Have you hit-up High Roller Parks at Heavenly this season? They are better than ever! In fact, there are more than 90 features between all three parks right now, an 18′ halfpipe after a 5-year hiatus, and smooth transitions with a variety of ability ranging features in each park.
Heavenly’s terrain park crew has some tips for features you got to hit this spring. Terrain Park Supervisor, Heath Richmond, gave us the low down on what to expect for the rest of the season. He also had some advice on where to find the most unique features at Heavenly and (most importantly) how to look good on them. Not all of these features are for experts only, but remember to always practice Smart Style before doing any tricks.
Groove Park Groove Park is Heavenly’s small park. Richmond says “It’s setup a bit like a skate park where it’s not just one line.” Traditionally, terrain parks are setup to be hit from top to bottom with each feature in succession. Groove Park doesn’t follow that principle.
“I like the way it flows,” Richmond says. After hitting the jumps “you can hit the hip and then come back and hit the A-Frame.”
With all the sunshine this last week, Groove Park will be getting a makeover soon. The park crew is planning on having fewer features allowing them to focus on maintaining the quality of the lips and landings.
Highlighted Feature: Wall Ride
Skill Level: Intermediate
Description: The Wall ride is one of the last features in Groove Park near the bottom of the hill. It was made from the top section of the wall used in the Nike Chosen tour during the 2011-2012 season, so you can hit the same feature as the pros!
Tricks: The “easiest” (still not easy) way to hit this is from the side into simple wall ride. If you want to step it up, pop off the lip to hit the flat top and then 270 into the wall ride.
The pro shot: Because Groove funnels into a smaller space in this area it is important to be aware not to get in the way of other skiers and riders when taking photos. Richmond’s says to stand to the right side of the front lip. This should get a great shot of the wall ride with some trees in the background.
Ante Up Park (Ante Up video from 3.16.13) Ante Up is our medium sized park. But with three 30 foot table-top style jumps, Ante Up requires some previous skills.
“Up top we added features in a snake style layout so people can get creative on that,” Richmond says. Meaning, before you get into the jump line you can go back and forth on the trail hitting jibs.
The obvious choice for a photo op is on the table tops with the lake in the background. As you probably noticed, we like to use that one for our posters and website. But we thought we’d point out another feature that’s really unique.
Highlighted Feature: Elbow Closeout Rail to Wall Ride
Skill Level: Advanced
Description: An elbow rail is similar to a C-rail, but rather than a slow curve it is made of two straight rails that are joined together. The way they come together makes the feature look like a bent arm, hence the name “elbow rail”. The end of the second segment leads into a wall ride. The elbow rail is closer to the bottom of Ante Up, after the table tops.
Tricks: Richmond says there are two exit options on this feature. One option is to “hit the first rail and ollie over the closeout into the transition.” Essentially, this means just hitting the first rail normally and ignoring the other sections. The second option is to change direction and jump onto the second rail and finish out on the wall ride.
The pro shot: Richmond says to stand below the feature almost outside the park. By looking up, the entire feature will be in the shot, including the landing. From the top, the landing will be blocked.
High Roller High Roller is Heavenly’s largest park, but it also it has small and medium sized features and the 18′ halfpipe. There are three jump lines in High Roller, all with multiple jumps. Like Ante Up, the lake views from High Roller guarantee extra cool factor points. Another similarity between Ante Up and High Roller are there elevations. According the Richmond, their high elevation means the snow doesn’t melt as fast and they’re more likely to last through the rest of the season.
Feature: Hanging Tire
Skill Level: Intermediate
Description: The hanging tire is located on the skier/rider’s left on the park next to the trees about half-way down. The tire is hanging above a medium sized hip.
Trick: For starters, just try to tap the tire before heading into the hip transition. To add difficulty, incorporate the tire tap into a rotation before landing.
The pro shot: Stand on the up-hill side of the tire. If you stand to the left it will be more difficult to see the landing, but you’ll have a better chance of getting the lake in the shot. Richmond recommends people getting video to stand more to the right in order to get the landing.
Skill Level: All Levels – Intermediate+ encouraged
Description: An 18′ halfpipe with a gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe in the background.
Trick: Of course, there’s a huge list of tricks folks can throw down in the halfpipe. While airing out is a good place to start, Richmond recommends the Alley Oop – spinning in the opposite direction – as another entry level trick. Remember to follow good terrain park etiquette in the halfpipe. Be aware of your abilities and make sure you’re not holding up other park users.
The pro shot: Have your buddy stand on the skier/rider’s right side of the halfpipe to get an iconic photo of you with the lake in the background.
If you’d like to improve your shredding abilities, check out our upcoming Easter Park Session from Saturday, March 30 through Saturday, April 6. Call 775-586-7000 and press 0 for more info.