Jackie Tan snowboards on a rail BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
Alice Gong coaches at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
Christine Savage coaches at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
Ari Morrone snowboards at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
Alexis Roland at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
Dave Spruill at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek

BTBounds at Mountain Creek: A One-of-a-Kind Community in The Garden State

Years ago, when Beyond the Boundaries started coaching women’s-specific park clinics, the goal was to get more women in the park, to open up the possibilities and help women feel not only comfortable, but confident dropping into boxes, rails, and jumps. But over time, it became very clear that was only the foundation for something much bigger. Yes, a women’s snowboard camp is about diving deeper into snowboarding, learning new tricks, building on existing skills and adding new ones into the mix, but more than that, it is a place to create community and form bonds with other like-minded women who have set their sights on the mountains.

Pushing oneself outside of one’s comfort zone is a challenging thing to do in any regard, and learning new tricks and riding new terrain on a snowboard is a combination of doing this both physically and mentally, and often emotionally, as when coming back from injury or dealing with fear. It takes an element of confidence and courage to grow that can be buoyed in a dedicated environment with a supportive community. And women’s-specific events like Beyond the Boundaries have a unique way of providing that community. It’s truly a magical thing.

As BTBounds grew, the opportunity to land in new locations and be able to be a part of the community in different places also snowballed. From the beginning, Mountain Creek was on the radar of the BTBounds crew. Christine Savage, co-founder of the camp, grew up literally down the street from Creek. It’s where she learned to ride and first got into the park. For me, it was a place I visited throughout my twenties to produce grassroots contests and I was always amazed by the rabid love of snowboarding that the resort fosters. Five years ago, the dream of bringing Beyond the Boundaries to The Garden State became a reality and since then, BTBounds and Mountain Creek have been partnering every year–except for 2021 when camp took a brief break in operations during the pandemic. That hiatus made things even sweeter this month when the crew finally got to touch down in Vernon for one of the best weekends of the year.

If you haven’t been to Mountain Creek, I can not recommend it enough. It. Is. Awesome. The crew at the mountain is incredible (huge shouts to Jackie, Chris, Matt, Pat, Hugh, Evan, Colleen, and everyone who makes Creek so amazing!). All of South Mountain is a winding park system with features from top to bottom (terrain park director Matt Byerly and his crew always pull out all the stops on a private, progression park with really unique features for BTBounds) and the hot laps are fast and fun. The food at Creek is also undeniably good, which is an extra bonus any day you spend riding. And finally, New Jersey is awesome. The pizza is great. The bagels are great. And the locals have that perfect, dry, East Coast sarcasm that seems rough around the edges if you’re from another region but actually is just the outer crust on a warm and welcoming familial vibe that is extended generously to visitors. The end result of this environment is that Mountain Creek is a special place. An oasis within striking distance of both NYC and Philadelphia where the Midatlantic snowboard scene gathers. For BTBounds to get to be a part of that, well, we look forward to it every year.

Of course, for Christine, camp at Creek is a homecoming, but it’s also an opportunity to introduce friends from other areas to the wonder of New Jersey. Over the past half decade, Christine has brought coaches from the Midwest, West Coast, and Canadian Rockies to the trails of Mountain Creek, fostering further expansion of the resort’s local community.

Ari Morrone grew up not too far from Creek in Pennsylvania, and has been a staple at BTBounds since its inception, always returning to the NJ event. “The energy at Mountain Creek is high and everyone is so encouraging to each other,” said Ari. “I leave the weekend inspired and wanting to push myself more. It’s really important to me to get more women into the park and into snowboarding because we need more ladies in snowboarding.”

  • Ashley Giangregorio snowboards at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
  • Kelsey Boyer snowboards at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
  • Micah Anderson rides a tube at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
  • Christine Savage and Kelsey Boyer coach at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
  • BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
  • Red Bull DJ at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek

This year, when the Beyond the Boundaries crew landed at Creek for camp, it was a homecoming for everyone, finally getting to return after a challenging two years to ride with old and new friends at a beloved resort. Christine, Ashley Giangregorio, Micah Anderson, Jacque Lammert, Kelsey Boyer, Alice Gong, Kristin Jessen, Alexis Rolland, Ruby Peyton, and Ari Morrone shared their love of snowboarding with over sixty women who showed up to ride together. DJ Mary Mac and Red Bull provided the soundtrack. Nitro Snowboards East Coast rep Dave Spruill was turning screws for board demos. And again, the BTBounds park was loaded with rails, boxes, stalls, jumps, and transition for all levels of riders to learn and have fun on.

