Spot Check: Mountain Creek South (Mid-Season)


Superbowl Sunday… One of my favorite days of the year to get out and ride.  While the masses are tucking their pigs in the blankets and setting up their plasma TVs, those of us in the know are out on the hill making turns and hot lapping the park all to ourselves.

Finding myself home in Jersey this year and with “The Boss” playing the halftime show, I thought “What better time to get out and check back in with my Jersey shredding routes at the Creek?”   It’s been a pretty good snow season here at home and we’ve had no shortage of cold weather, so I had some high expectations as to what the Creek would have to offer compared to my last visit.  With the sun shining and the mercury hovering at just above 40 degrees I headed out to the hill.

I arrived at the parking lot just before 11AM and snagged one of the last available parking spaces… not a good sign.  I walked through the lodge and up to the lifts… So much for hot laps, the place was a mob scene.  Two corals of cattle leading to a central ticket check and then spliting off to the two lifts.  The “Jersey” in me kicks in and it’s “Prison Rules” time, every man for himself.  I snake my way up and through the singles line and onto the lift.  I notice that the run-in leading up to the loading zone is baring a striking resemblence to a bobsled track in baghdad… again not a good sign.

rscn0386On the lift ride up, I was impressed by the snow coverage and amount of open terrain.  Once on the snow, I was equally impressed by the overall snow conditions, primarily man-made hardpack, but very little ice or death cookies, rarities for NJ riding.  What I’m not impressed with is the general condition of the features, almost all have icy or rutted run-ins, take-offs and/or landings.  Some are down right dangerous and I’m surprised that they are even open.  I don’t know if it’s a sign of the economy or just laziness, but in the 3 plus hours I rode at South I did not see one park ranger or groomer touch a single feature.  Now, I know it’s  a buzz-kill when you roll up to your favorite hit or rail and it’s closed for raking, but this maintenance is needed to keep those features in top shape and it’s especially needed at a place like Mountain Creek which sees so much daily traffic through their parks. 

rscn0387Another disapointment was the general lack of creativity with the features in the parks.  Of the 33 jibs and 9 hits spread over the 11 open trails, most were your run of the mill straight rails and boxes and cheese wedge step-downs.  With the amount of snow coverage available and JibLab’s history of being on the forefront of progressive park feature manufacturing, I would have expected more.  The few stand out features for me were the Down-Flat-Down boxes and the Polejam to Butter Pad Step-up.


I guess in summary Mountain Creek South is like New Jersey itself… crowded, hard, dangerous, rough around the edges, but if you know where to go… great!  The Creek still offers the best riding option in the area and as they say, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.


Mountain Creek South Stats:

2 Peaks

2 High Speed Quads

11 Open Trails

33 Jibs, 9 Hits

2 Bars

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~ by hrocker on February 3, 2009.

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