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Snowbasin Terrain Parks | Family Fun for Everyone

By Alyssa Erickson Tue Jan 15 2019 Terrain Parks

When I grew up, terrain parks were just coming on the scene and wearing a ski helmet still wasn’t mainstream. The first terrain park, modeled after the tradition “skate parks” used for rollerblading and skateboarding, was built in the early 90s. With the introduction of slopestyle and halfpipe to the Olympic games, terrain park usage and popularity has skyrocketed.

Lets just say that when my family hit the slopes together, my kids headed straight for the terrain parks and I could have used a primer on where to start, what to expect, and a few common-sense safety rules.

Snowbasin Resort is a family resort, boasting terrain that will keep all ages and all abilities happy. For this reason, the four terrain parks on the mountain focus on small to medium features. Similar to traditional alpine slopes, terrain parks are designated by an orange oval on the maps and rated (S, M, L) based on difficulty of features. All of Snowbasin’s Terrain Parks show their designation and difficulty at the entrance to the terrain park.

An Introduction to Snowbasin’s Parks

Beginner Parks

Powder Puff

Location: Under the Little Cat lift, on the Powder Puff Beginner Slope. It is accessed of the Little Cat lift.

Difficulty: Extra Small and Small

The Powder Puff park is the perfect place to start for those new to terrain parks or for young children. It is Snowbasin’s easiest and most basic park, with small berms, short jumps, and snow-level boxes.

Mini Orson’s

Location: On the Powder Puff Run at the bottom of Orson’s

Difficulty: Small and Medium

Mini-Orson’s is a great place to start once you want the next step up from Powder Puff, and want to try short jumps and low boxes that are a step up from Powder Puff.

Intermediate Parks

As you progress to medium-sized parks, you can expect the jumps to be more committing (10-30 feet) and jibs (rails, boxes, etc) requiring small jumps in order to mount them.

Blue Grouse

Location: Top of the Wildcat Lift

Difficulty: Small and Medium

 

Orson’s

Location: Orson’s run, accessed via the Wildcat Lift or Needles Gondola

Difficulty: Small and Medium

Safety Tips

There are a few common sense safety tips that everyone should know before entering any of the terrain parks.

  1. Ski or snowboard within your ability. Start in the small parks before launching into the more difficult parks.
     
  2. Tim Eastley, the Snowbasin Terrain park manager, cautions us that “the snow ramps in front of the rails or boxes are not small jumps. It is bad practice to use them as such because it creates cross ruts for the rider using the feature as intended.”
  3. Do not stop or ski through the landing areas of jumps or features as it creates a hazard both for you and the rider coming down the hill.
  4. Learn the hand signals for safe communication with riders above or below you (as shown in the photo below).

Join us later this season for a behind the scenes look into the team that builds our terrain parks, their process, and what it takes to build and maintain a terrain park! See you on the slopes!


 

Alyssa Erickson
I am a wife, mom, rock climber, skier, coffee lover and all around adventure lover with a passion for writing. I have my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado and am the founder of KidProject.org. I live and play near the Wasatch Range, partnering with my husband and teaching my kids to make the most of life and the One who gave it to us.