Possible Terrain Park in Wardensville, WV
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bawalker
March 31, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I just thought I would bring this to everyone's attention who is into terrian parks... me and a friend who has property on a farm are working this summer with a few other friends to build our own terrain park. The park is going to be built in a small valley forming a very natural half-pipe like affect with a drop of around several hundred feet (estimating). The steepness of the hill now would be comparable to upper dew drop in spots. Anyway my friend who owns the property managed to get two industrial sized compressors with hoses & nozzles for free. This summer we are taking 2x55 gallon drums, hoses, pipes and making two mobile snowguns comparable to those of what timberline has. Along with someone finding a old/used snowmobile we are modifying to something to push and groom snow.

Anyway I wanted to mention this in case anyone was interested seeing a lil documentary of it once we get started and possibly stopping by on their way to Timberline/CV to get a few free runs...?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
March 31, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Small terrain parks like the one you describe appear to be a good business model for growth in the winter sports industry. I sincerely hope you succeed. I also hope you charge people for runs because you will be surprised by your first electric bill after a few nights of snowmaking. [Wink]

Could a tractor/snowmobile combination solve your grooming issues? The "heavy snow moving" could be done by a farm tractor with right type of plow. You could then use the snowmobile to smooth out tracks created by the tractor.

I suspect plenty of farmers have tractors they could rent you for a small sum in the winter.
bawalker
March 31, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
The hill is definately too steep for any tractor to handle with snow on the ground without having a snowcat type machine/tracks. Although my friend Jacob who came up with the idea was able to get an old snowmobile from another family who just gave it to him. Of course it needs some engine work which isn't a problem, but we are looking to modify it with a special stationary plow on the front, and something in the back that can be lowered to groom the snow. I suggested getting those old 'hard' dirt rakes, taking the metal ends off and soldering about 6-7 together and attach them to the snowmobile with a lever so the driver can lower it and let it drag/groom through the snow.

I had been thinking about the electricty issue and we thought it might be worthy of looking into getting a junked up car that still has a working engine in. Something like those old 50's army jeeps from a salvage yard and turn it into a mobile generator. That way someone could drive that to a parking spot, connect it to the two snowguns and start blasting away. Or like you suggested if the terrain turns out to be semi decent then charge a few bucks for an afternoon of fun.

Now... anyone got any single or double seater chair lifts they wanna give away? LOL Maybe a homemade rope-tow/carpet-tow is called for...

Anyway the object really is to just get a piece of a run open even if it is only a 5" packed base 12' wide to have something to play on for a few hours rather than travel to Tline on a whim. I even suggested to Jacob that maybe snowtubing would be in the works for schoolkids and get a small business operation going.
Roger Z
March 31, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
bawalker this sounds like it could be a blast and best of luck! If you are looking around for spare ski parts and/or old lifts and stuff, keep an eye on http://www.saminfo.com/class3.htm#Equipment . That's the classified section of ski area management magazine, specifically the equipment section. Looks like they have some used groomers and some small snowmaking equipment for sale right now. Maybe above your budget at the moment but if you get some cash built up after a season or two, who knows what you'll find that could be useful?

This is great stuff-- a throwback to the 1930s. If it gets going I think all of us should come out at least once next winter as a show of support!
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bawalker
March 31, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Roger thanks for the information, it'll be a real benefit to at least have for another year or two. I passed this info along to Jacob and he is very excited at getting started this summer just getting a snow gun or two built and working spraying a cool mist during the summer. I think the prospect of just being able to get something like this working without any other incentive of than making it work is truely exhilerating.

I'm not sure how much of a venture deal this would even come close to turning into. For all I know it could be just a personaly playground for a few of us at the farm, although I'm sure if any of you are traveling to and from TL/CV back to DC and want to stop in Wardensville for a quick run, you'd be welcome. [Smile]
ski_guy_59
March 31, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
That sounds like a really neat idea, man! Just be sure to weld those rakes together, I think the cold temperatures might break a soder.
jimmy
March 31, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Hey bawalker, if this doesn't top JohnL's Top 10 Symptoms of Skiing/Boarding Addictions, I'll give my skis away and learn to ride.

jimmy
bawalker
March 31, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
No... you know you have an addiction when you see a $400,000 2000' full gondola system and consider it a steal for your back yard.

*Drools*
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
March 31, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Park rats are the future!

Have you informed Bill Bright of your plans? This could be serious competition for him. [Wink]
JohnL
March 31, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Ya out to build a pump house - it'll give the kids something to jump off of. [Cool]
bawalker
March 31, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
You read my mind on that one JohnL. [Smile]

"Hucking, WV style."
andy
March 31, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004 🔗
175 posts
Mr bawalker,are you accepting applications at this time?Been dreaming about doing somthing like that for years!just have some fun this summer & remember Rome wasn't built in a day.In all my travels thru snow country i never see kids sledding or tobboganing.Is this because of the lack of kids or that they are spoiled by lifts & stuff?
Roger Z
March 31, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Personally, bawalker, I was drooling over the ski area for sale in WI for 170K. You can't get a townhouse around here for that! Granted, it probably isn't much bigger than the park you're building but... oh well. That one for sale in MT is already sold, though if anyone can pony up 800K or so there is still one for sale down by Dillon.

