This year, the park has introduced a new feature that will be incorporated into their Learn to Ride (LTR) program, but can also be used by expert riders to gauge their efficiency. The new 40-by-50 pump track is small, but it will play a big part in the overall layout of the park. Located between the Grand Summit Hotel and 1900’ Burger, the dirt pump track has been a few years in the making.
“We keep expanding on our program and this gives more entry level riders an easier way to have fun with less consequences,” said Mount Snow mountain bike director Justin Hongel. “It’s something for all ages, and also one heck of a workout.”
A pump track is a series of features like berms, jump boxes, and rollers designed to allow mountain bikers the opportunity to navigate the entire track without pedaling, by using only their body positioning and downward force on their handle bars to gain and maintain momentum.
“It’s a skills tool to learn to use a bike over transitions and turns,” said Hongel. “You have to pedal into it, but you gather speed by pumping on transitions, so you learn when to pump in order to keep momentum going.”
The track fits a maximum of two riders at a time, and will be incorporated with the first lift LTR program as a teaching tool. Last year, Mount Snow opened Trail 7, which is the only introductory downhill trail in the East.
“We put a lot of work into our program with great trails and better bike parks,” said Mount Snow communications director Dave Meeker. “This makes it an even more well-rounded destination for people to come and mountain bike, and see that it’s not just lift service.”
Meeker also said that the track will help make their improvements more visible. “Having something like that in the base area really steps up the aesthetic because all of our mountain bike terrain is up on the mountain and not totally conspicuous to the first-time guest. It looks really slick, the guys did a great job constructing it, and all the feedback we’ve gotten from riders is very positive.”
According to Meeker, Mount Snow was one of, if not the first mountain resort to open lifts for downhill mountain biking in 1986. It was also home to the first mountain biking school in the country, beginning in 1988.