Jenny is a biomedical engineer from Belfast. She teaches climbing, she kayaks, and she’s been snowboarding for about fourteen years, having started out going on school and family ski holidays. Surfing and skateboarding had always looked interesting to her, but she found the scene in Belfast a little bit intimidating and didn’t know how to get started. Snowboarding seemed more accessible – it was easy to find lessons, and she had seen other kids in the resorts doing it. After going to a dry slope back home on a regular basis, she decided to take five months off work this year to spend a season in Morzine. It was great, but she’s been feeling like she didn’t progress as much as she wanted, and has been stuck on a plateau. Originally she chose Our Camp simply because the dates fit her summer plans – but the more she found out about it, she realised that she was looking forward to having female coaches.
“I often don’t get on particularly well with male coaches that I’ve had in my various sports. This week has been so much more friendly and relaxed and so much more positive and encouraging than any coaching that I’ve had before. Today we rode the pipe for the first time this week. I tried riding into a small pipe before and fell flat on my face, which left me with a fear of them; they’re quite intimidating to look at. But Gilly had taught us how to do 90 degree hops on the slope so we knew how to do the turns already, and we’d been practising keeping low and kepping our base nice and flat on the boxes and the whoop-de-woos, so it was just a case of bringing that all across. We dropped in right at the start so it wasn’t so high – and it just felt right from the start. We weren’t trying to go too high at the beginning, just getting used to the turns, but that feeling of weightlessness – it was amazing.
“Then we moved on to some bigger kickers. The first time I went I was too slow, so the second time I straightlined it and the ground just fell away from me. After that I was worried about going too far, so third time around I followed Tamsin in and had just the right speed, which was great. We had the first ever Irish Snowboarding Championships this year in Livignio, and I’m feeling like I’m getting the confidence now to give that a go.
“We hurried down the mountain to go white water rafting. It was pretty tame compared to kayaking, but it was great fun because the instructor was completely mad – he made the whole trip like one big bumper car ride. Oh yeah – the owner of the rafting company came out with a load of leftovers to feed a piglet that he’d been given as a “stupid gift” (his words). I was feeding it the food and it – well, it tried to eat my thumb…”