Managing a resort terrain park can be a daunting task. Trying to lay out the right mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced features to keep park enthusiasts happy is difficult enough, but when you factor in the fact that once the half pipe and all the rails, jumps and jibs are set up they need to be constantly maintained, the job can go from difficult to down-right mind numbing.
This season the Terrain Park Crew at HoliMont is a unique mix of dedicated men who bring both expertise and commitment to the task of developing a safe and exciting terrain park.
Lead by Terrain Park Supervisor JC McAuley the crew is made up of HoliMont veterans Lee Bailey, Carl Marlett, and Mike McCutcheon. This season they will be joined by newcomer Marcus Stephens. Bailey and McAuley handle most of the Snowcat duties, which entails moving vast quantities of snow and then shaping that snow into usable features. McAuley also manages the design and creation of the rails and jib features in the park.
Once the snow is in place, Marlett and McCutcheon put their terrain park experience to work by grooming all the features by hand to ensure that the take-offs and landings are smooth. Stephens, a skilled snowboarder in his own right, grew up in the area and spent a couple of years out West honing his terrain park knowledge at Stevens Pass in Washington. Now that he is back in the area, HoliMont is excited to have him as part of the team.
Last season, McAuley and HoliMont Area Control Manager, Justin Latimer, saw the need for a more specific terrain park safety initiative. So, on top of all the normal park duties, Stephens will help oversee HoliMont’s SmartStyle initiative. Smart Style is a Terrain Park Safety initiative that was developed by the National Ski Area Association (NSAA) and Burton Snowboards. The goal of the initiative is to continue the proper use and progression of terrain parks at resorts, while also delivering a clear, unified, concise, and effective message.
While it was creating Smart Style, NSAA also teamed up with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI). Together they came up with a Get Smart informative video. The video encourages park users to abide by the four points of Smart Style:
This season HoliMont will offer a Smart Style training where people can watch the Get Smart video and then take a short test. After passing the test, skiers/riders will get a sticker to put on their pass. The sticker signifies that they are familiar with Smart Style and know the proper terrain park etiquette.
That’s not all that is new with the park this season. Over the summer HoliMont purchased a Zaugg Pipe Cutter, which will allow the Terrain Park Crew to make a more precisely shaped half pipe. There will also be a new selection of beginner rails for those who are just starting to venture into the terrain park. The plan for this season is to offer six or seven variations of jumps and approximately 18 manmade features (boxes, rails, barrels and other jibbable structures).
All of the thrills and excitement that comes as a result of the terrain park would not be possible if it weren’t for the Terrain Park Crew. So when you are out there in the park, pay attention to the guys holding it down and doing everything they can to make sure you stay as safe as possible. Show them some props because these guys know what they are talking about. Plus they are out there in any and all conditions, working hard so that you can have fun. You’ve got to respect that.