skip to main content

Ideas
A terrain park…for the rest of us.

divider image for this post
GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

It was a lovely spring morning in Utah. The sun was shining, temperatures in the valley started in the upper 40’s, a perfect day for being outside in short sleeves.

One of my favorite times to be in the mountains and let my pale flesh soak up much needed rays of sunshine, I wanted to see what content was winning the day on social media for nearby resorts and resorts in general.

So I used the new ranking tool, selected Twitter favorites for the last 7 days and in the #1 spot was…

And then I scrolled to #3…

I think the temptation here is to focus just on the fact that skiing is so relevant in May. Why the white stuff is winning versus all the other marvelous things about spring and summer. But I’m going to save that for another day.

Instead, I want to talk about the other thing that was making people excited: the snake.

What If
Whenever I look up at the massive jump line at Snowbasin, I can’t help but ask two questions.

First, where is everybody? In an entire season of watching and waiting, I can count on one hand the number I people I saw hit the biggest jump.

But, second, what if all that snow and time and creativity and money were spent on creating terrain parks for the rest of us. A place where the snow was sculpted to create fun and unique sliding sensations for the people who don’t want to risk life and limb to do so.

Something like, I dunno, a curvy trench of snow formed, coincidentally, by the skiers rather than the resort.

Lessons Everywhere
You know how kids going off the sides of jumps is the bane of some riders’ existence? That should be a lesson in what skiers want, not a lesson in crowd control.

A lesson that, like these slushy slaloms, skiers enjoy things that give them a new experience.

We’ve done that for the park rats, maybe it’s time we do that for everyone else as well.



  • Brayden Rudert

    I haven’t gotten to ride out West consistently, but I’d take a look at what Loon, Mount Snow, Killington and others have been up to in recent seasons. The booters are still there, but they’ve really stepped it up in making their parks flow more like skate parks.

    Many resorts that ditched their half-pipe are using the Zaugg to cut transitions into the sides of jumps. While other ‘features’ are less obvious than a snake track or tranny cut into a booter, good parks have begun to emphasize transitions/snow features/creativity vs. the traditional rail & jump line.

    Loon’s Whale Watchers and Red Bull’s All Snow are great examples of atypical freestyle events that have sprung up in recent years.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.

Stories

FairwayFillers