The resorts on top got there because they’ve backed snowboarding for years, so it’s not likely there will be too many newcomers among next-season’s Top Ten. We do expect some jostling, though, some elbow throwing, and even bigger commitments from certain mountains¿when you’re at the top, everyone’s got you in their crosshairs.
Overall, expect Mammoth to give Whistler/Blackcomb a run for its money. With a new village in the works, Mammoth may get the edge it needs to oust our Canadian friends from the top spot¿it was only a matter of five-hundredths this time around. An exceptional snow year in Colorado is the only other hope of taking down the Canucks and returning the snowboard spotlight to its former home; it’s been done in hockey already.
Breck will have to work hard to defend its crown, as Mammoth is also a threat to the pipe title. Copper Mountain’s new Super Pipe Dragon might put them in the running for a podium spot, and Vail should hold steady somewhere in the top five. If East Coast resorts like Stratton can garner enough visits from TransWorld readers, they too could pose a pipe threat. Southern California’s Snow Summit will likely climb into the pipe battle as well, now that the park is under wraps.
Neither of the park or pipe titles will go uncontested by Big Bear Mountain, a player from day one that’s steadily gaining momentum. On the East Coast, the Wigi board says Mountain Creek will creep into the park ranks at around eighth.
Wagering on this type of thing is illegal, but only if you get caught.¿K.H.