Words & photos: Jason Wagner
Video: Rob Larick
Big Boulder PARK's third annual May Day event went down this Saturday, May 3rd. Just two weeks after closing for the season, May Day was designed to end the season off with a bang. Hundred of skiers and snowboarders from all over Pennsylvania and the surrounding states poured into the parking lot Saturday morning to see what the Big Boulder PARK crew had been working on last week. Some riders drove as far as six hours from upstate New York to come out to the event! The weather forecast showed a threat of rain which likely scared a few people off, but luckily for those who attended, there was no rain to be found.
For those of you not familiar with Big Boulder PARK, let me give you a quick rundown. Big Boulder is a small mountain in eastern Pennsylvania with 500 feet vertical and a dozen trails. They are located right on Lake Harmony, which might explain why they seem to get a lot more snow then the surrounding areas. Combine this with a die-hard snowmaking effort throughout the entire season and it's easy to see how they can be open so much longer than the rest of the region. Ultimately, the goal is to create a mountain geared almost solely to park and pipe riders. With six parks and other features scattered around the mountain, they are well on their way.
A shot of the new Big Boulder PARK lodge and the skate ramp
Last week after evaluating the remaining snow, the park crew pushed most of the snow from the Boulder Park slope down to the bottom half of the slope. This allowed for a 20' jump at the top and enough room for a surprisingly wide in-run. After the jump there was a series of jibs ranging from flat boxes to technical urban style rails. At the bottom were a few more jibs and some smaller wall rides. There were around 12 jibs in total. To add to the madness, the park crew put together a Rhythm Section as requested by a bunch of riders earlier in the week. This consisted of a series of 5 or 6 small jumps and gaps ending up with a choice gap with the large side around 20 feet. Think of the rhythm section like something you and you're friends might put together in you're backyard, or something you would see on a Motocross course, except better... way better.
Tons of people came out, but the crowds thinned out as the day progressed
Pretty decent coverage for this late in the year!
The event kicked off around 11am and a few of the skiers decided to get some late season jump shots. Ben Boustred and Steven Larick (aka Nipples) were throwing down some sick rodeos and front flips over the top jump. It was a bit of a hike to hit the jump, but it's not everyday you get a chance to hit jumps this late in the season on the East coast.
Ben Boustred with rodeo 7 over the top jump
Nipples with his own rodeo 7
Most of the skiers and snowboarders spent their time on the jibs. The urban style down rail was an obvious favorite for riders. A few impromptu hike and hucks took place throughout the day as sponsors were throwing down big prizes for best trick and worst crash on various features throughout the park. Few riders were willing to step up to the urban style rail dubbed the "Donkey Rail" because of it's donkey dicks at the top and bottom. That didn't stop rider Jerad Friedline and plenty of snowboarders who were throwing front boards like it was their job.
Jerad Friedline on the Donkey rail
Matt Stambaugh on the popular urban style down rail
One of the more memorable events from the day was the excessive fireworks. Just down the road from Big Boulder Park is a fireworks shop that will happily sell you fireworks if you're out-of-state. Loads of out-of-staters showed up with rockets, roman candles, and smoke bombs to add to the craziness. Red Bull was out in full force with a seemingly endless supply of delicious beverages for everyone. Big Boulder also had a legit DJ, the skate ramp, and hot dogs and hamburgers out on the deck. Beer was flowing for those over 21. Big Boulder staff was out grinning ear-to-ear watching everyone having fun. As the day wound down, they premiered the Big Boulder Park team video in the lodge. At the end of the video you could feel a certain stillness in the air as everyone came to the realization that the season was over. All of this combined to create one of the most memorable events I've ever attended.
Huge thanks to the Big Boulder Park crew for all of their hard work this entire season. Also big thanks to all of the event sponsors including Red Bull, Skull Candy, Dakine, Arrival Board Shop, BackWoods Productions.
Mike Gallaher was killing it on the all metal flat box
Matt Stambaugh on the mellow DFD rail
Some guys hanging out on the deck after the premiere
Check out the video: