A Day in the Park
On skis or on boards, Vermont is a freeskier’s and rider's heaven with more super pipes, parks, half pipes and rails popping up every year. But, before we unveil the ‘where’, let’s be sure we define the ‘who’ that’s fueling such excitement in the snowsports industry.
Yo, what’s up and who exactly is a ‘freeskier’ you say? That’s an interesting question, as one may encounter a freeskier geared up in twin tip or directional skis, fat boards or skinny skis, or perhaps even riding a snowboard. The more one describes the term, the more vague the definition becomes. In today’s snowsports pop culture, it’s more attitude and aesthetic as the energy of freeskiing transforms an industry and changes the carved arc turn mindset.
Freeskiers have a creative style, from the clothes they wear to the way they approach a run. With roots in snowboarding, they’re the gangs of winter, and in posse like formation they challenge the context and constraints of nature, thrilling in the trees, bashing back the bumps, and playfully punishing the new fallen powder into submission.
There’s no doubt that park-and-pipe skiing is also a big part of the freeskiing equation, with skiers searching obsessively for the best rails, jumps, pipes and spines of Vermont resorts’ smorgasbord of terrain parks. These colorful characters, the freeskiers, do variations of tricks like airs, grabs, grinds, switches, spins and flips as their inner being rocks to the rhythm of the mountain.
High speed lifts shuttle skiers and riders up the hill to perfect their form, whether beginners getting the feel of the terrain or hardcore fans challenging the big hips, tables and expert rails. Often sited to enable prime time front row ‘seats’ to the spectacle, freeskiers revel in the audience that chants and cheers their descent.
Freeskiers and riders are viewed by many as the future of the ski industry, bringing the street to the peak, rejuvenating and revolutionizing skiing with a cool factor on par with snowboarding’s debut in the 1970s. In Vermont, Mount Snow opened the first terrain park in the East in 1992, called Un Blanco Gulch, and today continues its’ commitment to freeskiers offering the only dedicated all park mountain face at Carinthia.
Some would say “the woods are the goods”, and if you’re free riding at Killington you’ll quickly uncover The Stash. Taking advantage of natural terrain, local wood products and all the creative elements the mountain has to offer, The Stash takes freestyle riding to the next level. From rainbow log jibs and misty road gaps to hidden pow slashes and fast banks, The Stash mixes the best of every trail into one, wooded run that will test your riding flow. And better yet, The Stash was developed with the future of the mountain environment in mind. From the re-use of local trees and found objects to on-hill recycling, The Stash is designed to have more impact on your riding and less impact on the environment.See All Ski and Ride Articles