18/10/2013 | by Nina Zietman | 4 comments
Between them the parks in Snowmass and Buttermilk areas have almost 200 features and two monster superpipes.
Everyone knows of the epic parks in Buttermilk due to the success of the X Games, but outside of this showpiece event, they still put in a fine effort at keeping things tip-top – if a little smaller. Head up to the Summit Express and you can hit three of the four parks in one two-mile long slopestyle extravaganza. At the top is a nice little intro, the jib focused Teaser Park; this dips into the trees and Chuck’s Park – which is a bit like one of the all-natural Burton Stashes (though Chuck’s was built before Burton had the idea); this flows into the Jacob’s Ladder Park, where things really start to pick up in size and technicality. If your legs aren’t jelly yet and you’re slightly mad, you can head into the pro park, the X Park. This is the park that is added to for the X Games, so it won’t be open in the run-up to the event. If you want to hit 70-feet booters or bust the 22-foot superpipe, then this is the place to head, and for the rest of us, we can just watch and wish we’d started snowboarding when we were kids. On the other side of the hill, off the West Buttermilk Express, is a more beginner and intermediate focused park, the S3.
The park setup on Snowmass is a lot more spread out, and arguably better maintained during the regular season; you’ll also find little man-made hits all over the place. The Lowdown Park is designed for first timers and offers some nice mellow boxes and jumps, and a very occasional small halfpipe. Located off the other lift that starts from the main base, you’ll find the Makaha Park. Well maintained, it increases the size of the kickers and offers more techie rails. Pros and halfpipe riders should head to the Snowmass Park, which sits above Jacobs Ladder and is served by the Coney Glade. Featured in ‘The Art of Flight’, this is by far the largest park in terms of features and the balls required to ride it.