Last year's West Coast regional winner for Best Park & Pipe, Mammoth Mountain elevated its standing this year to take home the national spot for 2014, and with good reason.
"Mammoth Unbound has set the standard in terrain park design," comments Lauren Burke, public relations, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. A jibber’s dream, the ski area’s park and pipe program has been taking terrain park design to the next level since the early 90s, with well-thought-out feature construction based on athlete feedback that highlights progression at the pinnacle of design.
"The result is a world-class facility built to offer a seamless arc from beginner to pro. It's the perfect playground to showcase the ever-evolving art of progression,” she adds.
Among the 11 terrain parks and three half pipes available when Mammoth is in full operation, skiers and snowboarders can explore the following:
Fun Zones: The perfect introduction to all-natural enhanced terrain. From mellow rollers to small snow spines, these family-friendly zones are designed to help beginners gain confidence on new freestyle terrain.
Eagle Playground: With extra small features for those with big aspirations, this progression park has 30 jibs across four acres to get newbies freestylin’ in no time. From micro boxes to instructional signage, park and pipe beginners can elevate their skills on up to the next park echelon.
Disco Playground: Accessible from Chair 11, Discovery Park has a little bit of everything, with small ride-on jibs, rollers/jumps plus a 8-foot mini pipe sized just right for first-timers.
Wonderland Playground: Bored with the beginner stuff but the big parks over your head? Welcome to your perfect transition. Near Canyon Lodge off Chair 7, Wonderland Park is 6.7 acres progression bliss. Still entry-level, this park kicks off with a small jump line followed by the option to get more air in the 8-foot mini pipe before cruising down to the lower rail garden.
Forest Trail: The progression continues with small gaps onto rails and boxes and properly proportioned medium-sized jumps, all found from Chairs 1, 2 and 6.
South Park: Somewhat off the beaten path at Mammoth, South Park’s 24 acres boast large features that include 15–20 jumps, the same number of jibs and one 18-foot superpipe. Get here via Chairs 4, 16 and 20 and enjoy the evolving offering of lines and challenges.
Jibs Galore: South Park’s next door neighbor, this 7-acre park is the spot for a powder-less stormy day. With “nothing but metal and plastic protruding from the slope, in all shapes and sizes,” according to Mammoth’s website, even the trees that line the park offer hidden hits, a bonus to the ample 20–30 medium to large jibs.
Unbound Main: The park to beat and be at, extra large features within Main Park’s whopping 21.5 acres include 8–10 jumps, 12–15 jibs and Mammoth’s legendary 22-foot tall, 550-foot long pipe. “Stocked with technical rails and supersized jumps that are deemed video-part worthy every year,” says the site, this is where the pros play.
"Next season, skiers and riders can look forward to the debut of Rhythm Ridge: four acres of bowls, berms, banks and bumps for all skill levels. Inviting enough for Mom and Dad to bring the groms, but full of hidden hits for advanced skiers and riders," according to Burke.
All that, and Mammoth still doesn’t quit, also offering up a 6-acre X-Course for multiple lines through rollers, jumps, berms and bumps, along with opportunities to jump into the Monster Energy Air Bag and hone new tricks in a crash-proof environment.