words: Taylor Boyd
What’s striking about Superpark, as much as the sheer magnitude of the event’s builds and footprint, is the enormity of the effort involved. For every one of the hundreds of features on display beneath Mammoth’s chairs 4 and 10, there are hundreds of man-hours responsible. This week, I observed the grandeur of Superpark in-person for the first time. I saw more distance between the ground and a rider than I’ve ever witnessed, and I saw sunburnt builders in charge of top-notch terrain parks across the country raking larger than life snow sculptures, while filmers and photographers posted at every conceivable angle capturing golden hour action 15 hours after climbing into a snowcat in the dark.
The fourth day of the event kicked off at 4 a.m., as Halldor Helgason, Ethan Morgan, Colin Langlois, Brock Crouch and Tyler Flanagan crammed into cats to session a massive Mammoth-built sender as the sun peeked over the Eastern Sierras. Meanwhile plant-masters Erik Leon and Scott Blum got to work on the coping of a firm and quick 27-foot quarterpipe tucked over the ridge from the top of Chair 10, with Judd Henkes and Nik Baden taking flight on the same feature.
As the early morning corduroy ice rink softened, the majority of Superpark attendees rolled casually into the parking lot and onto the chairlift, warming up at a similar pace to the snow itself. An impromptu session formed on a gap built by Loon Mountain, with an array of riders ranging from Parker Duke to Sage Kotsenburg launched over the rocks and through the trees, while JP Walker, Jordan Small, and Chris Grenier put on a demo at Loon’s arrowhead feature.
While chucking after lunchtime is typically undesirable, what went down in the Seven Springs zone midday was quite spectacular. Ozzy Henning, Pat Moore and Torstein Horgmo launched to the sweet spot of a 100-footer, while young bucks Keegan Hosefros, Justin Phipps, and Drew Elm held drawn out grabs on the adjacent hip.
Late afternoon rays baked the face of the same 27-foot quarterpipe that was shrouded in shadow at sunrise, as Iikka Backstron and Toby Miller heated up a session with a strong Mammoth local contingent including Harrison Gordon, Jaeger Bailey, and Garrett Warnick. Riding a wave of perpetual enthusiasm since sunrise, Brock Crouch appeared in time to log airtime before last light.
While individual moments stand out, what impresses me most when I think about Superpark in its entirety is the amount of simultaneous feats which occur during the event and in the weeks and months preceding and following. Superpark is a labor perhaps unmatched in snowboarding, condensed into five spring days. And we’re not done yet. Stay tuned for the action from the fifth and final day.