By John Poulin and Ian Frisch
Originally published in the November 2009 issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding, Volume 23. 3
#1 Park: Mount Snow, Vermont
Carinthia park lived up to the hype. Mount Snow’s 95-acre all-mountain park showed East Coast riders the light this winter with both proper and creative jumps and jibs littered around the mountain like a skatepark. The Carinthia parks featured a variety of table and cheese wedge style jumps in nearly every imaginable size as well as a slew of creative jibs, like a tree jib park run with all wooden rails. They put on a good show hosting the Winter Dew Tour in January, and with the local shreds in mind, left the pro-level slopestyle course intact for riders from all over the East to test their skills on the same stage as Lago and Torstein. And of course, the Dew Tour pipe was all time. The park crew is a tight group of local up and comers that are equally as proficient with the board as they are with the rake, keeping features dialed when they’re not dialing in their own tricks.
It’s easy to see why riders choose Mount Snow as their favorite overall resort, with a lively base area, the Winter Dew Tour, a Learn To Ride school, and when you factor in the skate ramp on the deck of the base lodge, it becomes apparent that Mount Snow is truly a shredder’s paradise.
#2 Park: Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
Ride in a warm gondola to the summit, rip down the mountain through various shred-parks and end with a bang throughout a mile-long, terrain-park-battlefield chuck full of goodies? Yeah, we like that idea too. Loon is all about options, and has built a reputation for having a varied, slopestyle setup consisting of mellow, versatile and innovative features such as their signature hubba stair setup, 12-foot-tall wallride and numerous jump lines. “It’s not all about just individual features,” says Terrain Park Development Manager Jay Scambio. “It’s about the entire experience.”
#3 Park: Seven Springs, Pennsylvania
Besides having the number-one superpipe on the East Coast, Seven Springs decks out five trails with an entire galaxy of rails, jibs, booters and kickers of different sizes and orientations, with an emphasis on dedicated resources. “We have an amazing 29-person staff,” says Director of Action Sports Joel Rerko. And Seven Springs continues to step it up: For the 2010 season, they have added a mind-blowing 40 new rail features to their arsenal of jibbery, bringing their rail count up to just shy of 60.
#4 Park: Big Boulder, Pennsylvania
No elephants. No bearded ladies. No trapeze artists. “We stay away from circus-style features,” says Director of Freestyle Terrain Ian Oliver. “We focus on the basic essentials.” It’s simple: handrails, boxes and hubbas. And with nearly 75 jibs strewn throughout their seven terrain parks (not to mention jumps ranging from ten-foot mini-booters to a 60-foot step-down kicker), Big Boulder is hardly the shred-spot to get trite and boring.
#5 Park: Okemo, Vermont
Cranking things up for the 2010 season, Okemo is not only featuring their signature Sobe bus as a full-on jib rather than a wall-ride, but also a concrete, urban-style ledge—truly bringing the city to the mountain. S-rails, c-boxes, stair features, kink rails, and booters of various sizes round out the rest of the field. “We’re keeping it fresh,” says Dennis Brady, who leads the charge in the park. “We eat food, hang out, and draw out ideas on napkins—lots of brainstorming.” And amongst the ketchup stains, these guys have some legitimate ideas written out.
Click to page 2 for Best Resorts