STRATTON, Vermont ??вЂќ Stratton’s parks and pipes crew knows the reputation they have to uphold. They know that guests expect Stratton to provide one of the best parks and pipes systems on the continent- one that provides features for the world’s best riders while maintaining a supportive atmosphere for new riders.Stratton’s parks and pipes were again rated No. 1 by Ski Magazine and one of the top five in the world by Transworld Snowboarding.
It’s about progression. The parks and pipes crew is a team of American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI), accredited pros who love to ride in the parks as much as the people they make them for. They design beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate and advanced parks based on Ski and Snowboard School research on how riders learn different tricks. They are the instructors that teach Stratton’s custom terrain park and freestyle lessons at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day on the features they have built themselves. Stratton also provides seasonal competition programs in freestyle, freeskiing, and riding for all levels taught by local pro skiers and riders.
After all, there’s a reason why so many top park and pipe athletes landed their first 180s at Stratton. Every one has a chance to ride with Olympians Ross Powers and Tricia Byrnes when they come back home to Stratton every season for their signature camps emphasizing personalized instruction.
It’s also about dedication- especially this season when adverse weather took its toll on snow levels. Snowboard School Manager Dan Munn never flinched, though. He says, “Weather, while it is an issue, hasn’t made much of a difference to the features we have out on the mountain. There is always daily maintenance required. Most of which is caused by traffic and weather changes. This part of the equation we plan and prepare for everyday.” Stratton’s five parks, 13 hits, 30-plus rails, and two pipes including an FIS World Cup Superpipe keep the crew busy regardless of weather.
Though they might be too humble to admit it, the members of the park crew are not only aficionados but also perfectionists. Sometimes, they demolish parks just to rebuild them. The parks on Old Smoothie and Byrneside fell victim to their perfectionist tendencies last week. Munn says, “We just try to keep it fresh, keep it nice, and improve it from last year. This year’s Superpipe in Ross Powers’s Power Park was moved further up the hill to increase its slope by two degrees.
Stratton plays host to a number of world-class and amateur competitions. Therefore, our pipes and parks need to be in primo shape all season long. New England skiers and riders should understand that when they come to Stratton, they ride in the same parks and pipes that Stratton Mountain School Olympic hopefuls ride in- as well as US Open Snowboard Championship and VT Freeskiing Open competitors. This is the real thing.
Visit www.stratton.com for descriptions and models of our parks and pipes.