This Is the Perfect Snowboarding Playground
Published on April 29th, 2016 | by Jordan Kierans0
Watch Red Gerard, Marko Grilc and TK Ravnjak transform an abandoned ski resort into a snow park here!
Imagine being a snowboarder and having a resort completely to yourself. Now imagine you invited a crew of friends to your abandoned resort and had everything you needed to build and shred the “Perfect Playground.” Sound like fun? Because that’s exactly what Red Gerard, Marko Grilc and Tim-Kevin Ravnjak did.
The Slovenian duo teamed up with Gerard, snowboarding’s prodigy from the U.S., Austria’s Clemens Millauer, and local gun Žiga Rakovec, and invited Transworld Snowboarding to take some pictures. Once everybody was on board, the crew set course toward distant peaks high above the picturesque Soča Valley in the far northwest of Slovenia.
“Kanin has always been the place to be when we wanted to try something new and different.”
With lifts reaching 2,200 meters above sea level, Kanin used to be the only high-altitude ski resort on the “sunny side of the Alps,” renowned for its breathtaking alpine backdrop, long winters and enormous amounts of snow. Unfortunately, the resort had been going through tough times for the past two decades and got shut down three years ago. Nowadays the only way to reach the top is a 45-minute drive with a Land Rover followed by an hour of extreme Snow Cat driving.
A bleak story indeed, but the total absence of crowds paved the way for wild ideas to start sparking in all directions. What can you do at a resort that’s been closed down? Well, pretty much everything you aren’t allowed to in an open one. Through the eyes of a snowboarder this is pretty straightforward — build a snake run through a cable car station, make a drop off the roof, ride the chairlift in any way you can, jib some street spots and build a huge kicker in the middle of the ski slope.
“It’s so insane to be doing things that you usually can’t do — like riding a banked slalom through a gondola station.”
Even though building and riding the Perfect Playground proved to be more of a backcountry adventure than a casual spring park shred, the crew was always on top and enjoyed every single moment of it.