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Terain parks, thoughts, opinions, etc....

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry if this has been brought up before but I was hoping for some insight. What are your thoughts about terrain parks?

Should there be some sort of testing to receive a "park pass"?

Is it fair if ski areas make helmets mandatory to ride the park?

If a ski area enforced the first two questions would it change your opinion of the ski area? If so, in what way?

What are your favourite features in a park?

Where's the best park you've ever been to?

Thanks. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #2 of 18
I don't think a park pass is necessary. Mountains usually post enough warnings(ski/board at your own risk) that you should realize your own skill level. That goes the same for helmets. I believe it should be own discretion or parents discreion.
post #3 of 18
I agree with Lb1. As a matter of fact, I went through the park with a buddy (also an instructor) and his 4 year old daughter, last Saturday. We just rode up the ramps and down the sides and played around. She had a blast. I find that terrain parks can be used as great teaching aids, so limiting them to people with passes and/or helmets would take that away.
post #4 of 18
If you had to be of a certain ability level to get into the park, how would you ever pratice enough to get up to the level you needed to be to earn a park pass? Most ski areas do throw up a ton of warning signs anyway (as stated above).

As for my favorite feature - I'm a big fan of the rails - if only because I suck at them so it's a challenge.
post #5 of 18
I don't feel that any type of license should be required to ski any area within a ski area. However, I do fell that skiers/boarders should use common sense before entering a park/pipe area. Ski areas who have a park, should have two, that way, intermediates could practice on smaller hits before hitting the big ones. This could also help eliminate congestion.

I don't spend much time in the parks, so no favorite type of feature in one. I still prefer steeps!
post #6 of 18
Could we maybe post snipers at appropriate places in terrain parks?

post #7 of 18
From what I've seen darwinism in action is rampant in terrain parks. Or, people suffering the consequences of thier lack of foresight/stupidity.

Mainly this refers to concussions and injuries doing what my kids call "stupid stuff" on hard/icy conditions.

Let's not forget not checking your landing either...d'oh!!

post #8 of 18
I think there should be a fee/pass/helmet requirement, at least for part of the park. I just got back from Whistler where they have this system (a public park, and then a fenced off 'advanced' park where you pay a small fee ($10 or $15, I forget) and a guy at the top of the park checks for your pass/helmet).

The main reason I like this system is because the various jumps and features of the park remain in much better conditions. For example, at Lake Louise, as the professor probably knows, the jumps get scraped/skidded and become rock hard due to all the traffic. With the huge air possible on some of these jumps I am amazed there aren't more serious injuries on a daily basis. At Whistler, there is a constant stream ALL day every day of people riding over the jumps in the public park, the landings become very hard. In the advanced park the jumps remain in excellent condition because of the relatively low traffic and skill of most people jumping (none are going up and scrapping snow off).

I guess if a resort can afford to have two parks and make one a bit harder to get into that would be the best solution, but this is costly and takes up lots of space. I know I would never try a difficult trick in the park at Lake Louise because missing the landing would be brutal. I think the helmet thing is a no brainer.

post #9 of 18
A few weeks ago I rode up the lift at Vail that goes over the terrain park on Golden Peak with a Vail employee. He said that it is a big money maker for the Steadman-Hawkins clinic: an average of one person per day is transported down on a back board. But there are accidents on other parts of the mountain too.
post #10 of 18
I am not sure if ski prof meant a separate pass needed to get into the park or a discounted pass with only lift access on one lift and the all mountain pass still good.

I like the idea of a staff member attending to keep the clueless punters out but compulsory helmets would just stop most of the people who would otherwise use it. Note that most of the halfpipe and mogul competitors at the Olympics did not use them.

