The Run Down

Birch Run is back to life!

What a difference a week makes!  By Monday this week, we were riding all open trails on Sterling, and now Madonna is open too.  Birch Run has made a come back as well thanks to our dedicated Park Staff.Jason Birch run

Pictured here is Jason hitting the Banana rail.  The other picture is the view from the top.  Don’t sweat the half park set up either. We’re making snow on the bottom to open up the full park as soon as possible.New Birch run

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Mountain freestyle

mtn parkDespite our park crews’ best effort, the Birch run terrain park sadly became a victim of melt-age.  Fear not though, we are currently making snow in the entire park for the in-season full build.

In the meantime, recall that the beauty of Sterling Mountain is that the the whole place is a giant jib-able skate park.  Pictured here is a left hand hip that formed up at the top of Upper Rumrunner.  That is just one of four hip jumps, three snow-making ledges, a tree tap, various ollie gaps, the ever popular water-bar jumps, and Jersey-booters littered throughout “bread & butter”, a.ka. Rumrunner / Crossover / Treasure / Lower Exhibition.

That’s just one trail.  What about all the other favorites that are in play now that new terrain is open: The “spring-knoll”, The Hangman’s gap, The Upper Treasure drop-in, the various jumps on Exhibition, The Thomke’s jib run.  This just names a few of my favorites.

As we all go hit this stuff up, keep Park SMART in mind: Start Small, Make a plan, Always look out for others, Respect others’ space on the trail, and Take it easy.  Many of the best jumps on the hill have landing in high traffic zones, trail intersections, etc.  Don’t get laid up for the season because you landed blind into a trail and got taken out.

Look for these Sterling mountain classics today so that when Birch Run is back up and running, you can hit them all up on your way to another park lap!  See you out there!


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Dana’s Ollie


Pictured here is SSU Snowboard instructor Dana. She had no troubles here clearing the whole thing!

We had a few spare moments today to pull off one of the most time-honored Snowboard traditions: the high ollie bar. We did this over on Sir Henry’s today.  All we needed was a shovel, three pieces of bamboo, and two binder clips.

The idea here is to simply get over the bar. The bar is set up so that if you do not make it, it just falls off, just like a track and field high jump.  We were able to set this up for a variety of skill levels, which was really cool.  As the session went on a few of the snowboard & ski lesson groups who were on Sir Henry’s came over too!

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What looks nice, hits nice

ChiseledlipThe temps dropped a little bit today and looks like the park crew took full advantage. This type of weather swing is ideal for making clean, predictable ramps because the snow is packable and then freezes.  The tracks on the lip is from the new snow that just fell.  That’s right, it snowed.

chiseledlip2I really like a clean predictable ramp on to a rail.  When the ramp looks nice, I tend to hit things more safely, and with more confidence.  In part to all that, I was able to nail down a few old tricks from last season!


Blog post and photo credit goes to Greg Fatigate

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180 Off

Hugh was hanging out in the Birch Run Terrain Park for a while to get some photos.  The soft snow made for sweet landings. If you are wondering about 180 off, it means to do a 180 coming off the rail. The snowboarder pictured here is doing just that.  Birch Run Terrain Park is open with 6 features, including 2 fun boxes and 4 rails.
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Catching some air off the rail

Going for the Grab

Going for the Grab

Check out the Smuggs logo on this new rail.

Check out the Smuggs logo on this new rail.


There were quite a few skiers and riders hitting the features, hiking, and then hitting them again. The soft snow made for nice landings off the rails.











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Birch Run Terrain Park Open!

IMG_20151206_102025775_HDRHey Park Riders, Birch Run is open!  It’s an early season set-up, perfect for starting out easy and getting that magic you had back from last season.  I took a run through today after checking out the new PARK S.M.A.R.T. signage.  After going into the park, I kept it mellow on the rainbow box, stepped it up on the new banana rail, and passed the last two. Figured I’ll save those for the next day!

IMG_20151206_102117510The Snow-cat operator in me appreciated Arlo’s & Jake’s construction handiwork.  The lips are all chiseled & neat, the shelves are level and clean, and the landings matched up to the rails.  Nice! Meanwhile,  the kid in me was diggin’ on the layout and how the banana rail popped me up juuuuuust right.

IMG_20151206_102047186_HDRWord of advice? Start small this season.  Be smart.  There’s no reason to kill yourself. Use this nice early season set-up to get your landing legs together so that when we get conditions to go back, make snow, and build the in-season park, you are ready to kill it!

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Birch Run Opens

birch-runThe Birch Run Terrain Park is now open with natural features.  The top section of the trail is open with snowmaking whales.  The snow was pretty soft today so skiers and riders were having a great time playing on the snowmaking whales on Birch Run and Smugglers’ Alley. The Alley has soft bumps on top of the snowmaking whales.  The forecast calls for colder temperatures with flurries and snow showers by morning. We are also expecting some more snow on Thursday night into Friday.  We now have the Sterling Lift operating with 6 trails open for intermediates and experts.

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New features

IMG_20151119_115103169As I was driving past the Rail Barn I noticed our new wall ride, and rails were complete and outside.  What you are looking at is a wall-ride, battleship rail, banana rail, and a new box.  That there is some real solid Mike MacAdoo handiwork!

Those features join our existing fleet of rails, jibs, and boxes that Rick has been going through all fall-season long.  Things are shaping up here on the mountain as well.  Snowmaking has begun, and it’s only a matter of time……-Rabbit

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Burton Riglet Park’s new location


Burton Riglet Park Treehouse

The Burton Snowboard Riglet Park Treehouse has a new home! Once located at the top of Sir Henry’s Hill, it is now located in the greeting area behind the Meeting House.  Now our youngest snowboard kiddos will be able to walk right out to the Treehouse and get to some shreddin’!

The Burton Riglet Park Treehouse is a piece of the beginner terrain area that we will be creating for all of our youngest skiers & riders.  As conditions permit, we will be building an entire shaped terrain park designed for active ski & snowboard progression at the beginner level.  In the next few days we will have the ramps and stairs on it, and will be ready for snow!





























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