The First Annual Oakley Progression Sessions Wraps-Up in Tahoe

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Throughout the month of March Oakley has traveled from New Hampshire to Utah to Colorado and finally to Northstar-at-Tahoe in California last weekend for a new program for women by women called Oakley Progressions Sessions (OPS).

Registrants and Oakley staffers alike would have bet money that the California stop would epitomize spring skiing with bluebird days, sunscreen and a need for Oakley Fire Iridium lens, but they all would have lost!

Northstar-at-Tahoe was already claiming more than 40 feet of snow when yet another storm pummeled the region closing highways, schools and even some of the other local resorts.

Saturday morning, the Progression Session crew kicked-off the day by creating their own custom Oakley goggles, getting a private tour of the Rolling O Lab and participating in a yoga session led by Oakley snowboarder and zen master Dominique Vallee.

Without further ado the group of nearly 40 women donned their layers and bravely stepped out into the inclement weather with pro rider coaches Gretchen Bleiler, Kristi Leskinen, Lauren Perkins and Dom. With winds reaching speeds of over 60 mph some of the staff feared the girls would be driven to seek shelter, but they were wrong again!

If anything the nuclear-winter-weather made the girls push harder. They slayed the private OPS park, graciously created by the Northstar-at-Tahoe terrain crew, which included three jumps in successive sizes, a flat box, a down box, a street-style rail and even some mini powder booters.

“This weekend Northstar-at-Tahoe put the OPS park above their own,” said OPS coach Christine Savage. “We had our park, but there wasn’t much of a public park, which showed the girls that people really are backing the program.”

On Sunday, the group was rewarded with improved conditions, which elevated their already sky-high spirits.

Over the weekend the girls learned everything from 5050s, boardslides and ollies to shifties, all sorts of grabs, 360s and even how to ride the pipe thanks to a special pipe clinic led by Olympic medalist and Oakley snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler.

The most challenging part of the weekend came when Head Coach Mary Walsh and the other coaches had to determine OPS Tahoe award recipients. In every category multiple girls came to mind, but in the end decisions were made and the girls went home with killer new gear including Oakley apparel, accessories and even luggage.

“The response to the first ever Oakley Progression Sessions has been unreal,” both, Walsh and Savage who have coached at every stop, agreed. “At every stop the girls want to know what’s coming next, how they can get involved and, what’s more, how they can stay connected.”

While the Tahoe event brings OPS 2011 to an end you can still be a part of this growing community of women on Facebook or by checking out for more information.