The 2015/2016 Transworld Riders Poll is live this week, and taking a few minutes to fill it out is one of best ways to show your gratitude to the outstanding Aspen Snowmass Terrain Park teams, and the work they do creating the terrain we love. Need a quick reminder of what it takes to remain at the top of the game year after year? Read on…
From game changing terrain innovations like Red Bull Double Pipe to the welcoming accessibility of our Spring Jam Terrain Park Boot Camps, Aspen Snowmass has something for everyone looking to step up their shred game. Below is a quick recap of some of the awesomeness that went down this past winter.
While all four Aspen Snowmass Ski Areas are chock full of natural terrain gems, our committed park programs reside at Snowmass and Buttermilk, where skiers and riders of all ages and ability levels can progress their skills and stretch their creative muscles on hundreds of constantly evolving features.
Let’s start with the numbers – 7 parks, 100+ features, 6 major events with over 150,000 onsite spectators, and over 3 miles of dedicated park runs graced the slopes of Buttermilk during the 2014/2015 winter season. We didn’t get into this stuff for the math, but we do know that it all adds up to a heck of a good time for the small crew of dedicated locals (and a handful of international pros) crushing laps day in and day out over at “The Milk.”
Beginner shredders can dip their toes into the park scene at Panda Park terrain based learning zone located right at the base of the mountain, before heading up to the beginner/intermediate level S3 Park, located on West Buttermilk’s Red’s Rover Trail. The main park is a 2.5 mile joyride from top to bottom, finishing at the legendary X Games Slopestyle Course and 22 foot Superpipe.
Events like ESPN’s Winter X Games have given humble Buttermilk a permanent place on the global shred map, with history making moves happening year in and year out at the premier event in winter action sports. No wonder that Red Bull and Snow Park Technologies chose Buttermilk to bring the Double Pipe to life the last couple of years. Lesser known, but no less enjoyable, Buttermilk also plays host to the next generation of freeski royalty at the Aspen Snowmass Freeskiing Open, as well as hosting local grassroots events such as the Smith Grudge Match, Slash the Milk Banked Slalom, and even a handful of events for the Aspen Snowmass USASA Series.
At Snowmass, the heart and soul of terrain park shredding is located on the never crowded Coney Glade quad, where lift riders have to keep their heads on a swivel to avoid missing any of the dozens of terrain features on offer for every type of shredder. X Games medalists like Scotty Lago, Danny Davis, Torin Yater-Wallace and Alex Ferreira are regular visitors, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of great features for both the groms and the grown-ups. Terrain park manager Yannick Rioux and his crew of creative cat drivers and hand groomers are constantly changing up the lines and features, surprising even the most jaded riders with their constant innovation (and no shortage of Zaugg-cut transitions).
An Olympic caliber 22 foot halfpipe is matched by a 12 foot learning pipe down in the lowdown park, while jumpers of every level can hone their skills on jump lines ranging from mini to massive. Park riders are encouraged to be on the lookout for popup parks throughout the season, including the venue for the Thanksjibbing season kickoff contest, early season laps through Water Plant Flats, or the ever popular Terrain Park Boot Camps. The headlines this year were all about the brand new Snowmass Rail Plaza, which played host to the ever popular Bud Light Big Rail Friday series. Riders travelled from all over the state to take part in this Snowmass Village classic, and not just because of the weekly $700 prize purse.
Beyond the great content and amazing riding coming out of Aspen Snowmass’ terrain parks, we’ve also got one of the most supportive and inclusive park riding communities in the business, and that’s thanks to the wonderful people out there in the parks every day. If you see any of your local terrain park builders, shapers, content producers, or just a friendly shredder, be sure and give them a smile and a high five because they deserve it.
Oh, and be sure and show your thanks by filling out the Transworld Snowboarding Resort Poll, because that’s a great way to let the rest of the world know just how truly lucky we are here in Aspen Snowmass.
See you out there!
(Written by: Tyler Lindsay)