Park Life. Who's dropping in at the Terrain Snow Park?
The snow terrain park has become the natural habitat for a variety of ski and snowboard speciesYou'll find Park Rats and Pro Riders and probably spot a Girl Crew or two. Watch out for The Ski Dad, who's basically a Jerry with kids. You'll know when he's dropped in by the yard sale
The Park Rat
You will probably spot a Park Rat as they scoot past you in the lift queue. Waiting in line is not part of a Park Rat's day; they just want to get as many laps in as possible. Most of the time they will be wearing headphones so shouting at them will make no difference and even if they heard you, they really won't care.
Image: Colorado tourism
The Pro Rider
They will have fresh gear and effortless style -it's not hard to dress well when as a pro rider you don't have to buy anything thanks to your sponsors! You will see them throwing doubles off the pro line jumps and making super technical tricks look easy (see James Woodsy Woods, below). They are often accompanied by The Coach equiped with the walkie talkie they use for shouting to their rider. Normally they sit at the top of the park so they can see every kicker and they will rarely move from that position all day. They will be armed with a camera that has a giant lens so they can zoom in and film everything from one spot.
Most likely to be found standing on the landing of the jump about to be landed on. Jerrys have no idea about park etiquette and will annoy just about everyone who's trying to hit features. You can spot them heading for a jump that's too big for their limited skills, usually with a backpack on and GoPro mounted to their helmet - I would bet good money that they will go too slow and hit the knuckle. Stay well away from them.
The Ski Dad
Now the Ski Dad is basically a Jerry with a kid. He will force the kid to ride through the park even if they don't want to. The Ski Dad loves to show off in front of his kid and will sometimes abandon them on the knuckle of the jump so they can watch their dad bail and leave a trail of ski gear down the landing (otherwise known as a yard sale).
The Ski Mom
The Ski Mum is there to check if her child is going off the rails, in a good way - and she will disown her embarrassing husband The Ski Dad when he does. The Ski Mum is hard to miss in her super shiny expensive ski jacket, helmet with a visor lens or furry hat and skintight pants. Do not make eye contact unless you want to feel really judged by your oversized hoodie and looked down on for your baggy pants.
The Ski School
For some extremely dumb reason ski instructors like to bring their class for a run through the park. They will line up a school of six year olds in front of a pro line jump (while people are hitting them) and then get them to ski down the huge landings where riders are about to fall from 15ft in the air and wipe them all out.
The Girl Crew
It can be easily mistaken for a scene from Mean Girls. You will recognise the groups of at least four in the park as they never leave each other's side. They will take a couple of laps through the box line before finding a good spot to sit at the top of the park and work on their tan lines (there are different types of girl crews, ones that actually ride park together and ones that just like to hang out there).
The Lads On Tour
The drunken group of lads on a birthday/stag week who drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol both on and off the slopes. Avoid them like the plague. They usually stand out in the park owing to the fact that they are wearing onesies or ridiculously bright retro gear. They will also have GoPros mounted in places you wouldn't think to put them.
Main image: Mottolino Snow Park, Italy