A major factor behind this renewed emphasis on enhancing terrain park offerings is the longstanding relationships between the Ski Lake Tahoe resorts and Snow Park Technologies. The Tahoe-based company has grown to become the industry leader in terrain park design and construction with over 250 competition courses to their credit including the Winter X Games, the Winter Dew Tour, the Burton Open and the Vans Triple Crown. The company will be the focus of Mountain Movers, a new reality TV show airing this season on the National Geographic Channel that will showcase their work in the Lake Tahoe region.
Lake Tahoe offers the perfect blend of reliable snow, predictably sunny skies and a laidback California vibe ideal for sessioning the terrain park scene which explains why world-class caliber athletes such as Shaun White, Jamie Anderson, Torstein Horgmo, Hannah Teter, Elena Hight, Chas Guldemond and Maddie Bowman choose to actively train at the resorts. In fact, both the current male and female ESPN Action Sport Athletes of the Year call the region home and Lake Tahoe athletes brought back four gold and two silver medals from the recent Winter X Games in Aspen. Guests should not be surprised to find themselves sharing a chairlift with a U.S. Olympic Team member headed to the upcoming 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Lake Tahoe resorts have also partnered with industry innovator Burton Snowboards to groom the next generation of riders through proven teaching methodologies and specialized equipment designed to drastically shorten the learning curve. The region is home to numerous Burton Riglet Parks, Stash Parks, Learn-to-Ride Centers and the only Burton Snowboard Academy on the planet. The resorts have also created customized camps and clinics focusing specifically on the slopestyle side of the sport in hopes of attracting participation from younger skiers and snowboarders.
New this season, Alpine Meadows has debuted a mile-long terrain park that incorporates both natural and man-made features throughout the resort. Officially dubbed The Firing Line, this top-to-bottom run takes advantage of the mountain's rolling terrain to establish a perfect flow between both medium and large features. The resort also has a number of "start parks" that include dedicated teaching terrain, micro-features, gentle transitions, soft pitches and clear signage to help introduce newcomers to the terrain park scene. Alpine Meadows is also home to a newly opened Burton LTR (Learn To Ride) Center which regularly utilizes the introductory features found in the resort's Boot Camp, Sidewinder, Bunker and Cannonball terrain parks prepping guests to show off their latest tricks in the Barracks Jib Arena visible from the base area.
After a five year hiatus, Heavenly Mountain Resort recently opened an 18-foot high, 450 foot long halfpipe to complement the resort's existing High Roller terrain parks. Ideally situated on a north-facing slope with breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, the halfpipe has been designed to accommodate a wide variety of ability levels while still providing the same high-energy atmosphere synonymous with Heavenly's High Roller terrain park scene. The resort's other terrain parks, Progression, Groove and Ante Up, offer a seamless transition for less experienced skiers and riders looking to step up their game.
Serving as the home mountain of two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Winter X Games Champion Shaun White, Northstar California is a longstanding partner of Snow Park Technologies and together they have constructed a custom-built 22-Foot Superpipe that is open to the public when Shaun is not actively training. This newest feature is in addition to the resort's existing 18-Foot Superpipe and 6 separate terrain parks including The Stash, an all-natural terrain park designed by Jake Burton himself, one of only six such parks in the world. Northstar is also home to the one-of-a-kind Burton Snowboard Academy that utilizes highly trained coaches, specially designed snow features and proven teaching methodologies to create a fun, full-immersion learning environment. The revolutionary teaching methods guarantee students will be linking turns by the end of the day.
Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort has collaborated with LucasFilms and Burton Snowboards to create the first-of-its-kind Yoda's Riglet Park combining sculpted learning terrain with life-sized chainsaw carvings of Chewbacca, R2D2, C3PO, Anikan Skywalker and the ever-adorable Ewoks. Perennially recognized by TransWorld SNOWboarding as a best overall resort and specifically for its terrain parks, Sierra-at-Tahoe boasts a superpipe with a dedicated chairlift for easy access along with five additional terrain parks and a permanent Skier/Boarder X Course. Fresh off defending her title as Women's Slopestyle Champion at Winter X Games, Sierra-at-Tahoe sponsored rider Jamie Anderson recently filmed a segment at the resort for an upcoming episode of the new Mountain Movers TV series on the National Geographic Channel.
Squaw Valley worked with Snow Park Technologies on the cutting-edge "cubed halfpipe" project designed for Red Bull sponsored rider Simon Dumont. Building on this innovative approach to terrain park design, Squaw and SPT have revamped the layout of the resort's terrain parks to better incorporate the natural flow of the mountain. The resort has built four terrain parks to accommodate skiers and riders of all ability levels including two "start parks" for beginners, a fun 13-foot halfpipe and a family cross course. For those looking to go big, the Mainline Park and the expanded Gold Coast Terrain Park offer large features and the resort plans to construct a 22-foot superpipe this spring. The resort is also home to a Burton LTR (Learn To Ride Center) and offers "Jibs and Jumps" specialty clinics on select dates throughout the season.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort is home to both a Burton LTR (Learn To Ride) Center and a Burton Women's LTR Center, which offers equipment and lessons specifically designed for women. Guests can hone their slopestyle skills thanks to the gradual progression of difficulty found in the resort's three terrain parks: Free And Easy, Stomping Grounds and Racecourse.
Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe recently created a lot of ripples on the social media channels with its "Getting Steezy in the Park" photo contest and the resort is now hosting a monthly rail jam series called "Saturday in the Park" highlighting the features found in the Double Down and Badlands terrain parks.
For complete details on booking a winter getaway to Lake Tahoe, please visit SkiLakeTahoe.com to conveniently access resort profiles, weather forecasts, real-time snow reports, webcams and discounts on both lift tickets and lodging.
About Ski Lake Tahoe
Surrounding North America's largest alpine lake, the seven resorts that make up Ski Lake Tahoe are Alpine Meadows, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Northstar California Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Squaw Valley. Lake Tahoe boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, and the region has some of the highest annual snowfall amounts in North America. The seven resorts, all offering unparalleled scenic vistas of panoramic mountain and lake views, are located less than an hour from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. For further information or to book travel, lodging and transportation for Ski Lake Tahoe resorts and their travel partners, visit www.SkiLakeTahoe.com.