On December 21, Utah’s Brighton Resort unveiled what is believed to be the world’s first girls-only terrain park.
Complete with a flat box, down rail, and small jump geared toward beginner and intermediate skill levels, the park allows female skiers and snowboarders to hone their terrain abilities without getting hassled by their male counterparts.
The area has been named ‘Krista’s Park’ in honor of Krista Moroge, a long-time Burton Snowboards employee who passed away in 2010 after a long battle with breast cancer.
Boarding For Breast Cancer (B4BC), Burton, and a handful of seasoned local riders turned out for opening day to honor Krista’s memory and dedicate the new park.
“It’s just a really befitting way to recognize Krista for what she did and for who she was,” Krista’s husband, Park Beutler, told Snowboard Magazine. “The support from everybody is crazy, and it means a lot.”
Brighton’s retail manager Kim Doyle says girls and women remain underrepresented in rail jams and other events involving terrain skills. “There are a lot of talented guys in these competitions,” she told Gear Junkie, “but not nearly as many women who were participating. From what I have gathered, girls are intimidated to ride the terrain parks with guys.”
Krista’s Park, she explained, provides an area where female skiers and snowboarders can perfect their trick techniques without “guys making fun of them or speeding by them.”
Professional skier and Brighton employee Grete Eliassen was invited to consult on the project last spring. A six-time Winter X Games medalist and member of the U.S. slopestyle ski team, Eliassen drew on her experiences of riding terrain around the world to help design the park’s features.
“In the past I have worked with park crews to build specific features for photo shoots, filming projects, and contest venues,” she said. “But never before for public use. So I am really excited.”
The result, Eliassen believes, is an area where girls and women can practice riding terrain without feeling intimidated. “Brighton has a pretty tough scene in the terrain park with guys judging and yelling out comments. I think this will make it a lot easier for girls/women to enter the park and have a good time.”
“I’m almost positive all you will hear out of this terrain park will be hoots and hollers from the other girls cheering each other on,” she said.
Doyle agrees that Krista’s Park will be a big hit with female visitors who don’t feel ready to try the resort’s more advanced terrain. “I think it will benefit girls by letting them hang out with other girls, get some camaraderie going, allow them to advance, and have fun in the process,” she said, adding that the response on social media since opening day has been overwhelmingly positive.
In addition to Krista’s Park, Brighton’s ski and snowboard school is now offering girls-only classes. The resort will also host the Big Burton women’s camp on February 22-23. Pro snowboarder and Olympic medalist Shannon Dunn-Downing will be on hand for this event.
—By Brad Nehring