Q&A with Morgan Rudd, Terrain Parks Manager

Last season, Sunday River invested over $1 million in its parks. We teamed up with Simon Dumont and Snow Park Technologies (SPT), best known for their work on Winter X Games courses, to build our biggest-ever dedicated park trail, T72. Not only did T72 earn scores of praise from The Dumont Cup athletes (including Olympians Gus Kenworthy, Nick Goepper, and Bobby Brown), but it also boasted the longest superpipe in the East (600 feet with 18-foot walls) and an acclaimed urban plaza feature, which was designed and executed as part of the Design-A-Feature contest with Freeskier magazine. Not incidentally, the urban plaza feature, submitted by 16-year-old Nick Hall, has been nominated in the “For the People, By the People”category in Ski Area Management’s 10th Annual Terrain Park Contest, so give Sunday River a vote.

The Dumont Cup

The Dumont Cup returns to Sunday River, March 27-28, 2015.

The 2014/15 winter season will see the best versions of Sunday River’s parks yet as T72 continues to evolve, the 3D progression park (also on North Peak) doubles in size, and Rocking Chair returns to Barker with boardercross features. Both T72 and 3D will be lined with new, super-efficient HKD Method Park tower snowguns, which means more snow. Which means more features.

T72

Sunday River opened T72 in the 2013/14 season to great reviews.

Benefits for the reaping abound and, all the while, the Sunday River Parks Crew toils away behind the scenes: Hand-packing jumps, transporting jibs, and grooming—so much grooming. The guy in charge of the whole operation is Terrain Parks Manager Morgan Rudd. We talked to Morgan about his background, what’s happening in our parks ATM, and whether you can find Parks pics on Instagram. (You can.)

Hey, Morgan! Can you please tell us a bit about your background? How long have you been with Sunday River/Parks Crew and what are your main responsibilities?

I came to Sunday River four years ago from California. I have been working in parks for 12 years now. My main responsibilities are to put out a fun and safe park for everyone to enjoy.

How many people work on Sunday River’s parks?

We have eight hand crew and three groomers.

Parks groomer

Getting ready to build the parks.

Last year, Sunday River really stepped up its Parks game, huh?

With the addition of T72, we had to build more features [than ever before] to fill all of our parks.

What’s happening this year that you’re stoked on?

Coming back to T72 for a second year. We know what worked well [last year] and what to improve on for the coming season. I’m also stoked that Frozen Rush is coming back—it’s pretty exciting seeing all of the people up here.

Ricky Johnson - Action

Red Bull Frozen Rush returns to Sunday River Jan. 8-9, 2015.

These HKD Method Park guns. Why are they better than the old guns?

They can handle more [air] flow, allowing us to make more snow.

And they’re going on T72 and 3D?

Both trails are outfitted with them.

Are you guys building any revolutionary, new features that the world should know about this season?

The Jib Park arches have new locations and as far as new features go, I’m sure there will be a few popping out through the season.

And you’re a snowboarder. Anything that you think snowboarders, in particular, will be into this year?

All of the Terrain Park employees are snowboarders, but we try to build everything for everyone. We don’t discriminate.

You guys have an Instagram account?

Yes, @sundayriverpark.

For more info on Sunday River’s parks, check out our Terrain Parks Report.