I think you should buy the gondola though. You could string the lift right across the "Welcome to Wardensville" sign or something. That would get the attention of thru-traffic!

Well, Andy, I hate to say it but I still sled when it snows around here. Yes I know you're supposed to give that up when you're 10 or something but oh well. Another sign of being a winter-addicted freak when you can't even put away a sled for adulthood (you should have seen the night I bought this plastic thing at Safeway. Lady behind the cash register: "so your kid doesn't have a sled?" Me, with no wedding ring in sight, suddenly curling my hand up so she didn't notice that fact. "That's right, he doesn't.")
bawalker
March 31, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
andy - If there was ever a position open if this ever became a business you'd be the first to know. Of course canaanman gets to huck a pumphouse to christen the slopes. [Wink]

Seriously though due to finances of all of us guys, being small WV country folk and all, starting this as a business definately isn't the top priority. It's like Johnfmh said, pure park rats. I think for us to get soing going is to say "Hey look we can make snow!" and have a place to go less than 10 min away to hang out and have fun. Considering Wardensville averages around 40-65" of snow per year along with very long & frigid cold snaps we could give ourselves a base to last for a few months. Also this farm is located in the trout run area outside of Wardensville where valleys are small, cold air resides and sun seems to not have much affect at warming things up as fast as elsewhere.

Personally since I have my experience in business I would love to be apart of something like that that turned into a business and was able to grow. But that is thinking for down the road. Who knows maybe my webhosting plans will take off and provide me with millions of dollars to develop tory mountain? [Wink] For the mean time being able to have a heck of a jump and a rail or two in Hardy County would definately say something for enthusiasm and fanaticism towards snow. [Smile]
jimmy
April 1, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Speaking of canaanman...WHERE'D HE GO??? I was at TL last Sunday and rumour has it that the pumphouse police chased him into Cherry Bowl, CM disappeared like a ghost...???
bawalker
April 1, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
*With the James Bond theme playing in the background*

Canaanman got chased into the Cherry Bowl Glades, shot out onto the salamander where there was a chopper with a rope ladder waiting where he grabbed onto and was flown to safety...
canaanman
April 1, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
358 posts
I have not been at T-Line since I think around March 8th. Was going to head-up last weekend, but the weather wasn't the best and the snow not so hot either (according to WhiteGrass and trail report).

On the subject of building a small terrain park, its a pretty good idea. I've actually been thinking about how cool it would be if something like that were built. Just to throw out some suggestions:

Build your features out of dirt. This will make snow management that much easier. Not completely built, but get the overall layout for your step-downs, step-ups, rails, etc. built out of dirt (as well as the walls of the pipe). Then all you have to do are shape some nice take-offs and walls and you're good to go (and coat the park with some snow, esp. the landings).

There are quite a few tools out there, moderately pricey, but GREAT tools for managing any park. The Heine Grooming Rake is useful for smoothing run-ins, take-offs, and kickers that gap to rails. http://www.heinetools.com/groomingrake.htm
Unless you've been in the jump-building business for some time, you'll need help getting the transitions right (still troubles me some). Heine also makes a wonderful tool for this: http://www.heinetools.com/tranishovel.htm

In terms of rails, I don't know what you'd be looking for. But there's a pretty sweet setup running through my mind inspired by a lot of the ones I've hit at Snowshoe and such. You definately need a 20' flatbar up on a small table that has a foot-1.5 foot gap into it. Rainbows are nice, but you need a LOT of speed for them. Another good option is a flat-down rail. These are great for gapping onto as well as just sliding, as they are easy enough to throw down a lot of various tricks on them and hard enough to keep you on your toes. Funboxes are great, but save the money and build one yourself. You definatly want a pretty tall flat rail that is gapped into (big gap in) and big gapped out. If you really want to get creative, buy a down-flat-down rail, its on my list of things to accomplish because you can gap the down-flat and land on the last down section (and then 270 on, then 450), or try to boardslide the whole thing. If this is more of a locals park, you won't need a ride-on (like Timberline's 15 footer). Finally, I'd build a nice wall out of skate halfpipe materials to slide up. And it would be sweet to haul off an old, discarded semi as a box (but that would be hard to come by).
Anyways, look at the rails at http://www.fallline.com/ski/terrainpark.html.

Of course you need some people to help build all of this. Perhaps offer the lending hands free passes for the season? You could even offer volunteer places of employment. You will have to charge when you get it up and running. Probably atleast $10 for an allday ticket, which means its gonna have to be a business... which is a challenge.

Oh, and if you're looking for info on snowmaking and rope tows:
http://www.snowathome.com/


Interesting rumors flying around about me... I'll have to find out where those originated. But until then, I'm off to Utah. Think snow!
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