The Run Down

Fresh Groomed

We have had some sub par weather this season, but every morning the park crew goes out reshapes, retunes and gets the park back up to top condition. With snow in the forecast things should soften back up and Birch Run will be in great shape for the weekend to come.

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Knights Revenge Open from Link!

img_0339.jpegWe opened the lower part of Knights Revenge today!  This half is lower angle and holds snow better.  It’s also where the new log jibs are.  Pictured here is Danielle hitting the log pile.

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Wall rides in the woods too

FullSizeRenderYesterday I took a few laps on Sterling and lapped through Birch Run. The new Wall ride set-up at the bottom is super cool because it’s hittable a few different ways. Well that got me thinking: how are the wall rides in Knight’s Revenge (aka The Briar-patch) doing?







Wall 1Knight’s Revenge is definitely one more good snowfall away from openable, but we figured to go get things set up and test hit a few.  Pictured here are the three walls, including the one you can always see from Lower Rumrunner.













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Wall Ride

IMG_0084We have a total of 14 features in Birch Run including a medium table table top jump. Our new wall ride was fitted yesterday and is ready to test your creativity and skill. It is set for multiple uses including an in-run ramp that lets you ride the top or sides of the wall. There is all types of progression built into this feature!

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Night School for Jibbin’

Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday night, SSU holds the Night School for Jibbing on Sir Henry’s.  This program, started by Tom Ference years ago has been very successful forNight SChool 2 introducing beginner to intermediate freestyle to skiers & riders.

This past Saturday Night, a crew of SSU staff and I asked Tom if he’d mind if we set up a pump track.  These pictures show a portion of the track.  The kids at night school loved it as much as we did.

Think of this like a small version of boarder cross.  In total, we had 5 single jumps, 2 double jumps, 2 berms, a box, Night school pump trackand a return wall at the end.  Super fun!

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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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