From the start, the stoke at camp was contagious. “The ladies, gents, and everyone at Creek have such high energy!” says Alice Gong. “The Creek crowd is great at communicating. It is so rewarding, and makes my job effortless, coaching gals with goals and zero negativity.” And of course, high energy must be kept up, done best at Creek via the mountain’s catering. “The food Creek caters for our lunches is amazing!” added Alice. “I won’t gush too much here but I MUST mentioned one of the salads on Sunday: arugula, daikon, shaved fennel, walnuts… Food is more than fuel, food is love! BTBounds Mountain Creek is all love.” 

Micah Anderson summed it up well. “It’s meaningful to share snowboarding in a camp environment for so many reasons. Breaking down those barriers and intimidation to meet other female riders so they can create their own little community post-camp is huge. That alone can lead to life long friendships. I also think taking away all exterior factors (like people watching from the chair) and pushing one another helps the progression accelerate quickly! It’s almost like an ‘ah-ha’ moment; the ladies are comfortable and once they see one camper or staff do a trick they’ve been trying, it then becomes possible.”

For Jacque Lammert, it was her first time coaching at the Creek camp. “My favorite part of the trip was getting to meet all the East Coasters,” she said. “They have a reputation for being hard, but everyone I met was genuinely a dream to hang with. Y’all are welcome to the Midwest any time.”

Fellow Midwesterner, Alexis Roland, echoed her Jacque’s sentiment and expounded on the Jersey vibe as a whole. “My favorite things about New Jersey were the bagels, the people, and the resort! Everyone there was so nice and friendly. The whole mountain is so fun; it’s like a big version of my home resort [in Minnesota]. I’m always so blown away by how supportive the camp community is. It fills my heart to be able to help and uplift others. Snowboarding is a medium for which I can do that, and in a camp setting like this, that energy just multiplies. Also, 10/10 recommend salt bagels.”

Ashley Giangregorio and Ruby Peyton snowboard at BTBounds Women's Snowboard Camp at Mountain Creek
Coaches Ashley Giangregorio and Ruby Peyton. p: Chris Vanderyajt

Two days of concentrated park riding in a supportive environment catalyzes a lot of learning and progression. By Sunday, individuals that were new to riding rails and jib features were trying stalls and boardslides. Beginners to jumps were learning grabs. The collective progressive was inspiring, led by the passion and instruction of the coaching crew. And the momentum didn’t stop. “After an action-packed morning, our group was the last to leave the park to head in for lunch,” Alice recalled. “I told everyone to do a 180 off a side hit back onto the run. Only a few of the ladies had tried 180s in the past, but one by one, every single one of them did a 180! I was beside myself with awe and pride. Of course I couldn’t take any credit; all of these girls showed up for camp, and showed up for themselves and each other. I just felt so lucky to be apart of it all.”

“All of the women we coached were hungry to learn, resilient, and supportive of each other,” added Micah. The environment at Creek supported this ten-fold. “It wasn’t just the campers that were supportive,” she continued, “but everyone we encountered from the park crew to photographers to even the resort employees. Everyone wanted to help elevate the women’s snowboarding! Their bar at the base had the same number photos of female riders as of men on the wall which is small but huge in the grand scheme of things.”

Jackie Tal grew up riding Creek from the time she was only 18 months old. Now, she is the digital communications manager at the resort and has been an integral part of this event every single year. Why is the weekend so important to her? “Seeing the women’s park community build and grow is my absolutely favorite part,” Jackie explained. “I still see chicks who met at the first BTBounds camp at Creek a few years ago lapping and progressing. Building those connections with rad chicks who are both campers and coaches is what it’s all about. Camp is where we build connections that last a lifetime. Meeting new faces, encouraging progression and sharing our love of snowboarding together will keep our community close.”

Learn more about BTBounds at Mountain Creek at www.btbounds.com.


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