Unless you have been living under a rock this year, or are simply unable to be pleased, you’ve noticed that the parks at Mt. Bachelor continue to progress and leave our regional competition in the dust. The sheer number, variety, upkeep, and flow of features in the Skyliner Park Zone is well worth writing home about. Pete Alport, one of Bend’s most esteemed and longtime freeride afficianado’s, recently had this to say about this years output.
All photos are courtesy of Tyler Orton. See more of his work here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shredstickphotos/
I moved from Portland to Bend in the Fall of 1994. I was going on my sixth year of snowboarding, but still had not seen a real terrain park. The 94â€™ Winter at Mt. Bachelor exposed me to a terrain park consisting of six features; four jumps and two wooden rails. Almost fifteen years later and the present 2009 season: a terrain park that is progressive, innovative, and most importantly, FUN. At a very rapid pace, terrain park manager, Hames Ellerbe, and his crew, are building a reputation that will rival resorts such as Breckenridge, Park City, and Mammoth.
As I rode through the park(s) today I tried to count all the featuresâ€¦.I lost track at sixty. Sixty features and these donâ€™t include the unique lines riders create on their own, which could double this number. Some of the features include a mandatory bomb drop, leading into a step-up and over, leading into a spinning tire jib, leading into a dub-kink, concluding with a double sided spindleâ€¦.or wait, do you want to hit the bomb drop, leading into a down bar, into a side-angled table, on to a 40ft.+ lift tower rail step-down, into a spinning-tire hip? Did I mention these two line options are just one-fifth of what the Skyliner Park has to offer?
Is this a fluke, a surge of energy due to the sunny weather? No. Hames is adding new features and fine-tuning the current ones every night. His crew is right there with him suggesting, sculpting, and maintaining the features. I see the park crew early in the mornings raking out ruts, scraping off new snow, and even shaving the sides of the lips. Shaving the sides isnâ€™t necessarily for function, but rather for looks. The crew wants their park to look proper so it stokes the local or the 1st time tourist who has never seen Mt. Bachelorâ€™s Park. Our park gets a clean high and tight fade each and every morning, barring a blizzard, and even then the Red Coat park staff can be seen with rakes cleaning off the fresh.
The only concern currently voiced, where are the monster sized jumps to practice those switch back 9s? Patience. After this weekends HCSC Enter The Dragon competition, the Pine Martin Slopestyle Park will be getting some added muscle. Iâ€™m not sure of the exact increase in size, but letâ€™s just say Hames wants be building jumps far bigger then what is currently in place. I canâ€™t wait to be shooting in the Slopestyle Park again.
Before I end my praising of Mt. Bachelorâ€™s Terrain Park I want to mention that we have a great halfpipe and a brand new stair set box/rail feature.
If you want to ride or jump a wall, hip, tire, bomb-drop, table, step-up, halfpipe, box, rail, lift-tower, barrel, come to Mt. Bachelor, chances are you wonâ€™t be able to hit all the features in one day, let alone a weekend, let alone a season.
Thanks Hames and Crew