6 Of The Best Terrain Parks In North America

Check ‘em out
BY KADE KRICHKO

It wasn’t long ago that terrain parks were an exotic beast – a place where adventurous skiers and snowboarders could spend time testing gravity and sliding their boards and skis down the occasional hand rail.

Nowadays, terrain parks are all but a required part of any mountain resort, a prerequisite for visitors from near or far. With such a variety of options, it can be hard to separate the real from the pretender, especially when the kickers get bigger and rail setups a little spicier.

So who is doing it right? For all of the senders and jibbers in your crew, here are five of the best terrain parks in North America.

Mammoth Mountain, California

When it comes to terrain parks, there is nothing quite like Mammoth Mountain. With a season that stretches nearly eight months, Mammoth’s Unbound Terrain Parks are nothing short of legendary in ski and snowboard circles.

The Southern California gem has been perfecting its craft over 20-plus years, serving up a variety of parks and three halfpipes over 100 acres of terrain. Typically featuring over 100 jibs and 50 jumps, Unbound’s sheer variety keeps freestyle faithful coming back year after year.

For those that are ready to rub shoulders with the best in the business, head directly to Main Park. For the rest of us, don’t fret, we can watch all of the action from the safety of the chair, as the Unbound Express passes directly overhead.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

When one of your terrain parks’ “claim to fame” is that it can be seen from space (okay, from space via Google Earth) you know you’re onto something. With five parks spread across its two main peaks, Whistler Blackcomb covers some serious area (99 acres to be exact) and has nearly 200 features to play on.

Perhaps more impressive, however, is the length of Blackcomb’s main terrain park, measuring 1,020 vertical feet from top to bottom.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Home to the X GamesAspen Snowmass knows a thing or two about quality terrain parks. While most of the televised action goes down over at Buttermilk, Aspen locals head to Snowmass, where innovation and precision make for one of the most recognized terrain parks in the region.

In addition to over 100 features and a 22-foot-tall Superpipe, these terrain parks have witnessed some of the most iconic moments in action sports, including Mark McMorris‘ first-ever triple cork 1440 and Shaun White‘s perfect-100 at the Snowmass Grand Prix. But don’t be intimidated, Snowmass is also home an introductory and intermediate park perfect for young groms and beginner jibbers alike.

Park City Mountain, Utah

If you’ve seen an insane terrain park edit in the last few years, chances are pretty good that you’ve already seen Park City Mountain‘s terrain parks in action. Perfectly shaped step-downs and some of the biggest, most creative rail setups in North America are just a few of the factors that draw some of the most talented skiers and riders (and their filmers) to the sunny slopes of Park City Mountain.

But Park City isn’t just for the pros. In fact, the area has a diverse progression of parks, from its kid parks to more intermediate Pick Axe Park.

Park City nearly doubled its freestyle terrain after merging with the former Canyons Resort, offering eight terrain parks and two halfpipes.

Mount Snow, Vermont

Ever since Carinthia Parks took over Mount Snow‘s Carinthia Peak nearly a decade ago, it has been the ultimate terrain park reference for East Coast skiers and snowboarders.

Over 100 acres of jibs, rails, jumps and natural terrain, topped off with one of the region’s only competition Superpipe, Carinthia is ground zero for local talent and a perfect proving ground for beginners and experts.

If the park itself isn’t enough, Carinthia also hosts the Peace Pipe Rail Jam and Carinthia Classic competitions each year, bringing the entire Ice Coast freestyle community to one place. This year Carinthia opened up its brand-new Carinthia Base Lodge, offering eats and drinks after a long day of hill-banging.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Many a terrain park enthusiast would lose their lid not seeing Breckenridge on the terrain park list, and for good reason. The Colorado staple is the main stomping grounds for the deep Boulder and Denver freestyle crowd, featuring four parks that can all compete with some of the best in the game.

The Freeway is labeled a “pro” park for good reason, as you are likely to bump into a pro or two in the rail line.

Breck’s biggest knock is the crowds, as these jib-friendly slopes get packed out quick, especially on weekends.

Scavenger Hunt At Copper Mountain Resort Will Raise Funds For Mental Health

Check It Out Here*

The Important Health-Related Reason You Should Have More Hobbies, According to a Psychologist

Author Article Here

Whether you pick up knitting or join a book club, hobbies are a fun way to wind down and tap into your creative side. They could also, it turns out, make you a happier person.

