But the build crew from Mount Snow’s Carinthia Parks knows what a roller mohawk is, and more to the point, knows how to build one of the best in the world. They are getting their chance to do exactly that, build some of the best snowboarding and freeskiing park features at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, as part of Snowboarder Magazine’s SuperPark 21.
“This annual event started back in 1996,” said Mount Snow Communication Manager Jamie Storrs. “It is now in its 21st year and features some of the largest and best jumps and features in the world, paired with some of the top snowboarders in the world who are invited to attend. The build goes for 10 days in the run-up, during which the crews work 24 hours a day. Then the riders are turned loose to throw down some of the biggest and baddest tricks of the season.”
The Carinthia Parks build crew includes Elia Hamilton, director of terrain for Peak Resorts; Benny McGinnis, freestyle terrain manager at Mount Snow; and Carinthia diggers Rob Black and Rory Bruder. The have been in California for the better part of two weeks, working in 12-hour shifts around the clock with four other build teams to get ready for SuperPark 21.
“It been pretty extraordinary,” said McGinnis. “The weather’s been really challenging. We’ve had rain, snow, lightning, and freezing weather. It was 60 degrees one night and things were not setting up.”
But eventually the weather turned cold enough for the crews to do their magic. Of course, Mammoth has had 360 inches of snow this winter so there was plenty of raw material to work with.
“We did a lot of collaboration in the design leading up to this,” said McGinnis. “It all came out really well. It’s been an amazing event to be a part of, and it will be a great experience to bring back home some of the skills and techniques we learned here.”
McGinnis said PistenBully supplied enough snow cats for each build team to have two rotations every 24 hours. That helped the teams get the job done. “Now that the building is done we’re in maintenance mode. I’m in a machine, tilling right now,” he added, saying he took time out from grooming to make a 6:30 am call from his snow cat on the mountain.
The Carinthia build crew have been joined by others from the valley. Mount Snow videographer Devin Bernard and Carinthia Parks riders Shaun Murphy, Max Lyons, Jeremy Ellenberg, Timmy Sullivan, and Casey Willax are also at Mammoth for the week, riding and filming and generally enjoying all of the jumps and terrain features built in the past two weeks.
The crew has worked on seven features for the event. Those include a multi-use feature that has a right side hip, large and super large step-over takeoffs, a step up to roller mohawk, and a left side canted takeoff. Others are a step-up channel gap with transition in the channel and sheer-cut sides; “The Grain Chute,” a step-up to flat to hanging down tube dropping to a landing; a flat rail to down rail offset combo; a quarterpipe to Kenny Loggins wood tombstone; a super-long 18’ Zaugg cut spine with a round bar over a cutout gap, known as The Backbone; and some rollers.
“These are on a massive scale with 100-foot jumps,” said Storrs. “It’s one of the biggest parks built in the world. It’s a big honor. To be acknowledged as a top East Coast resort and invited out West to build is a huge deal for us.”
McGinnis said it was great to be able to let their imaginations soar and build creative and challenging features for elite skiers and riders.
“This is a closed event for high level athletes. When we’re building jumps and terrain for the general public, we have to be responsible.”
The other build teams involved in the event hail from Mammoth Mountain, CA; Seven Springs, PA; Boreal, CA; and Loon Mountain, NH. As of Monday, 450 riders and skiers had registered for the event. SuperPark 21 continues through Sunday, May 14. For photos, videos, and daily blog updates visit www.snowboarder.com. The Mount Snow crew will be updating the Carinthia Parks page at www.instagram.com/carinthiaparks.