Think designing and building a snow park is easy? Think again.
The challenge awaited Snow Park Technologies (SPT) this winter when it had a very short time frame to build parks at both Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.
The scenario will unfold in the final episode of the “Mountain Movers.” The series, presented by Chevrolet on The National Geographic Channel, airs Thursday, June 27, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
In Thursday’s show, Snow Park Technologies crew faces a self-imposed challenge, separating the crew into two project teams in an effort to build a progressive training venue for some of Oakley’s top athletes. SPT owner, Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, lets go of the reigns and challenges the teams to create innovative setups at both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in North Lake Tahoe.
The catch … they can only use existing rail features from Alpine and Squaw’s parks, and they only have five days to design and complete the build before the Oakley athletes show up to ultimately decide which setup they prefer.
“Every single project we do as a company, we treat like a team effort. But on this particular project, because of the timing and the way we set it up, I truly have no idea what these guys are planning,” Gunnarson said. “For me to completely let go of the reigns is definitely hard. But in a lot of ways, this is an important test to see how our crew can handle being totally on their own without me getting super involved.”
In the “Judgment Day,” Gunnarson uses a job with Oakley to create a healthy competition between his crew. He selects two teams of three from the ranks of SPT, tasking each with building feature setups simultaneously at two different resorts in the North Lake Tahoe area; one setup will be built at Squaw Valley and the other at Alpine Meadows.
He is counting on his guys to rise to the occasion, take ownership of the build and deliver a high-quality, professional set of features at each resort. The Oakley team riders and Gunnarson will judge these custom builds, based on design innovation, progression and how well they help the riders train.
Gunnarson sets forth detailed perimeters to ensure that this five-day test delivers the best product possible. But with a tight deadline, weather issues and rising tensions between crewmembers, this fun idea proves to be no easy ride.
The team building at Squaw Valley, led by Chris Castaneda, Kurt Eppler and Tyrone Coyne, decides to build a massive jump, specifically geared to advance the pros’ skills and allow them to master the triple cork, one of the most progressive tricks in snowboarding.
The crew working at Alpine Meadows – Corley Howard, Andrew Erath and Sean Picard – design an urban-style snowboard park with advanced features and obstacles that will offer athletes the flexibility to never ride the same line twice. At the end of the project, only one team will win this challenge. Game on.
About Snow Park Technologies
Snow Park Technologies (SPT) is the world’s leading consulting team for special projects on snow. SPT’s wide range of expertise includes designing and building some of the most renowned resort terrain parks and halfpipes; high-profile ski and snowboard competition courses; and countless on-snow productions. SPT also provides event production services, sport organizing and marketing services aimed at youth categories.
The SPT team is a collection of the most experienced and talented freestyle park and pipe innovators in the world, whose dedication and passion for snow sports has redefined the winter landscape and what is possible on snow. For more information, visit SPT’s website at http://www.snowparktech.com and follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/snowparktech, Twitter @snowparktech and Instagram @snowparktech.
About Squaw Valley
Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is internationally renowned for legendary terrain that spans 3,600 skiable acres, six peaks and 30 chairlifts, and ranges from an expansive mountaintop beginner area to unrivaled expert steeps, trees and bowls. Off the mountain, families relax in The Village at Squaw Valley around the cozy fire pits or enjoy a host of restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries. Guests can stay in one of The Village at Squaw Valley’s one, two or three bedroom suites, each with a fireplace, kitchen and balcony, for the ultimate slopeside lodging experience.
About Alpine Meadows
Alpine Meadows’ seven powder bowls, summit-to-base groomed slopes, and authentic hospitality are among the many attributes that have made the resort a favorite of the local community and visitors alike. Alpine Meadows offers skiers and riders access to more than 100 trails across 2,400 skiable acres serviced by 13 lifts. With its high annual snowfall, the resort boasts one of Tahoe’s longest skiing and boarding seasons.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows joined forces in November 2011, bringing the two ski resorts under common ownership. Skiers and riders can access 6,000 skiable acres, 43 lifts and 270+ trails at Squaw and Alpine Meadows on one lift ticket or season pass.