With 40 inch snow storm in the 24 hours before the final TransWorld TransAM tour stop at Northstar (before the March final at Bear), the hard working Terrain Park crew got out of bed early to make sure the course was perfect. With the day’s maximum temperature forecast to be a chilly and very un-Californian 17 degrees, it was definitely a morning for beanies, hoods and warm gloves.
5am on a powder day and the cat warms up as snowboards wait in the snow, not to be used this morning; Terrain Park staff are towed behind this snowmobile to begin their work on the hill.
Illuminated by the light of the cat, Terrain Park staff work on the Zumiez quarter pipe couch feature.
Joe sporks the High Cascade feature in quiet darkness, illuminated by the light of the cat.
NJ sporks the Ride jump as the cat still pushes snow around to build, snow-covered trees in the background.
In darkness, with the moon as a backdrop, Joe turns his attention and spork to the High Cascade pole jam.
Mike happily and frantically sporks the Zumez feature.
Next to the solid wall of snow that is the Ride jump-to-hip, Bobby pauses for instruction.
A fogs rolls down the mountain towards the sleeping snow-covered Day Lodge; With the moon still in the sky, light begins to appear on the horizon of this blue pre-dawn landscape.
NJ works on the High Cascade feature, the snow-covered roof of the Ritz behind him.
Joe smoothes the High Cascade feature, sporking excess snow off the edge.
The peaceful, blue mountain landscape before the resort becomes crowded with skiers and snowboarders; A spork rests against a snow bank and tree as the landscape begins to lighten.
Team effort to complete the High Cascade bus feature.
Lit by a snow cat, Terrain Park Manager Mike contemplates a feature.
The pole jam and a freezing foggy morning.
The cat pushes the take off of the box while hand crew NJ shapes the pile of snow into a giant Coal beanie.
Mike uses the chainsaw to achieve a perfectly shaped course.
After the chainsaw, a launch rod is used for perfect straight sides.
Tools of the trade resting on boxes.
The sun finally peeps over the hill top as Alex and Ben work on those perfect sides; Rays of sunlight peeping over the hill to a spork laying in the snow, the Zumiez quarter pipe couch feature in the distance.
Now in the slight warmth of early morning sun, NJ continues shape the Coal beanie around the box.
Mike works at clearing snow away from the jibs.
The mountain opens and riders begin filling the gondola cabins, their snowboards hanging off the side.
Finishing by cat touches, decorations and animation by hand and the course is ready for the competition.
To see photos from the even go to TransWorld TransAM: Northstar-at-Tahoe CA or to see more behind the scenes photos of Northstar’s Terrain Park Staff setting up for photo shoots go to Northstar shoot w. Chas Guldemond & Jeremy Thompson: April 2010 or Forum shoot w. Pat Moore & Nic Sauve: December 2010.