We’ve already seen a lot of amazing photos and videos come out of the Ante Up Park this season so we caught up with Mike Thomas, our Terrain Park Manager, for a season preview from the eyes of the Heavenly Terrain Park Crew.
Having a jib line on Cal Trail was a good soft opening for our parks but things really got going once we opened Ante Up. Even with limited early season snow we’ve balanced opening new terrain with putting our snowmaking resources into developing parks.
People have been very happy with Ante Up. The combination of flow, spacing, and size in the jump line has been very successful. With more snow the jumps will grow another 5-8’ and we’re going to add rails + jibs on the skier’s left to add more lines.
We’ve had great feedback to the Plaza feature towards the bottom of A.U. The Plaza has an 8’ wide flat dance floor box with a 20” creeper ledge box. Coming off the plaza we have a street style down box that you can link up from the dance floor and a single bar rail next to a set of stairs. There are 5 or 6 different ways to use the Plaza feature- two people will see a completely different line and that’s what we’re trying to inspire: creativity.
We like to design with a skate park mentality: fun transitions, multiple lines and a variety of ways to hit each feature. We try to find pockets in our natural slopes that create little bowls, corners, and hips while also maximizing space. We don’t like our park runs to be a basic straight line. We’d much rather have fun creative flows.
We built 23 new features for this winter and on many of them we’ve tried to recycle parts from around Heavenly. We’ve found ways to incorporate snowmaking pipes, a water tank from Lakeview Lodge, tractor tires, logs, old CAT belts, parts from decommissioned lift towers. We try to be resourceful and it has produced some really unique skiing and riding opportunities.
There are some big things on tap for this winter:
-We’re working to open the Groove Park which is always a big-boy-park miniaturized. Groove produces very fun lines and has a nearby progression area for people that want an intro to jumps and rails or practice landing a new trick. Before Groove opens we’ll be adding some smaller features to the skier’s left line in Ante Up.
-The High Roller Hold ‘Em event was great last year but we learned a lot. This year will be even better. We’ll also have the Red Bull Snow Wars in Ante Up the same day (4/5/2013) so it will be an amazing weekend of skiing and riding.
– We’ll be bringing back an 18” half pipe. We have two full lines of snowmaking guns to use on pipe. The guys from Snow Park Technologies came out to help the initial build last year and helped us find the right set up and we plan on working with them again.
-We’ll have new features in the High Roller Park that will give it a different feel. Some of our experiments last year were on the right track and we’re going to take them further with new ways for all our riders /skiers to progress and play.
We love when people share GoPro videos of the lines they’ve found and we’re always looking for pictures to feature. Show us what you’ve got! Make sure you follow the Heavenly Terrain Park Crew on Facebook and Instagram and tag your photos with #highrollerparks and #heavenlyorbust.