All five of Spokane’s local resorts have multiple terrain parks that suit different levels of riders—thanks to behind-the-scenes “park crews” who hustle to make it happen. Park crews dedicate many hours to planning, building, shaping, and constant maintaining of these features. While others are off slashing fresh powder in the early mornings, the park crews are handling their playground; digging out rails from overnight snowfall; and hand raking the takeoffs, landings, and lips of rails and kickers.
This season both Schweitzer and Mt. Spokane are stoked to get new park-specific PistenBully snow cats. The addition of the PistenBully to these resorts should help in the production of snow features. Efficiency is key for keeping things lively by changing features on a weekly basis. Dan Nylund has been Schweitzer’s terrain park manager for the past 12 years and says they plan to build more creative and original features thanks to the geometry and range of the PistenBully blade.
With the extremely early season snowfall this year, a limited number of features were up for opening day, sparking some early-season terrain park sessions. As the season progresses and the snowpack increases, so will the total number of available features at the local resort parks covered in this guide.
Silver Mountain Resort
Silver’s park manager Terry Gosline says they are shooting for at least 30 features in their Chair 2 Basin Park. They are also expecting to have 10 plus features in Noah’s Progression Park. Be aware that the access to the Chair 2 basin park has changed this year due to the new Klondike Express run. Gosline says there are plans to build a banked slalom course that will snake down to the bottom of the basin park. Also, they are looking to add a couple new rainbow boxes this season, along with a tower pole feature. Gosline says there are a few young shredders to watch this season—especially Clayton Jerome, who helps out part-time and is very involved in the terrain parks.
Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area
Lookout will again be offering at least two parks this season: Rolling Thunder and Huckleberry Jam. Both parks are geared for fun with 30 plus features. Huckleberry Jam is their progression park and is designed to help beginners hone their skills and build confidence on smaller features. Rolling Thunder is mostly an all-natural terrain park featuring a 1,111-foot-long quarter pipe and is designed for riders with multiple skill sets. Lookout’s general manager Brian Bressel describes it as a “natural flow park set up [that] features a little something for everyone.”
49 Degrees North Mountain Resort
49 will be pushing this season to have 30 or more features, and they have plans to build several new rails. Gavin Wachtel, who is part of the park crew, says they are happy to have core members of the park crew back this season. The park crew is looking to bring back to life a battleship box and a flat down box that have been sitting in the rail and box bone yard. Wachtel mentioned a signature piece they have had for two years now—a rail that was painted by Northwest snowboard icon and legend Jamie Lynn, who is a sponsored Lib-Tech rider. Local standout riders to watch this season at 49 include Chaz Riddler and Cameron Fryman, who is sponsored by Pistole Boardshop.
Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park
Mt. Spokane’s park manager Zach “Grandpa” Lingo says he’s excited about many things this season— especially his new and returning crew and their hard work fabricating new rails. Grandpa is also thankful for the continued support of Mt. Spokane towards its terrain park. “There will be lots of new stuff this year,” says Lingo, but he wants to keep much of his plans a secret at this time. He does share that they plan to offer something for all age levels, with more than 25 features. Mt. Spokane has a total of four terrain parks, and they are all accessible from Chair 3 (or what some are calling the Parkway Express). Lingo says he’s looking to “keep it fresh and hesh all season.”
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Schweitzer has three parks and is known for their large jump features. Nylund, the park manager, explains: “We focus a great deal on jump design and safety… and we put a lot of time and energy into building our jumps.” The first is the Terrain Garden, which is designed for beginners and generally contains a wide fun box, a couple of small jumps, and a few rollers. South Park is usually the most popular park on the mountain and has at least two medium size jumps and a wide variety of jib features with multiple line options. The third park—Stomping Grounds— is the largest park. Unique to Schweitzer, a Terrain Park Pass is needed to access the Stomping Grounds. Here, the largest jump features are found, and it’s also where the park crew gets to be creative with its own signature jib set-ups.
For more information, visit resort websites and follow the local terrain parks on social media. Also, be sure to thank the park crews when you see them. // (T. Ghezzi)
T. Ghezzi is Pacific-Northwest raised and believes we should respect the land, spend time in nature, explore, adventure, hike, and never stop the pursuit to ride powder. This is his first article for Out There.