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Snowmaking Scores for Bogus Basin


  • Austin Smith
Leading up to the holidays, Bogus Basin has sprinkled a little magic of its own using snowmaking machines. The resort opened its terrain park on Nov. 9, and the devices can fill in when Mother Nature falls short. Now, the resort is crossing fingers to open the entire park by Thanksgiving.

“Last summer with the donation from the Albertsons Foundation we were able to seriously start working on the snow-making infrastructure,” said Terrain Park Director and professional snowboarder Corey McDonald. “So this is the first year that we are reaping the benefits of the new system. We could have opened the park on Halloween.”

The terrain park is located next to the bottom of Deerpoint Express terminal and can be accessed by the Explorer Surface lift. It will be open from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays. Tickets are free for season pass holders and $15 a day for everyone else. Simplot Lodge is also open 1 to 4:30 p.m. to provide food and beverages.

McDonald first became a ski instructor in 1992. Leading up to the opening of the terrain park, he said he trained three bosses on its operation. He left Bogus periodically to help create or work in similar parks in Sun Valley, Oregon and Utah, returning in 2014 as Bogus’s terrain park director.

“I was in Sun Valley and came back to see Judas Priest and Slayer in Boise,” said McDonald. “I ran into someone from Bogus and the next day I went up and got the job. Historically, the position was centered around ski racing but because of what I do, I focused on building up the terrain park.”

Since the beginning McDonald has pressed to make continuous improvements. The terrain park was originally the responsibility of ski racers, and McDonald said they weren’t particularly knowledgeable about how the park should operate.

“When I started the park area was kind of in shambles, and parts of it were actually a little unsafe,” he said.

On his first day McDonald went to then-President Alan Moore and suggested blowing snow. Moore agreed, and now Nate Shake the director of mountain operations, and Brad Wilson the general manager have worked with McDonald to build the park up to be the best it can be.

“Also because of the snow making this year I was able to make a jump and a quarter pipe,” said McDonald.

This year’s park also has new features including 10 new rail and box structures. McDonald has also brought his sons with him to kid-test and -approve.

“I want to be a terrain park director when I grow up,” said his youngest son, Carson.