Merchant’s favorite park, The Stash—located off the Skye Peak Express Quad—offers an au natural take on jibbing that he says brings skiing back to its roots, quite literally. More than 65 features crafted from locally sourced wood and on-hill recyclables wind through this park nirvana.
“It brings me back to when terrain parks weren’t the status quo and you’d just find a tree and hit it because you didn’t have a park,” says Merchant. “There’s so much stuff in [The Stash], it brings back the adventure in finding something new. It’s this great youthful fun.”
The creative possibilities for unique runs through the park will be greater than ever this season thanks to a brand-new run dubbed “The Stashmaker.” After years of bushwhacking from The Stash to Dreammaker, Killington will now offer a new link-up, completing the ultimate top-to-bottom, jib-centric run.
“I’m so hyped about it,” Merchant gushes. “Starting at Stash, you hit 65-plus all-natural features, and then you cross the long winding [Dreammaker] park into the 18-foot superpipe and finish at the rail garden below. There’s nothing like it on the East Coast and the comprehensiveness rivals that of even Breck’s Freeway and Mammoth Unbound.”
Though Merchant is able to hit the early-season park sometimes as early as Halloween, he lives for December when Killington Parks hosts Rails 2 Riches—the East Coast’s most prestigious under-the-lights rail jam.
“Rails 2 Riches is better than Christmas,” says Merchant. “All the [local] homies come back. It’s a huge homecoming—even the guys out west come back to throw down and entertain each other.”
Remarkably, the parties only get bigger as the temperatures warm up. By springtime, Nor’Beaster is in full swing, celebrating the best of spring skiing with rail riding, pond-skimming and mogul challenges right down till the end of the season.