We recently checked in with Barbara Nosal, Ph.D., chief clinical officer at Newport Academy, for her tips on combatting seasonal affective disorder (which, per the American Psychiatric Association, affects roughly 5 percent of U.S. adults). One of her suggestions? Spend time doing things you love.

This seems like a no-brainer, but, especially in the depths of winter, it can be really tempting to veg out 24/7. Don’t cave into the temptation: Spending time with friends or keeping up with hobbies, according to Dr. Nosal, fills “an intellectual, creative or social need, as well as builds self-esteem and self-confidence—bolstering against or lowering the intensity of SAD symptoms.” So basically, resist the overwhelming urge to hibernate until spring and instead spend time reading or cooking or learning pretty much anything.

Snowboarding Being Used as Therapy for Kids in Utah

See Author Article Here


**I would LOVE to try to start something like this!!!!!**

People who snowboard will tell you it is fun to get out on the mountain and slide. But for some Utah kids, snowboarding is therapy, and perhaps even life changing.

I decided to go riding with kids in the CHILL program.

Pulling on a pair of snowboard boots and grabbing a board may not sound like therapy, but to troubled kids snowboarding is a healthy way to let out some of that energy, frustration and anger. They have a lot of fun and learn they can succeed without drugs or violence.
To learn to snowboard, you gotta have the right gear. It’s all provided free from the CHILL program sponsor, Burton Boards. Founder Jake Burton started the program 12 years ago to help at risk kids.

On this afternoon, about 45 kids from a half-dozen community youth programs and social service agencies are shedding their old labels to become snowboarders. Once at Brighton Resort they tackle a new challenge, learning to snowboard.

All of the kids in the CHILL program face issues, things like drug abuse, depression and violence. But here they have a chance to learn some important life lessons.

Mike Cawdry, SLC CHILL Program Coordinator: “The first week we work with patience, this week with persistence, then we throw in integrity and courage and a number of other different thematics we use as curriculum.”
The kids and counselors say snowboarding is a great way to get out your frustrations. The process of learning how to set goals and reach them is important, too. Charlie, Age 15: “It’s a great feeling of accomplishment.”

Chris Black, Telos Program Counselor: “A lot of them come from a history of not having that feeling of achievement or being told that they can’t do things or being put down. With the CHILL program, it allows them to have that experience.”

Chris, Age 18, Salt Lake City: “Get out and see that they can do more positive things in their life than using drugs or fight or anything like that.”

Ninteen-year-old Solena was in the program four years ago and says it changed her life. Now she works at Brighton and rides often.

Solena, CHILL Graduate: “It really builds your confidence. When you are good at something it makes you want to try harder at other things, I think.”

In all there are about 180 kids from Utah who ride once a week for six weeks in the CHILL Program.

Snowboarding & Self-Care Series: Preparation

Whether you already snowboard or not, things like this “snowboarding checklist” will have you prepared with all of your gear, so when you get to the mountain & realize you are one glove short, or forgot your goggles, you won’t have to break the bank getting replacements.

Checklist!

The Preparation Checklist you should have before starting snowboarding:

  1.    Board and the bindings

There are different types of boards like freestyle, alpine and freeride. Freestyle boards are the most suitable for beginners. They are shorter than the other types and are easier to control. The bindings come with the snowboard. They fasten your boot to the snowboard and come in different sizes. Choose the best fit with the help of the store employees.

  1.    Snowboard boots

These specialized boots connect you to the board. It is recommended not to rent one because they may not be a perfect fit for your foot. Buy a pair that fits snugly but not overly tight or restrictive. The good ones are designed to be light, waterproof and rugged.

  1.    Socks

Good quality snowboard socks are very essential to keep feet dry. It should be made of a material that wicks out moisture. It should be thick enough to prevent chaffing from the shoes, but not so thick as to cause feet to sweat too much and lose warmth.

  1.    Head protection

Protecting the head is paramount. Find a good quality snowboard helmet that is lightweight, strong and snug fitting. It will protect your head and keep you warm.

  1.    Jacket and pants

A good snowboard attire should have a windproof and waterproof outer layer. It should wick away the sweat and be tough enough to protect the skin from abrasion during falls. The pants should be breathable and waterproof as well. Good ones prevent water from getting in during falls.

