The Evolution of Big White Terrain Park has Come a Long, Long Way.
In 1988/89 a few of us worked with the late great Doug Jamison to build a few small features and a small pipe to host a snowboard clinic that I was hosting at Big White when I first started competing in 1988/89. I remember being out with Doug hand shaping banks with my snowboard as he pushed snow around.
That pretty much was the start of it. I remember going up under the Bullet chair which may have been called the Easter chair back then and excavating a small pipe in 1990. This was located on that last Mogul pitch on International...
If you look at the terrain you can still see the scar we left there on skiers right.
We got a section of trees on Woodpecker right next to the Easy Street Ski Race Centre in my return to Big White in 1995. This pointed you down the small lane section of where TELUS park is now located in.
The next big expansion was the takeover of the Easy Street Ski Race lanes in 1996/97 to build our Ski and Snowboard Cross course, or Snowcross as we refer to it now.
This was a major event in the Big White terrain park evolution. The long time standing fun ski course lane was given to us so we could start developing snowcross and we did very successfully.
This marked a change in ski resorts as we see them today.
Skiing was fading and snowboarding was booming, and the use of terrain was being looked at differently. The development of terrain parks was taking hold.
Back on Woodpecker we were expanding the run over into the next one on the left. All that was standing between Woodpecker & Easy Street now was a row of trees. Big White management decided to let us build a super pipe over on Speculation. This was a full blown earth work substructure and this is where we held many pipe events, big ones and small ones;
All with a hand dug pipe that would take us a full week of hand work to build.
Snow-making and a Bombardier 13 foot half-pipe machine was added and we were in the forefront of the terrain park industry. After our Big White Super Park article in the pages of Snowboarder magazine in 1997 we had hit the big time. A blistering 25 pages of coverage of Big White on one of the worlds biggest magazines.
Next up for Big White was TELUS Park.
In 2000 Big White fully committed to the terrain park program, installing an 1800 foot long double chair right up and over our old runs Woodpecker and Easy Street. We cleared out 50 acres of trees and built two half-pipe dirt structures, one small and one big. All that was left was to add lights and speakers and we were away.
TELUS Park opened on a Saturday and the crowds were massive I will never forget all the visiting pros. Skiers and snowboarders alike. The mayhem was crazy and everyone was every where!
What a day!
Today we see TELUS Park in its present state
We have lost one large pipe due to budget cutbacks and a changing interest in riders and skiers towards slopestyle.
In 2011 Big White re-invested in a Terrain Park specific Micro site and new earth work and 10K in new features.
In 2012 We got a brand new Piston Bully Sno Cat designed 100% for work in terrain parks. With this new sno cat we will be able to achieve many different snow shapes with greater ease than before.
Every year our park scene continues to grow with more new school skiers and more shred heads using new features and a renewed hype. Stay tuned as we take you through the next generation of Big White Terrain parks...
Director of Terrain Parks and Outdoor Events