VNTRbirds’ team rider, Ashley Giangregorio, has been a student for the Oakley Progression Sessions for quite a few seasons. Last year she was given the opportunity to become a coach when the tour came to her local mountain, Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. Catch up with her to see how she progressed in both her talents in snowboarding as well as her position within the Progression Sessions.

“It was always a top priority to make it to camp”.

So what’s the deal with the Oakley Progression Sessions?
The actual event that kicked off the entire Oakley Progression Sessions program was originally called “Droppin’ In” at Loon Mountain; a freestyle women’s snowboard clinic offered by head coach Mary Walsh and supported by Oakley.
Droppin’ In was so successful Oakley solidified their partnership at Loon, adopted the women’s ski/snowboard progression camp, and began adding locations for a 2011 tour which included Canyons – UT, Winter Park – CO, and Northstar – CA. In 2012 OPS offered their first clinic in Canada and had a few larger stops at Copper – CO and Mammoth – CA.


Ashley with the tail slide in the laid back environment P: Andrew Rebeiro

How did you become a part of the coaching staff?
Honestly luck, luck, and more luck. OPS Droppin In continues to have a huge turn out each year and more coaches are added to the roster. Mary Walsh had a conflicting schedule this year and Mary Rand was also unavailable. Those ladies have been a staple at Droppin In and it was a major bummer not having them on board. Jenny Jones was present but recovering from injury and unable to ride. A few amazing friends of mine tossed my name in the mix for possible substitute coaches and I got a call the day before camp.


Ashley giving the girls come instruction P: Andrew Rebeiro

How was it for you being a participant? Do you think this camp is valuable for women?
I was a participant in 2012, 2013, and 2015. I was fairly new to freestyle my first year so being on the hill with Grethcen Bleiler, Chanelle Sladics, and Marie-France Roy was unreal. I remember Chanelle having the most positive and over the top energy that really inspired us to send it. That year I learned how to clean up a lot of tricks by improving basic fundamentals that I didn’t think were important before. It was really in 2013 the coaches helped me break through the fear of hitting larger features. Maddy Schaffrick set the pace for us in Loon Mountain park and everyone was killing it. OPS brought together such an eclectic, determined, and compatible group of women so it was always a top priority to make it to camp.

Ashley sliding over the Oakley O feature

Ashley sliding over the Oakley O feature

P: Andrew Rebeiro

How is the event different now that you’re a coach?
Seeing just a glimpse of some behind the scenes planning by Christine Savage and Jenny Jones this past year made me realize how much passion goes into this event. Not only were all the campers stoked, but the coaching staff works so hard to assure each and every lady that walks through the door is going to get the proper attention they need. I have coached before but standing beside these incredible women was intimidating… for all of 10 seconds because they were so damn welcoming. Each group of women I worked with was different from the last and had diverse freestyle experience. It was so fun adapting to everyone’s expectations, keeping the energy up, and the positive vibes flowing. I can say without a doubt that this event was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and I can’t express enough gratitude to the ladies involved.


crew   P: Andrew Rebeiro

Did everything go smoothly as a coach?
“Team Fun Loon” is a huge part of OPS every year and specific to Loon Mountain. These ladies were there from the start. They always had me laughing on the hill as a participant and couldn’t have been more supportive my first year coaching. They presented me with the “O Shit” award at the end of the weekend and the story behind it was rather embarrassing. They were my first group during our sessions. Fresh off the gondola for our first run I wanted to park myself off to the side while they rode by to assess their overall fundamental level…however…I managed to turn the first corner right into a skier. Took her down. Poles flying. SMH. All whilst the girls were watching and simultaneously said “Ohhh Shiiiit.” So needless to say my first impression as a coach SUCKED. But no one held it against me, they picked me back up (literally and figuratively) to carry on and have an incredible day. I felt like a boob and I can’t thank them enough for helping me shake it off. I hope I made some positive impressions because everyone else was hands down inspirational.


flying  P: Andrew Rebeiro

Will you be returning this season?
Fingers and toes crossed!

“Standing beside these incredible women was intimidating… for all of 10 seconds because they were so damn welcoming!”

How can more women get involved and sign up?
There are TONS of opportunities out there for ladies right now! Christine Savage just finished up Progression Sessions in Chile and will be in Japan at the end of January with Fancy Rutherford and EV Camp Co. Meanwhile, Chanelle Sladics and Kjersti Buass are hosting a performance and development camp in Colorado in December. Keep an eye out for these ladies and you’ll get all the updates you need!

Every camp needs a photo shoot

Every camp needs a photo shoot

P: Andrew Rebeiro


P: Andrew Rebeiro

For the chickies that want this awesome experience in JAPAN click here!
And for the ladies that are settled in Colorado click here!