  1.    Inner layer for insulation and protection

These are worn beneath the jacket and pants. They are crucial for insulation. Cotton is not recommended, as it is neither breathable nor waterproof. Wool and synthetic fabrics are best suited. On colder days, an additional middle layer will be necessary to stay warm.

  1.    Gloves

Your hands will almost always come into contact with the snow. You need a durable set of waterproof gloves specialized for snowboarding. This will keep your hands warm and dry, and also protect them during falls. Ensure that they fit snugly before buying.

  1.    Goggles

They are a very important safety accessory. A good pair of snowboard goggles will shade the eye from snow glare. It will also shield the sensitive eyes from wind and falling debris or snow when riding down the mountain.

  1.    Additional protective gear

Protective gears such as- the butt pad, knee pad, and wrist guard are a must. They give additional protection to the vulnerable areas. Using them may prevent a serious injury which might cut your snowboarding vacation short.

  1.    Miscellaneous

Carry a good sunblock with a high SPF content. Mountain sun can be harsh at times. Carry a good lip balm and moisturizer. Mountain air can be rough on your skin. Besides, get a tough, weatherproof case for your mobile. You can carry it along to take pictures and for calling for help during emergencies.

Snowboarding is an extreme sport. It is of utmost importance that the equipment meets all the recommended safety standards. A good piece of equipment instills confidence that nothing else can match.

The above list may be numbered, but please understand that each item is vital. Snowboarding is extreme and thrilling. This sport will become thoroughly enjoyable with adequate preparation and good quality equipment.

Author Page Here

❆ Snowboarding & Self Care Series: Introduction

Everything seemed to fall into place and snowboarding was at the center. I hadn’t experienced genuine bliss in f$%^ knows how long. The complete road block I was experiencing when it came to identifying and planning out goals cleared itself when I was on that mountain, and that is where I have decided to place my focus on self-care while recovering from depression.

Where I live in Oregon, you can go snowboarding or skiing YEAR.FREAKING.ROUND. & I live less than an hour and a half away from the closest of the THREE lodges on Mt. Hood. I have no excuse other than laziness… or.. laziness, to not make it up there at least somewhat frequently

The tickets area more than affordable for a lift ticket & I don’t mind going alone, half the time I prefer it. There shouldn’t be anything hindering my new life plan.

This series will be about how snowboarding is helping me get over depression, a failed suicide attempt, and the journey that I HOPE TO FUCK I actually stick with. I know that if I am able to carve out time and maintain motivation, I’ll be on that mountain.

The rest will be left to see…

05 Snowboarding & Suicide Series: Coming Back From The Dead

So.. you’re ALIVE. CONGRATULATIONS. MUCH JOY. What now?

Basically what I anticipated for the rest of my life.

This will be the last post in the Snowboarding & Suicide Series and I am so happy and appreciate anyone who even took a second to glance at it.

All I had to do was make it to the first week of December. I finally had my psychiatry appointment almost an entire month after I tried to kill myself. My boyfriend came for support and I was scared as HELL to bring it up to my doctor. Even in the past when I had felt suicidal I had maybe expressed the wish after the ideations had passed because I was always scared of being committed to a psych ward. The appointment went fine and we created a plan.

I agreed to start an antidepressant “Escitalopram” – also known as Lexapro. While I already knew that the majority of antidepressants take 6-8 weeks to fully kick in, it seemed like a fucked up amount of time for someone who is severely at risk for just …well, you know. But, for the first time in a while I felt an extremely pale shade of what I can only describe as hopefulness. & This is where it started.

Christmas came & went. I enjoyed it for sure, but I did not feel the typical Christmas euphoria that often accompanied the season, and I am like Buddy the fricken Elf at Christmas time. But I only saw a colorblind version of how I usually felt. After two weeks, I went back to see my psychiatrist to discuss how I was reacting to the medication. Nothing notable had changed and I begged to go up in dosage, but I couldn’t at that time and had to wait a bit longer.

The only bad side effect of the antidepressant that I experienced about 2 and a half weeks in were some pretty gnarly night sweats. They are sort of subsiding after being awful for a while, but we are still less than two months in.

Different Types of Antidepressants & Their Common Side Effects:
SSRI’s tend to be most popular.

