As part of a long term plan for building a terrain park the community can be proud of, the earth moved at Murray Ridge recently.
For two days, a D4 bulldozer and operator from KDL was donated to help the not-for-profit community ski hill further develop the jumps in the terrain park, moving dirt to improve the jumps.
The donated machine and operator were guided by Riley Willick and Jeremiah Traczyk, helping to bring to life the vision imagined by Big White Resort terrain park designer Flynn Seddon in 2010.
Seddon was brought in thanks to Jason Barr, who pushed to make the terrain park a reality.
Willick, a board member of the Murray Ridge Ski Hill, and Traczyk, a rider who spends his winter weekends at the hill, were donating long weekend hours to the cause of improving the terrain park.
Last year was the first winter Murray Ridge had a terrain park, and it was a very popular attraction for young riders and skiers and the location of a couple of competitions through the season.
But there were some unfinished aspects to the one jump line, which Willick and Traczyk were working to fix.
Now, the jump line on the skier’s right of the park is cleared from the top for a run at the jumps, and the jumps are reshaped slightly, with the spaces in between leveled off. The distances between the jumps were also adjusted, as requested by park users last season.
Willick is still hoping to find a machine to help level off the other half of the park where the rails are usually placed, and build some platforms for the rails and boxes to give better transition onto and off of the obstacles.
The plan to improve the park will continue on, with input taken from the park users each year.
“We’ve already got a few things we want to do next year,” said Willick.
The rails in the park have been taken down to be repaired, reworked and painted as well, with exact logos and designs still to be decided.
Willick expects the rail fixing and upgrades will take up to an additional month to complete with volunteers, some needing to be lowered or adjusted for height and others needing repair of the plywood dividers to get everything up to standard.
He will also be looking for volunteers to clear rocks from the park to help the groomer out.
Dan Goff, ski hill manager, has also ordered signs to make things a bit clearer in terms of park rules and difficulty levels of obstacles in the park.
Goff wants to use each years’ experiences to build on the next year and come up with a park design plan.
“The park by no means is finished,” said Goff, “The idea is to develop a five-year plan so we can have something we’re really proud of.”