This summer, Newschoolers teamed up yet again with Snow Park Technologies to create a comprehensive ranking of the best terrain parks across North America. Our list is decided using a 50/50 split between SPT data and our Park Poll results. SPT sent a consulting team to analyse the number and variety of features across North America’s terrain parks. Meanwhile, we at Newschoolers asked you guys to tell us which parks you were most stoked on via our user poll. We then combined the results of the two surveys to form the final rankings, fit for Newschoolers’ own discerning park skiers. For more info on how the poll is compiled, click here. Without, further ado, the resorts that came out in the top five in the Northwest:
1. Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler's first-rate terrain accommodates not just one, but two of the best parks in the world each year. The park continues to churn out some of the world's best skiers year after year because there's plenty to keep skiers of all levels content. Most noteworthy are probably the endless rail options linked together in flowy lines. You need only watch a Jake Carney edit to see just how well the park flows.
2. Mount Hood Meadows
The biggest ski area on Mount Hood, Meadows also offers great terrain all over the hill. Under new park manager, T.J. Moloney, who previously worked at Mammoth and Mt. Snow, the park is improving rapidly too. It's fair to say there was outcry when Mount Hood Meadows appeared in our Overall Top 10, so we went back and looked at the numbers and it turned out that the viewing public did actually give them great scores, and they were up there independent of the SPT data. When we talked to Mount Hood Meadows about the result, they mentioned plans to step it up again for the coming season, with new Pisten Bully Park Pro snowcats on order to help deal with the massive amounts of snow that Hood gets. Their aim? To push the resort even higher up the rankings.
3. Grouse Mountain
The area is small at only 212 skiable acres, but it has a great community feel that makes it a ton of fun to ride, especially on clear nights under the lights and above the city. There are five terrain parks in total, ranging from beginner boxes and rails to a large jumpline. The parks are meticulously kept by a hardworking park staff, and the quick laps are reminiscent of an east coast ski hill.
4. Big White
A dedicated park chair carries you 700m over this interior BC gem to the top of its terrain playground, TELUS Park. There you'll find a pipe, a variety of different sized jumps and an interesting flow of jib features. You can't say fairer than that.
5. Sun Valley
The setting for, among other things, Banks Gilberti's Adventures In Transition, Sun Valley's park is as fun as they come. With frequent good weather and plenty of snow for big features late in to the season (see Good Company's Guest List) Sun Valley has plenty to offer everyone from jib rats to double corkers. And the rest of the mountain's terrain is right up there too.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the Park Poll this year as well as SPT for all their work! We're going to be running this bigger, better and easier to take part in next year. We definitely had some controversial results this year and the best way to make this poll as accurate as possible is to get involved, because your opinion really does count.