Park Sessions: Carinthia, Mount Snow, Vermont
Words: John Poulin
Riders: Alex Rodway, Nick Julius, Jack Dawe, Levi Gunzberg, Max Lyons, Brendan Rego, and Parker Szumoski
It's not easy building parks on the East Coast. West Coast parks have the pleasure of working with softer snow—crews can think of an idea and make it happen that night because the snow is so tillable. In New England, it's more like trying to filet frozen chicken with a butter knife. It takes a lot more machine time and man-hours to make an idea come to life. Still, park building is an area where the East can not only compete with, but best, the West. For Day Franzen and the crew at Mount Snow's Carinthia Parks, it's why they do everything in their power to build proper and creative setups that would stand up next to Park City and Loon Mountain, alike.
In 2008, Mount Snow launched Carinthia Parks, turning an entire mountain face into a park. A high-speed quad and a fixed-grip triple chair access four trails covered with round down bars, lift towers, boxes, square handrails, bonks, stairs, wallrides, kickers, side hits, log rides…you get it. They have the full spectrum, from all-wood jibs to the more traditional Dew Tour-style park. They make creative setups you don't see anywhere else—including the Vermont-themed jibs of The Farm—and they work hard for it, tilling the snow over and over again in the cat just to get a substance they can work with. So when the sun comes up and the lift starts turning, it's game on. Watch a Carinthia local like Levi or Max ride through any of the parks and you'll witness how the place will mold a rider.
Carinthia's layout has over 130 features spread throughout eight park zones spanning 100 acres, giving you a lot of terrain to choose from. You can ride all morning and not hit the same run twice, ride all day and not hit the same line twice. Its one thing the crew prides themselves on: building different shit. If you're riding up to a feature for the first time and thinking, "What the hell am I going to do with this," then they've done what they set out to do. It's about challenging people to get creative, without just upping the size of a jump or the length of a rail. Don't be mistaken, though, they have plenty of 60-foot-plus kickers and 30-foot down rails.
Nitro is a good medium sized park to warm up in. There are a ton of sick jibs and a good jump line at the bottom. Starts right at the top of the Nitro Express and runs all the way down to the bottom so you get plenty of vertical to get the blood pumping. The other warm-up option is Mineshaft. There are a couple of legit jibs on the flatter top part that go into a steeper pitch.
Usually Mineshaft down into Prospector, the all-natural park. This is where they have all the wooden jibs: down logs, wallrides, C-logs, log jams—pretty much any type of rail you can think of they've made it out of downed trees. It's one unique area that really sets Carinthia apart and is a must ride when you go there.
Find something to hike in Prospector or take laps through the larger features of The Gluch, including a bunch of proper rails and a sick jump line at the bottom. To round out the parks, there's Inferno, the largest park at Mount Snow, where they used to hold the Dew Tour. This is where you'll find all the biggest jumps and longest, steepest rails. You definitely want to be warmed up before you go in here.
There are a bunch of good places to eat in West Dover, but the real treat, as anywhere in Vermont, is a beer called Double Bag made by Long Trail. The only thing better than Double Bag is when it's made with Guinness like a Black and Tan and it's called a Cow Tipper. The Snow Barn, right at the base of the mountain, makes good pizza and does live music, snowboard shop nights, and video premieres, so if you're staying at the mountain, that's the spot.
Bar: Snow Barn
Eats: Lil' Anthony's, Dot's, Snow Barn
Nightlife: Snow Barn