WPR Field Guide- Entry 001: The Lil’ Ripper


The Lil’ Ripper (homo ascensorem) is just one of various organisms that inhabit the wild tundra of the Winter Park Resort landscape. It is a member of the homo- snowionous family, with a wide range of fossil records indicating natural habitats throughout the western United States.

Compared to other members of the homo- snowionous  family, the Lil’ Ripper is relatively short in stature, averaging about 42 inches in height. In addition to their size signifiers, they are easily identified by their tendency to communicate at much higher pitched, louder frequency, often producing a wailling noise that resembles a battle cry.

Their most admirable qualities include their tenacity and lack of fear. This can be observed at the weekly ritual: Mini Rail Jam. For most members of the homo- snowionous family, taking on a jump half their height is just a bit intimidating, but this is NOT the case for Lil’ Rippers. The booter, the box, and the rail features in the Bouncer Terrain Park, definitely don’t phase these riders.


The Friday afternoon display of fearlessness includes immense focus, determination, and a good helping of candy for the little riders. Although the slopes themselves are emptying, there is a gathering just outside Doc’s, as the athletes begin preparation, which consists of asking their parents’ permission and then winging it.


Skis slide across a rail, snowboards clumsily lift off the ground, all while the Lil’ Rippers smile, and continue to work at their skills.  Some kiddos fall, some send it big, some have more tenacity than a dog going after a kong full of peanut butter. It’s encouraging to watch this vibrant display of determination. They are putting their skills on view, for an audience that isn’t just their peers and parents, but you wouldn’t know it. They are just having fun, pushing their limits, and being kids on the mountain. Which is pretty cool.

Have a Lil’ Ripper you want to show their stuff? Now thru March 31st, see the kiddos rip Fridays 4pm – 5pm! And if after all that practice they are really climbing to the top of the pack, why not enter them in Vans King of the Groms?



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