Steamboat 3/24/10

24 Mar, 2010

I took the last two days off to get back into the swing of things but the snow definitely called me today with bluebird skies and what looked to be a great day for park.  I know I’m riding park a lot this year, but man I am addicted!

While I was gone last week, the 10-11 Cadence arrived at my house for some reviewing but it had to wait till today to hit the snow.  I definitely appreciate the days when I can take a board out for multiple days to really see how it handles when it comes to review time.  Next year’s cadence has the park system and grip tech, first time for both of those and my union highback arrived so I’m not riding on a busted highback anymore which made today even better!

Since it’s late season in Steamboat, the lower mountain where the park and pipe is means a slushfest and I find that it requires more skill.  The pipe today was rideable on one wall (my bad wall) but that forced me to do better than normal since it was all I hit.  After seeing the shape it was in, I headed into the medium park where my first hit I completely ate it and smacked my head good.  Luckily for me I wear a helmet.  I ended up staying out there and kept lapping it despite the hard fall and did better as the day went on.  Even though I was riding alone, I met a couple lifties and ended up lapping park with them.

Usually a couple times a year I encounter stupidity on the mountain and I have my moments as well but I’m generally well aware of my skill level and surroundings that it’s less common.  However when a young skier who has no parents with him decides to hit the 30+ foot jump in the large park…and lands to flat, just lying there crying…I really wonder.  There are plenty of signs to tell the kid he’s out of his league, these are large jumps and there are no parents around so this kid doesn’t know any better but I definitely hope that someday more mountains require park passes.  Even though they are a hassle for locals to deal with and cost more money, I’d totally love to get rid of the people who have no place in a large park environment and with one bad fall can ruin it for everyone.

Since it’s so bluebird and slushy out, it’s time to wax the boards up for tomorrow’s shredding.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. March 24, 2010

    Brighton just went to a pass system for the upper park ( we didnt go there ) where all the jumps are … lots of crying by kids who dont understand why its needed.. coincidentally these are also the same kids that cry about little kids in the park .. sometimes you just cant win

  2. March 24, 2010

    Yeah I totally see why park passes work and I’m all for them. It sucks when I go to another mountain and don’t have one, have to get one but I’m fine with it. I totally commend my home mountain Stevens Pass for having their park pass and when I visit, I follow and get it during my time there. It’s the safest park I’ve been in where I never have to look over my shoulder because someone isn’t educated in park riding and could run into me at any moment. I wish many other mountains would do it. Little kids or adults, there are tons of people every day who shouldn’t be riding park that don’t know park etiquette and I think having a park pass would help deter them from the parks they shouldn’t be in.

  3. March 24, 2010

    Amen Shay.

    Even worse are parents who encourage their kids by taking them through the advance park (while showing them everything you shouldn’t do, like weave in and out of features, stop in front of ramps, stop in landings, etc.) Especially if the resort has established beginner terrain; it’s just plain ignorant… or maybe they just don’t want a kid anymore?

    Unfortunately, here in Southern California the mountains are just too small; and since the majority of Bear and Mt. High are park, there just isn’t any way to regulate things without destroying the dynamic that brings people to these warm, snow-deprived mountains.

  4. idshred
    March 24, 2010

    how do the park passes work? I have never been to a resort that uses them. Like a season pass for the park? Day park ticket…?? Also how do most resorts monitor entrances to make sure those without park passes don’t enter?

    Of all the resorts I have been to, Brighton( went there 6 times last season) has been one of the best for not having kooks in the upper park… having thick trees on both sides helped a lot I think. middle was always just a cluster**** with peeps going off in every direction, lower was good as well. Brighton kids in general rip compared to most mountains, so many good riders.

    Instructors at jackson have been taking groups of 10-20ish kids through the small park this year every sat. that I have been there(4), sometimes they are 3,4,5 years old. I mean its good to teach the kids about park etiquette but when you have 20-30 people waiting to drop and they are all waiting for a group of 10 4-7 year olds.. give me a break. Some of the kids go around everything while others are falling over on lips, rollin down the lips backwards, etc.. I don’t know if its a jr. ski team thing or what but I wish they wouldn’t do it on saturdays when the mountain is super busy. Good thing we only ride the little park while it warms up a lil bit and then head over to the big park.

  5. March 24, 2010

    Lou, definitely I’ve seen the whole weaving out of features, stopping in wrong places, totally oblivious they could be landed on at any moment. It’s adult as much as kids. Mostly I just wish the large parks would have park passes that require some education if they want to get in.

    Idshred, most of the resorts make you watch a education video, sign a release waiver and usually there’s some cost for a season park pass or a day pass. Varies on the resort. The entrances are usually monitored by the park crew shack and park crew is in charge of checking for passes. I’ve seen them work at Snoqualmie and Stevens where the shack is there to watch the video, sign the form and be on your way. If I wanted to keep riding more than a day, get the season park pass.

    I was just at Brighton and definitely agree on the upper park I didn’t even see it but since I wasn’t interested in riding the jumps didn’t go there at all. I ended up in the smaller park and main park with the pipe.

    I’ve seen that with lessons as well, I’ve seen instructors for the local sports club take a whole class of kids into the mini park and have them cross in front of a feature when someone is dropping into hit it. Instructors definitely have the ability to teach park etiquette and should anytime they take a class into the park. I’ve even gone so far to let Ski School know the instructors name and how unsafe they were with their class.

    Park passes won’t solve everything but i think if it makes it so the stupid people are out of the park and the parks are safer from it…it’s a good thing. Plus I don’t mind paying money to help with park upkeep…some mountains don’t think new rails/boxes are important but I definitely do and if 1,000 park passes can pay for new feature, why not?

  6. Alex
    March 25, 2010

    What I hate is when people go right down the middle of the pipe. And I hate it when the parents send a whole litter of 6 year olds down it and say not to get on the walls. It’s like they thinks it’s a glorified run with monuments on the sides.

  7. Fes
    March 25, 2010

    Lou, I go to Shay’s home mountain aka Stevens Pass. This is how it works for them, it might be different elsewhere. At the entrance of the park, there’s a yurt. When you get to that yurt, there’s a few terrain park staff there. You have to physically show them either a day park pass or a season’s pass. If you don’t have either, you go in the yurt watch a safety video and you get a day pass. To convert the day pass to a season park pass, you go to the lodge, pay $5 and they give one to you.

    The terrain park fence is heavily monitored. They catch you jumping in and out or being an idiot by putting other’s safety at risk or bringing in alcohol, you’re lift riding priviliges and park pass is taken from you.

  8. Ali
    March 26, 2010

    More parks out east should have these passes. I have also seen hills that have the passes but still get people with no sense of park ethics (there the problem is that the park staff give the pass out after watching a video then never monitor the park it self.) The worst hill I have seen here in the east is Bristol Mountain which has a great park set up. There even the great riders have no sense of park rules. I was with friends waiting at the top of the big pipe while two park staff where in the pipe fixing one of the walls and all of a sudden 5 boarders and skiers drop in all at the same time. We could not believe it and the park staff didn’t even say anything!

    The park pass system improves things but on top of that resorts should have the staff actually lap the park and kick people out if they are not following the rules. The sad thing here is that something like that will get enforced only after someone gets seriously injured and sues the hill. I have not seen that as bad out west but I guess that is because with bigger hills there are less people in the park when they have such great big runs to ride.