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Closed for season

Chester Bowl’s Alpine Hill is now closed for the season. Our last day was Saturday, March 23, which ties for our latest close ever! Thanks for a great winter. Please remember to bring your rental gear back on April 16, 17, or 18.

Chester Bowl Extended Season

We are pleased to announce that we plan to stay open through Saturday, March 23! This means there will be one week of bonus skiing and snowboarding if the weather cooperates. Monday, Thursday, & Friday we plan to be open 4:30-8:30 and Saturday, March 23 the hill will be open 11-4:30pm. March 23 will be the last day of the Chester Bowl 2018/2019 season. For more info please email sam@chesterbowl.org.

End of Season Potluck Celebration Sunday, March 24

We hope you will joins us for Chester Bowl’s end of Season Potluck. The event is Sunday, March 24th, 5pm, at the Vineyard Church (1533 Arrowhead Road). This family friendly event allows us share a meal, enjoy each others company one more time before Spring comes, and acknowledges all Chester Bowl participants, including every child who participated in our Ski and Snowboard Race Series and Freestyle Friday. This event is for EVERYONE, even if you didn’t race this year.

Chester Bowl will provide plates, napkins, cups and utensils. Please bring something to share if you are able! RSVP’s are encouraged- click right here to go to the signup.

We do need volunteers to help with setup and cleanup- this could be a perfect fit if you are still looking to complete your volunteer committment! Click right here for volunteer signup.

2018/2019 Terrain Park Series, Entry #4- Mitch Kasper

2018/2019 Chester Bowl Terrain Park Series

Entry #4: Mitch Kasper

When I was in high school and working at Chester there was this little kid who was always building jumps. This kid would spend most of the day building the perfect wedge jump in the middle of the hill, not letting anyone ride the jump until it was perfect, which most of the time was about twenty minutes before the hill would close for the day. If it did open earlier, this kid would sit and watch everyone ride it and as soon as they would launch off of it he would smooth out the ruts left behind by their skis or snowboard. This would happen on repeat almost every day this kid was at the hill and it seemed to go on for years this way. The kid would show up, get a shovel, build a jump, and watch. Over and over. Until one day we had a decent amount of snow. Being the high schooler I was, I thought it would be funny to spray this kid with snow as I passed. I did. He laughed. I laughed. It was fun. So, I did it again. And then I did it again. For me, the experience didn’t change but for this kid it got very old quick. Suddenly, I heard my name over the PA system requesting my presence in the office. Not knowing what was going on I headed right there and sure enough the kid who had been the victim of my fun was sitting on the couch in the office. I got a stern talking to. I apologized and genuinely felt bad about what I had done and how I made this kid feel. But a good thing came from the experience, I learned the kid’s name. It was Mitch Kasper. We actually became pretty good friends shortly after. I learned quickly that he built much better jumps than I did due to years of honing his patience for moving and shaping snow. We became a team and for a long time I would build the terrain park features and Mitch would put them in. Before long, he was hired to help me in the terrain park. Then a couple of years ago I moved on from doing the terrain park and he took charge of welding all the terrain park features together during the fall, and now he is the terrain park fixer at Chester Bowl. When something comes up that needs to be fixed he typically jumps in to get it done. I was pretty excited to see what Mitch came up with for his park design and he did not disappoint. There are some gnarly combo features in his design. I hope everyone gets a chance to check it out.

It is not uncommon that Mitch is the first person at the hill. Often, he is riding around in the groomer to make sure snow is pushed where he and the rest of the crew need it. Sometimes, he is up at the top of the hill with a shovel building a jump and waiting for kids to put ruts in it which is pretty much what he had done the night I had pulled him off the hill to do this interview.

Sam: How long have you been skiing at Chester?

Mitch: Since I was 6 years old, so 16 years.

Sam: Have you been skiing or building jumps longer?  

Mitch: I have been skiing for a bit longer but it is a close tie.

Sam: What made you interested in skiing and terrain park stuff?

Mitch: I wasn’t big enough to ski the old ski jumps when they were still up so I decided to build my own.

Sam: How much time did you spend jumps vs skiing. Which did you do more?

Mitch: It was a good 50-50 split.

Sam: How would you describe your style of skiing?  

Mitch: Definitely a lot of falling. Starts laughing*

Sam: What influences your skiing and or terrain park designs?

Mitch: Our own creativity I guess. I don’t really take a whole lot from others. I like to try new things that I have never seen before. But it doesn’t hurt to learn from other places.

Sam: You have been skiing for a long time, what makes you excited about skiing?

Mitch: Every day is different. You never know what things are going to be like so it makes me want to go out and ski every day.

Sam: You have moved into a role of coordinating a lot of the work that goes on in the park. For example, this year you have been working with the City to make sure snow gets pushed where it needs to be. What challenges come from that?

Mitch: You really need to push for what you want and what is best for everyone else. It is a lot of asking and pleading, and explaining why we need snow in certain areas more than others. In the long run it keeps the park fresh and helps get more people to the hill.

Sam: What do you do outside of working at Chester and skiing?

