Methven, New Zealand – No longer needed on the farm, grain hoppers, water tanks, silo lids and tractor tires are finding new homes in the terrain parks of Canterbury's High Country Ski Resort, Mt Hutt.
New to the Mt Hutt crew this year is inventive park designer Jonahs David as Terrain Park Manager. With more than 12 years experience working with terrain parks, Jonahs is considered an international expert and is now working to transform Mt Hutt's extensive terrain park network.
Inspired by Mt Hutt's location and surroundings, his vision for the ski area's terrain parks is to bring 'High Country' back to the high country while offering riders some of the most exciting jumps in the Southern Hemisphere.
As Park Manager for Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe (United States) for the last six years, Jonahs built up the resort's reputation as having some of the best park features in the world. Before that he spent several years honing his skills in terrain parks at other popular mountain resorts in the Lake Tahoe region including Sugar Bowl, Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe, and Sierra Summit.
Considered a first class jump builder, he has built features for some of the world's top jumpers including Chas Guldemond, Torstien Horgmo, and Andy Finch.
"This work encompasses the two things I like doing most, snowboarding and building. I enjoy creating fun things for a living and I'm an avid snowboarder so park building was obvious for me."
"We want to make the parks fit in with the natural surroundings. And there's plenty of stuff around to make a jib out of – something exciting to ride not just another flat box."
Dave Wilson, Mt Hutt Ski Area Manager said Jonahs was one of the best jump builders in the world and was excited to have him onboard.
"We're really enjoying his enthusiasm for the job and the way he reuses some of the interesting stuff you can find around this area. Freestylers are in for an exciting ride this year."
Other terrain park developments at Mt Hutt this year include a new mini terrain park, designed to make progression from novice through to intermediate level easy and fun.
"By further expanding our well developed terrain park network we can look forward to getting 10,000sqm of terrain open early in the 2008 season. We're expecting the new mini terrain park to be a huge hit with our youth and novice contingent," said Mr Wilson.
Mt Hutt is scheduled to open this Saturday (14 June).