the girls, we decided that their “day off” should be today (was it the cereal box game?!). Good thing is with the Spring Fling is we can be totally flexible. This change of plan did mean that we had our Coaches Day Off today and scored some powder (I think) in zero visibility. Today I also had a granny nap. Total dream.
We had a Zen kinda vibe for the rest of the day with myself giving a Mindfulness presentation (how I have used it to conquer my nerves with snowboarding). This started some good chats about what the girls do to help them focus and self-help techniques. The day was topped off nicely with one of the best yoga sessions I think I have ever had. Seriously relaxing and stretchy (needed), whilst watching the snow fall onto the skylight. Nearly called a taxi to take me home zzzzzz Thank you so much Hannah Duncalf at Tadasana Yoga, can you come and live with me?!
Day 4 – THE DAY
POW DAY. BLUEBIRD. Say no more. The girl’s confidence seemed to grow massively with the blue skies and of course Cozzas expert tuition. I saw them all devour some fresh lines and stoke levels were high by the end. We finished the day on a total buzz with a mega-apres session at the famous La Folie Douce. We all pulled out some mooooves, I was keen to go and dance on the tables but……. Was actually pretty gutted when we had to leave and get the last lift home.
Day 5 – Hot Laps
Park Day, my favourite day! A lot of the girls at the start of the week had said they had wanted to get more confident and overcome their fears of the park. We started off with learning some basic park etiquette (ie; don’t have picnics on the features), then began by sessioning a small jump, that quickly escalated into a line of 3. Hot chocolate refuelled us for the second half…..boxes! I lost count of how many times the girls hiked the box. Dedication. Everyone left feeling proud, realising (I hope) that the park is super fun and not something to be scared of.
To help our tired bodies recover, I suggested a hot tub session. An essential part of recuperation is the activity of “rolling-in-the-snow-jumping-back-into-hot-tub” exercise. Always goes down a treat. In fact, the girls wanted to do it again another day! Thanks Yeti for keeping us hydrated and Eivy our heads warm.
Group meal out…yum! Thanks Kodo Bar
Day 6 – Spring? Winter?
It was a tale of two halves today. We landed another park session in the morning in the sun (more jumps…was so impressed with the progression from the day before), then went in for a hot chocolate. When we came back out it was a blizzard! Crazy how quick the weather can change. The conditions were way too sketchy for Split Boarding, so we used the afternoon to do transceiver training instead. I certainly left feeling so much more confident I would know what to do in case of an avalanche, and I’m sure the girls did too. Cozza made it fun as always, even in a blizzard
Thanks Tignes Spirit for lending us all the transceiver gear
In the evening I ran a Gymnastics workshop. Something totally different and really fun, I even incorporated “the worm” into the class. We used a special trampoline board to get some tricks dialled in a safe environment. We worked on agility, core strength, spatial awareness and balance. I always find flat land training really helpful for snowboard progression.
Day 7 – The End
Last day and the blizzard got even more blizzardy! But we battled through, practicing everything we had learnt during the week and also finding some last min powder. Cozza came up with a genius idea of doing a board-swap so we could test each-others snowboards to get an idea of what cambers, flexes and lengths we liked. However, my favourite memory of the day was watching Cozza dry her thermal bottoms under the hand dryer as we were all wet down to our skin!
We had the big farewell prize giving Snowboard Bafta Awards in the evening. Everyone’s a winner! Sad but happy evening; so sad the Girls Spring Fling had come to an end, but happy that we had made some solid shred pals, had some serious progression and everyone was leaving stoked to the max.
Your vibe definitely attracts your tribe, and we cannot WAIT until next year’s camp to do it all again. Watch this space for more exciting things to come also…..
Thank you to Cozza for being the best partner in crime and the Spring Fling Girls 2023 for being such a legendary bunch