Adam Jensen: Embracing the terrain park |

Adam Jensen: Embracing the terrain park

Going fast on skis or snowboard and scaring myself in steep terrain have always been my things. While doing a season in Mammoth Lakes awhile back, my buddy encouraged me to check out the terrain park. Even if there’s no snow, the park is always fun, he said. Doubtful at first, I eventually grew to see what he meant.

When it’s not a powder day, challenging yourself on the same old groomers gets difficult pretty quickly. But, if options are limited, there’s always something to do in the terrain park. A pair of broken bones in my left hand from a fall in the park a couple years back caused me to shy away from the features, but I’ve been poking around again given the less-than-optimal snow conditions. I’m no expert in the park, but I have learned a couple things that might be helpful for those skiers and riders looking to get into the terrain park this season.

Scope it out first by doing a lap through the park before hitting any of the features. You don’t want to be caught off guard if the jump is bigger than expected or the rail isn’t what you thought it was.

If you fall, no big worries, just remember there’s likely someone coming behind you, so do your best to move to the side so you’re not in the way of the next guy. Just don’t camp out on the landings. It’s dangerous. On the flip side of that, make sure you give the person in front of you some space, so, if they do fall, you won’t go crashing into them.

Start slowly. As the pins and plate in my hand can attest, there is a level of risk in the terrain park. Take it slow and build your skills gradually. You can’t get better at the terrain park if you’re at home injured on the couch.

After all that, jibs, jumps and bonks await. Get after it. The park is always fun.

Adam Jensen is the editor of Lake Tahoe Action. He can be reached at

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