This is when snowboarding finally becomes relevant to this story. For the past three years, my boyfriend & I have gone snowboarding around my birthday time and this year, we did the same as last & went up for a few nights with our pup. I have been snowboarding since I was 9, and we maintained our new little tradition this year. This was the first time that life had a full blown COLOR.

I am not sure how to really describe what happened on this trip that won’t sound like a load of crap but for the first time in..I can’t say how long.. I felt HAPPY, ALIVE, FREE without trying. Any time before this, if I wondered whether or not the antidepressants were kicking in, I had to consider the situation and DECIDE whether I was happy or not. On the mountain that day, it was just the most surreal experience.

FOR ONCE my brain turned ofF
FOR ONCE I just was in the zone; in the moment
FOR ONCE I was happy without any substances involved

FOR ONCE I felt like I was excited to be alive for the first time in so long I don’t even  have an estimate.

I knew that I had found my “thing” that thing that just makes you feel high when you really aren’t. This isn’t easy for me to find.

Somehow an activity I had engaged in for years became a completely different factor in my life, & made my enjoy and appreciate life genuinely.

That is what will be explored in the next series.

Thanks for tagging along with me for this first series!

So, these days of snowboarding: 1/8/19 & 1/9/19 gave me hope for the future, and was the catalyst for starting a blog and trying to be real about my own issues with mental health to try to help others.

Now, a segue into the next series: “Snowboarding & Self-Care”

New Mental Health Series To Come!

Snowboarding & Suicide Series is about to reach its end, and here are some of the new “Mental Health Series” that are coming to http://www.foxandcolife.wordpress.com!

“Snowboarding & Self Care”

“Gaslighting & Narcissistic Abuse”

“An Introvert’s Day Out”

“On Being An INFJ”

“Keeping An Addictive Personality In Check”

“Photography Series”

& a few more that are floating around in muh brain.

04 Snowboarding & Suicide Series: Emotions After A Failed Suicide Attempt

“I didn’t want to kill myself. I wanted to make it all stop and go away. I wanted to be calm”

Trying to kill yourself & failing due to chance doesn’t leave the best taste in your mouth, to put it lightly. Your mind is one big shitstorm and you have no safe haven.

I was not happy.
I was not grateful.
I did not regret what I did.
I did not really give a shit.

I was …sort of pissed. Resentful may be a better word, and not at my boyfriend for walking in, just at the whole situation. I still did not feel any type of fear or just like whatthefuckdidijustdo emotion, and while I had no regrets other than:

1. Not leaving any information on why I killed myself. No one really knew how depressed I was, or that I even was depressed. I have a lot of people I love that deserve to know how much I loved them and how sorry I was for causing them pain.
2. Not waiting until my boyfriend was asleep to do it.

While I didn’t ACTUALLY feel any sort of desire to help myself and try to get it together, the rational side of me knew that unless I sought out some resource outside of my immediate surroundings.

I had promised myself I was not going to involve my family because I did not want to stress them out if they did not have to be – but I knew that my lack of fucks to give about almost dying was not good and so here enters my dad.

I have the best dad in the world. His sister, my aunt, killed herself when I was 12 and it destroyed me. This was one of her attempts that had worked. My poor aunt Maggi was not found until she started to smell. It took two weeks of her hanging there.

I tried to email her after I found out (we frequently talked via email) to see if maybe she would respond. Surprise, she didn’t.

My dad flew out and was extremely supportive, I felt good when he was visiting. Two days after he left, I was once again staring down at a handful of pills. This time, my boyfriend WAS asleep. I could finally be free…

I didn’t do it. Obviously, I am here writing this . It is a whole fucked up journey to getting to be able to write something as inconsequential as this one post takes a lot of time to try to get out. It took almost 2 months of antidepressants to be able to get anything out at all.

I think that my resentment was because once you resolve yourself to die, feeling “forced” to live seems like a pretty dick move by the universe. You have no will, motivation, or aspirations. I felt compelled to live solely by the fact that people were aware of the first attempt, and I hated it.

But, I used the feeling of being pressured to live to my advantage & I figured that if I told a few of my extremely close friends, and some members of my family, I would feel more accountable if I had any future desires to kill myself. It sucked, but I did it. I only had to wait two more weeks to tell my psychiatrist & get on a treatment regimen.

PHEW. This was exhausting to write. I hope it helps some people, and once again, these are MY feelings and no one should feel as though their feelings after a failed suicide attempt should be the same as mine.

