For the last 3 years, K2 Snowboards have held their annual end-of-season ballroom blitz in Mt Baker, but this year it was the Yanks who had to cram themselves in pressurised cigar tubes and ship out to be part of the Kamp as the resort of Ifen in Kleinwalsertal, Austria, was the chosen spot for the mayhem.
And it rocked. Having never been to the US Kamp, the sight of a small village of tents and marquees gathered together in the parking lot was pretty damned impressive. We'd thought it was to be a fairly low key affair, with riders, distributors, brand honchos and media hanging by the campfire and singing Kumbaya. Shows what we know - it was less a 60s love in and more of a 70s hard rock boot camp!
We rolled in like grunts ready to be processed and were immediately assigned our standard issue sidearm - everyone there was given a limited edition 2010/11 Kamp K2 Turbo Dream - before we were shipped out to the front line to dodge beer bazookas and chow down on Kamp slop. It started messy and got messier - all on Kamp were given beer rations that were quickly exhausted as we got amongst it in the main tent, what with a sweet miniramp for the less inebriated soldiers and a rodeo bull for those better oiled. When the plug was pulled the more fortunate would crash in rented RVs, with many others bedding down in the sleeping tents - in which the heating failed on the first night. -9 ain't no picnic, but it sure separated the men from the boys...
K2 had rented the whole resort for the two days of riding and everyone rose early despite frostbitten extremities and hangovers to shralp the fun terrain with friends old and new. There was some kind of contest going on whereby you had to find a bunch of stuff and get photos and whatnot, but as soon as we'd hopped aboard our new LTD Turbo Dreams there was no chance our team was going to win - you'd be very lucky to find a better, funner all-terrain machine than that sick stick - and we were having way too much fun riding the hits in the gullies to worry about contests.
The afternoon saw a minishred event go down, some Ka-Rock-Oke (guitar, bass, drums and mic that anyone could have a pop at with wildly differing results) and then a hotdog munch/run/down a beer/run/race a bobby cart type contest that had all who entered nearly puking and everyone else pissing themselves, followed up by beer pong - a hotly contested affair that the French somehow won. Then came the Kiss tribute band and everyone got twisted again dressed in their best rocker getups. Messy.
We had to bail the next morning, but the debauchery continued with more riding, beer olympics, burger banging and prize giving for those who could resist the urge to cut loose on the empty mountain. Whoever won will surely deserve their all-expenses paid trip to the next Kamp K2 and now we're kinda wishing we'd paid closer attention to the contest - this end-of-season get together was nothing short of epic and we for sure want to be in on it next year.
K2, you ROCK! Massive shout outs to all involved for a killer season ender bender, you're all kinds of awesome.