Wall riding takes hold at South Shore terrain parks
South Shore terrain parks get a little bit bigger and more intense every year. This season there are more metal rails, walls and boxes for snowboarders and skiers to try out.
Last year Sierra-at-Tahoe was the only resort to offer a wall for snowboarders and skiers to ride up and stall on or slide across top of. Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Heavenly Mountain Resort will each offer a wall in one of their parks this year.
“It’s just a new and different feature,” said Chris Eckert, events and promotions manager at Kirkwood. “Basically a lot of the new features coming in are evolving from skateboarding.”
Kirkwood’s 8-foot-tall by 16-foot-wide wall will be ready to go Saturday as part of the grand opening of the Stomping Grounds Terrain Park and launch of the resort’s partnership with DC Shoes.
The shoe and snowboard boot company sponsored construction of the wall and a rail fitted with Plexiglas that holds an assortment of shoes.
Kirkwood has eliminated its Super Park, near Chair 2, in favor of tripling the number of features at the Stomping Grounds park, under Chair 5. The resort also installed a Muzak satellite sound system for the park.
Amateur snowboarders from Northern California and Northern Nevada will participate on Sunday in a slope-style competition at Kirkwood’s Mokelumne Terrain Park, located next to the Stomping Grounds.
Heavenly Mountain Resort’s signature improvement this year will be a 20-foot-tall by 20-foot- wide wall at a new terrain park, called The Rail Yard. The park will be built once the resort get a little more snow under the old Waterfall Chair. It will offer more than 10 rails. In addition, the resort will offer five new boxes this season, said Toni Toreno, communications coordinator at Heavenly.
Sierra-at-Tahoe, always known for its innovative terrain parks, has expanded its terrain park on Bashful, a trail off the West Bowl. The park runs 2,000 feet and has the most vertical of the mountain’s five terrain parks. It offers a 17-foot-tall by 20-foot-wide wall and a five-jump line, according to Nicole Clay, communications coordinator for Sierra-at-Tahoe.
Overall, Clay said, the mountain this season added a flat-to-down box with ledges, a dragster box, a 20-foot box, a 30-foot box, two 20-foot rails, two 15-foot rails and a 10-foot rail.
– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org