I’d love to hear some of the stories that other people who have tried t kill themselves and survive have, if anyone feels comfortable.

Always here to help. Text 503.216.4223 or comment

03 Snowboarding & Suicide Series: How I Used Snowboarding As A Framework To Effectively Set Goals.

Can anyone relate to the feeling of having a semblance of structure in your life but if we’re being real it is a fucking shitshow? You want to improve but deciding where to start is so overwhelming that you just freeze, get back in bed and turn on the TV and tell yourself tomorrow you’ll figure it out.

Every single resource you read about setting goals and effectively executing them will say not to overwhelm yourself with a million new changes at once. This is something that I 100% agree with, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am someone with constant anxiety who overthinks every goddamn thing that comes my way and I was lost as to where to start.

One day, it hit me. This is the beginning of the journey I am on that showed me that snowboarding is my therapy, my rehabilitation while I learn how to want to be alive again.

Here is how it started. I hate exercising and don’t at all devote energy to it unless I decide to take my pup on a walk. When I was younger, I was involved in sports but as I got older it just didn’t matter to me. I was naturally thin and a stoner with a good metabolism so I have the best of both words. Snowboarding is the one thing I actually will push my body to get up & grind for. I always had the goal of going snowboarding more every year, but I was either living in New Orleans during undergrad, or living on Cape Cod where the closest mountains are 2.5-3 hours away.

Now, I live in Portland, Oregon. Mount Hood is an hour to an hour and a half away, open YEAR ROUND, has lift ticket deals regularly, and suddenly I really had no excuse to NOT try to actually do what I have been saying I would for years, and hit the slopes more. I was happy at this realization but then it hit me that while it took days to come up with, and sort of randomly came to me one day, the concept itself seemed easy enough to be able to relay to others.

I am not trying to become a pro snowboarder//
*Rather, snowboarding is what clears my mind & is a healthy hobby that I can focus on for FUN, happiness, and a foundation for my goals.

So, I started with the fact that I have a shitload of things in my life I would like to improve. From health & wellness, to diet, finances, being more organized, exploring Oregon more, creativity, relationships, self-care the list goes on… it was a lot. When I decided that SNOWBOARDING would be the sort of “umbrella term” on my goal planning strategy, all of the other aspects fell into place.

If you choose an umbrella term type goal like I did, one that takes a little more effort than just doing 4 minutes of jogging a day (which is still an accomplishment, don’t get me wrong, just not enough to set up a blueprint for a life changed by reaching your goals.

If I accomplish my goal of going to the mountain more & improving my skills on a snowboard, I would have to do a few things to do it well and efficiently, and these things happen to fall under the categories that I wanted to improve in overall.

For instance:
1) Health/Wellness/Fitness: If I was going to be able to snowboard more frequently & improve my skills then I would need to be both healthy & improve my physical strength & stamina.
2) Diet & Nutrition: How can I be healthy, fit, and well without a healthy and nutritious diet?
3) Finances: I can’t waste money on delivery & late night Amazon prime shopping if I am budgeting for this new healthy goal plan.
4) Organization: Checking & keeping track of days with reduced lift ticket prices and ensure I clear my schedule that day. If it is a set day of the week, I must be sure to request work off and get my gear ready.
5) Exploring Oregon: There are three different resort sites within 2 hours of my house – that’s exploring in my book!
6) Relationships: I can see if any friends want to join me, or make some friends at the lodge because if all goes as planned, I will be there often!
7) Self-Care: I have been looking for a healthy and exciting way to practice self-care and since the ONLY FREAKING SINGULAR TIME I can shut the overthinking off and be in the moment is on the mountain, this is a perfect fit!!!
8) Creativity: I started this blog because of how much inspiration I felt when snowboarding became the impetus to me jumpstarting my life. I have already begun to integrate riskier little tricks and things on the mountain, which I hope to continue. Lastly, my love of photography has become a part of my life again since the views are insane up there.

By finding one activity that brings me joy, something I already had the gear and experience for, and something that is completely possible with just slight tweaks and positive changes to accomplish, I was able to hit all of my categories of goals without feeling stressed out.

I know that snowboarding won’t be everyone’s thing, but I encourage y’all to give it a thought for a second. I have to say the moment this thought became clearer to me I truly felt a weight lift off my shoulders and I finally felt like I had a direction to head in.

Stay Weird Guys 🙂