Mitch: I grow flowers and have been pushing a lot of snow.

Sam: How old were you when you started doing terrain park stuff?

Mitch: I think I was 15 or 16 when I was a volunteer. I have been working doing this for about 4 years now.

Sam: What has influenced your terrain park design this year?

Mitch: I wanted to take features that we have had all these years and do something new with them to make everyone think outside of the box.

Sam: You used to film a bunch, do you still do that?

Mitch: Not as much but still have the same interest to do it.

Sam: Who do you mostly ski/ ride with?

Mitch: The Brueninghaus triplets, Tommy, Will, and all the Chester Bowl locals.

Sam: After the season is done what do you plan to do? What do you hope to see happen next season?

Mitch: After the season ends I will be designing and storming up ideas for new rails and come fall we will be building those rails and finding ways to put them into the terrain park.

Sam: What advice do you have for someone who is interested in freestyle skiing and or working in the terrain park?

Mitch: Have fun! That is what is really about. If you are not having fun the park will not be good and you will not have a good time.

Sam: Any parting thoughts?

Mitch: Do not be alarmed if you see ski patrol taking me down the hill in the toboggan. Laughs*

2018/2019 Terrain Park Series, Entry # 3 Tommy Smyth

2018/2019 Chester Bowl Terrain Park Series, Entry #3: Tommy Smyth
I can’t help but think of redwood trees when I think about Tommy. Redwood saplings spend a long time in the shadows of older trees before finding an opening, bursting into the sunlight, and becoming the looming giants that they are known to be. When I first met Tommy, he was a tag along little brother. Whenever Will was at the hill, Tommy could be found 20 to 50 feet away watching, learning, and biding his time. Even at a young age Tommy was on the hill helping us with the park a ton. Before long he was a key member of our Freestyle Cadet program and when we needed another terrain park coordinator I offered him a job. I did not read his application close enough and at our orientation I found out he was only 14 years old which made him our youngest employee. Despite being so young, Tommy proved to me and the rest of our crew that he was not just a talented skier, but a creative park builder, and often times a much harder worker than the rest of us. We are getting ready to put his signature park together next week so I got him to come in off the hill long enough for an interview.

Sam: How old are you, what school do you go to, and how long have you been part of Chester Bowl?

Tommy: I am 15. I am a sophomore at East. I have been skiing around 10 years.

Sam: Besides skiing, what do you do?

Tommy: I play lacrosse all year. I run cross country in the fall. I work at Chester all the time.

Sam: What things influence your skiing?

Tommy: Definitely Will and all of his friends. Definitely all the older kids who ski here, I have been watching them since I started skiing.

Sam: What’s it like having a brother that’s been skiing longer than you.

Tommy: Will is super good not sure if I will get as good as he is but it’s fun to see his videos and be like “yeah that’s my brother”

Sam: I think you have beaten your brother during Freestyle Fridays before. You have a different style than your brother why do you think that is?

Tommy: I just want to jump stuff rather than doing technical stuff on rails. Like last year we had the contest where it was a transfer from handrail to handrail and I gapped the whole thing. That’s more the stuff that I want to do.

Sam: How would you describe your style of skiing?

Tommy: More laid back, sitting back on my skis because what I would really like to be doing is riding big mountain and powder

Sam: Have you ever ridden powder?

Tommy: Yeah two years ago, I finally went to Colorado to ski. Definitely the most fun I have had skiing. Going through the trees as fast as possible is my favorite part of skiing.

Sam: Do you plan on moving out west after school?

Tommy: Probably, that would be the ultimate goal to live somewhere where I can ski all the time but I have two years to figure that out.

Sam: You are definitely on the younger side of being on the terrain park crew. Next year you will be one of the old guys on the crew. What has it been like growing up learning about the terrain park and then becoming part of it and now being the old guard?

Tommy: I just always watched Will and his friend make the jumps and I would tag along. Then the past couple of years I have been able to help out and make features and watch things come together. It’s really cool when the younger kids ask to help because that is what Chester is about. Getting the little kids involved.

Sam: What has influenced your terrain park design this year?

Tommy: Well, I really like big features so that I don’t have to do technical things to look cool. My friends and I wanted to make a bunch of lines that tie together. So it really comes down to what we can film.

Sam: Do you film much?

Tommy: Not as much as Will but yeah. I mainly film with Ryan and Sean. I do most of the filming.

Sam: Who do you mostly ski/ ride with?
Tommy: Sean, Ryan, Will, James and that crew if they are out. And Mitch Kasper.

Sam: After the season is done what do you plan to do? What do you hope to see happen next season?

Tommy: I will be waiting for snow. I really want to make some new features with Mitch over the summer and making sure I don’t get hurt over the summer.

Sam: What advice do you have for someone who is interested in freestyle skiing and or working in the terrain park?

Tommy: Really just ask the older guys. We really just want to help. We want everyone to come out and have fun. We are freestyle skiers not competition skiers. Its all about skiing with your friends and trying to do cooler tricks than them.

Sam: Any parting thoughts?

Tommy: Chester is dope.