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Man on the Mountain: Cranmore

By Kyle Meacham
On February 2, 2012


­Pulling up to Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway, N.H., after an unexpected and slightly cramped two hour drive from Lyndonville, presented a warming sight of a quaint village setting in the base lodge area. The drive (normally being at most an hour and a half) was taken slowly as the snow dumped down over western New Hampshire.

Drew O'Brien, Burke Mountain Terrain Park Staff, Taylor Craft, avid snowboarder, and I met up with Devin "The Bug" Bugbee (Cranmore Terrain Park Staff) to take some hot laps through their jib parks.

"We slashed powder from the summit lift down to the park the whole time," said O'Brien. "It wasn't really a day for filming the park, but it was super fun to slide powder and rails at the same time."

We rode through two parks, Darkside (larger park) and Other Side (smaller park), and the smaller park was nothing to scoff at. It included a smooth jump section, a flat rail, an up-flat rail, a wall ride, and a stair set with a down box and down rail.

"I like the small park," confessed Craft. "The jump section is really cool with that step-over, and the wall ride is a sweet feature."

Most of the time we were on the Darkside. I watched behind the camera as the three of them slayed the rail lines over and over again. It starts with a choice of a beastly flat-down box or a down 20-set with a handrail. It moves into a jump line with jumps ranging from 25-40 feet that were very well maintained, even through the snow. The "your choice" rail line came next with eight features, organized in two side-by-side lines of four. The left side was a flat box, a flat-down double picnic table, a long shallow rainbow box, to a big long battleship box. The right side was a mellow up rail, a steeper up rail, an A-frame rail, to a mellow flat-up-flat rail. This section required a lot of rhythm.

"If there was anything I'd change," said The Bug, "it would be the distance between the rails of this section. It doesn't give you too much time to adjust, so if you don't land perfectly, your chances of getting what you want on the next feature are slim."

On the other hand, O'Brien seemed to enjoy this aspect, "I like the fact that they're closer together," he said. "It's challenging and makes for a bigger reward."

This section went into a spine with a tube, to a rightward c-box, then a flat rail, then to the exceptionally placed cannon up-rail to finish off the park right in front of the base lodge and main lift.

After seeing T-Craft front-one switch back-three this banger feature and then do the same trick switch, I had gotten all the footage I needed and it was time to head home. We said our farewells to The Bug and the rest of the Cranmore Park Crew and headed back through the quaint village toward our snowy ride back home through the Notch.

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