Alpine Meadows and SPT team up on Tahoe’s first mile-long terrain park
3D rendering of the new mile-long park at Alpine Meadows
We’ve all dreamt about building the ideal snowboard park, from how the jump lines would flow to what different urban elements we would create and everything in between. For the Snow Park Technologies crew, this is a typical day in the office and this year they’ve teamed up with Alpine Meadows to create Tahoe’s first mile-long park that takes hot laps to a whole new level.
With the somewhat recent merger between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, the team at SPT wanted to create something unique and different from Squaw Valley and the rest of Tahoe. “We wanted to put Alpine Meadows on the map when it comes to terrain parks,” says Dave Thatcher, Snowmaking Manager at Alpine Meadows. “Tahoe has some of the best parks in world as well as one of the best training facilities at Woodward Tahoe, and with the new mile-long park, Alpine Meadows is able to compete with the big boys.”
But you don’t just pick a location and throw a few features within a mile of terrain. Something of this caliber takes time and expertise to create and the SPT team is the perfect crew to build something of this caliber. “It takes a certain level of understanding to create something this big,” says Mike Bettera of SPT. “First you have to have a quality team to help create and maintain the park, and Alpine’s Terrain Park Manager, Jonahs David, and his team are more than capable.”
3D rendering of the upper half of the park
The new park, aptly named The Firing Line, will start at the top of Alpine Bowl and wind down to the bottom of Sandy’s Corner. This specific location collects plenty of snow from nearby avalanche debris (don’t worry, it’s still safe), has great snowmaking and is exactly one mile long – you couldn’t ask for a better location. And with all that snow in one area, the park will also stay open well into the spring.
The Firing Line will consist of roughly 60 total features and will be outfitted with a large (top section) and medium (bottom section) jump line with rails and urban features mixed in. “Flow of the park is a very important aspect when building something this long,” said Bettera. “Helping riders maintain speed in order to hit each jump while mixing in rails and boxes is a big challenge.”
3D rendering of the lower half of the park
The park is accessed via the Summit 6 chair, which means lapping back to the top of the park takes only eight minutes. Thankfully there is a break in the middle of the park to give you a rest. “We went up and hit Lower Firing Line today,” says Bettera. “You could say it was a leg burner. The break in the park is going to be a nice rest to get your strength back before hitting the lower section.”
With plans to finish the top section by January 26 (depending on Mother Nature), The Firing Line will be something every rider should experience. And with Squaw Valley on the same ticket you can enjoy some of the best natural terrain around – a place Jeremy Jones calls home.
*Note: 3D renderings may not depict exact layout of park. For the latest conditions and features visit skialpine.com.
Jonathan Glass is the Online Editor at Snowboard Magazine. If he says he is going snowboarding it means he's at après, early.
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