BTW a new ski area has opened here in NZ which is nothing but terrain park - COOOOL
Snow Park - New Zealand
post #11 of 18
OUt park has "rangers" employees who kinda keep a tab on things. No extra charge, there are lots and lots of kids (6-15) in there. They just keep an eye on things, monitor the situation but from what I can tell they don't really stop anyone from doing anything.
(except inverts, no inverts allowed)

It's a real ay your own risk deal.

post #12 of 18
I have really been enjoying our local resort's terrain park. But I have got to admit, I am one of those idiots. I bought a helmet this year and I haven't been wearing it the past couple of times I went skiing. The first time I dropped into the half-pipe I blew a re-entry and skidded down the sidewall on my forehead. Very difficult to explain how I got a big ole wound on my forehead during a day I was on sick leave. Yesterday, I cruised through the terrain park hitting all of the jumps. The second to last jump had an awesome throw to it. Unfortunately, the resort did not build a table top to move the landing further out. I hate that feeling when you are 25 - 30 feet in the air and you have completely overshot the landing and you know you are going to land on the flat. I was stupid for not checking the landing. I was also lucky that I did not injure any of the following: knees, back, head.

Helmets will become the norm just like in cycling.

I would say that was my two cents worth but I would need to get change back. I pray that I survive my stupidity.
post #13 of 18
Kirkwood has been doing this for the last few weeks. They have three parks on the mountain, one near the beginner area, with small rollers and berms, one on a blue run, with 20 foot tables, and one “superpark” The superpark required a $10 season pass, and signed waiver to get in. The park is roped off, and an employee sits at the top checking passes. I think it’s a great plan. It keeps most of the people who don’t belong on the 50’ kickers out of the damn way.

I do think that man-made terrain features should be enjoyed by everyone, but there are things that beginner and intermediate level skiers should not even be allowed to try. Large jumps are one of those places. People who try are needlessly endangering themselves, getting in the way, and damaging the terrain for the people for whom it was intended.

So, some people will say that they are intended for everybody who buys a lift ticket. I disagree. The resort puts effort into building a takeoff and also, more importantly, a landing. I think that anyone who cannot make it all the way to the landing, is not using the terrain feature as it was designed to be used. These people are not ready, and do not belong there.

These people drive me nuts!
These are the ones who are going to ruin terrain parks altogether. Darwin candidates! When I was growing up in the early eighties, ALL JUMPING was prohibited at my home mountain. Any hint of a jump, and the patrol would promptly be dispatched with a shovel to do some “micro-grooming”. Remember how litigious skiing was back then? This was, I feel, a direct result of all of the 70’s freestylers frequently getting hurt. I bet this will happen again in a few years, because of the clueless morons who cannot use their brain before trying to hang with the experts.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I went through the park with a buddy and his 4 year old daughter. We just rode up the ramps and down the sides and played around. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That poor little girl is going to get killed! That is absolutely idiotic! A four year old does not belong on terrain park jumps any more than she belongs on the black diamond bump runs. I cringe every time I see parents bringing their children into terrain that is clearly above their head. A small child moving slowly down a field of large moguls can be difficult to see from above. A skilled skier hammering the zipper-line could run right through her before even noticing that she was there. The same thing applies to terrain parks. It’s designated as “expert” terrain, and it’s where the big kids play. She could easily be landed upon by even the most courteous of adults.
My analogy: Just because she has the physical skills needed to ride her bicycle down the middle of the street, doesn’t mean that any intelligent adult would allow her to do that.

AND…. Snowplowing over jumps tears them apart quickly, ruining them for the people who they were designed for. This makes them more dangerous for the people who actually want to use the jumps the way that they were designed to be used. It makes for more maintenance time for the park crew, eventually leading to lower quality, or just less jumps for the big kids to enjoy.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If you had to be of a certain ability level to get into the park, how would you ever pratice enough to get up to the level you needed to be to earn a park pass?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You learn by practicing on the smaller jumps all over the rest of the mountain.
Stay out of the park.

My analogy: If you had to be of a certain ability level to race in the Indy 500, how would you ever practice enough to get up to the level you needed to be to race in the Indy 500

Come on people! Use your head!

As for Prof’s helmet question, I think It’s a pretty good idea to require them. It’s their house, so you should have to play by their rules. Personally though, I wish that it would be up to personal choice. Ohwell.

Have a nice day [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #14 of 18
I suppose it is at the discretion of the mountain operator. They put the time andmoney into developing the facility, and then it comes down to economics about whether or not attracting more people with a free facility or recouping some cash by charging.


From a personal point of view I think we pay enough in lift tickets/season passes to not justify a further charge once you are on the hill. I spend very little time in terrain parks, but sometimes it is a good variation to cruise through as part of a run. Also they are a great learnign tool for all levels.

Helmets: As I have said elsewhere, should be entirely voluntary. I guess that depends where you are skiing: US and Canada probably compulsory due to litigation; certainly NZ it is optional anywhere (as is Out of Bounds skiing...but that is for another post).
post #15 of 18
Geoff, I totally agree.

I don't get it when people say something like this that "they were just playing around, riding up ramps and then the downsides of the jump". They are JUMPS and thus not meant to just ski through, rather than fly...The jump is too big for skier's/rider's level if she/he can't take enough pace or is too afraid to air the whole jump and make it to the landing.

I think it would be good idea for resorts to build up two, even three different level parks to allow people the opportunity to build up their skills. Thus they can start small and learn basics in the environment that is comfortable for their current skill level.

Also, making most of the the jumps (at least slightly) gapped (even small jumps could be like this), is a good idea - then people don't just go slow and ruin the takeoffs, tabletops and landings but try to clean the transfer and land where they're are supposed to land, downhill, not on the tabletop.

Building jumps on the flats is also pretty stupid and still most of the resort do this. Many injuries could be avoided by using natural forms of the slope and building jumps so that they have steep and long natural landings - as the usual case is that a rider/skier cleans the whole landing and lands flat...coming short is actually not that bad in most of the cases (unless the gap is really "sharp" ,like e.g. step-ups, road gaps etc., but these kind of jumps rarely exist in common parks anyway

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 20, 2002 01:24 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Jiehkevarri ]</font>
post #16 of 18
Being from Southern California, I'm pretty spoiled when it comes to parks. Most of the resorts around here don't have particularly great natural terrain (Bear Mtn, and Baldy are the exceptions, but both require natural snow), so they make up for it with truly world-class terrain parks. I've spent entire days doing nothing but jumping (one day at Bear, the main lift was closed so I spent a whole day on a short lift, Goldrush, that just accessed the advanced park). Anyway, I enjoy parks so much that when I was planning a weeklong trip this winter I immediately removed Big White, BC from my list despite the fact that I could find really good deals there. The reason? They removed all of their parks except for a half pipe. I can't imagine spending a week skiing somewhere without a park.
post #17 of 18
Parks, hummm....

I night ski during the week at Wachusett in central MA. I've been after them to improve their park for about 1.5 months now. I'm currently in touch with most of the people involved on a regular basis, and things are improving. Their forum can be accessed here:

Wachusett RSN Forum

I'm "Kevinjc" over there. Please go over there and read and post if you like.

Jiehkevarri and Geoff' have the right idea on how to setup a safe park system for a wide range of ablitities.

Our park has a severe problem with beginner/ intermediate traffic. The park is situated on a beginner trail under the lift on the beginner side of the mountatin! There are decent sized jumps that have the potential to be good, but there are influences (ski patrol, etc) that push for the jumps to be "dumbed down", by making the landings rolled off and flat, thus making them useless for experts. 95% of the traffic these jumps see are people rolling over them.....it drives me crazy. We have been searching for a solution, perhaps I can convince them to try out the "divided park idea, as they are already going in that direction, by making separate lines through the park.

One of the major root causes of this problem is their mentality that this is a "family mountain", but it is a dysfunctional family. It's really just a horde of irresponsable people as far as I can tell.

post #18 of 18
The comments regarding taking young children into terrain parks would easily be solved by having multi level parks. Again, at Blackcomb, there are actually 3 parks. I forgot to mention the 'kiddie' one. It is on a completely separate run and just has very small rolling terrain features that are great for kids to play on, and not worry about people launching 20 footers over their heads. I too agree that young children do not belong skidding around in big parks as it is a large danger to themselves and others especially on blind landings.

It seems many resorts are taking the route of a separate advanced park with a fee/mandatory helmet.
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