By Justin Phipps:
So our last interview in the Breck Parks series went real good with Darren Riethmiller. He’s been real cool and supportive. You may remember he’s the guy that buzzed by a side whooper (you can read about it here: Gapers, Gapers, Gapers). He got back to being a park supervisor mid-season and so we talked this and other stuff too. He said this interview made him nervous.
Justin: So you bounced from the office back to the parks crew mid season, what’s up with that?
Darren: You know um.. man, good question!! Wow, I wanna get this right. You know if you have an opportunity and you THINK you want something new, or you want
to try and progress with your career. Maybe it was getting to a point with my age and the idea of further pursuing a career and maybe it was that I did it because I just felt like I had to do it. Sometimes things happen and this was one where I discovered that it just wasn’t worth it, it just wasn’t the right move. I feel like there are people that are office people and then there’s people that belong outside. So it became a case of cabin fever, if you will. It got to be real hard to be at the office all day and watching people outside.
I just realized that my passion WAS terrain parks and even though I had an
influence over photo shoots and what we had going on with contests and the
5 til 5 and the Throwback Throwdown. Well, all that was awesome, but then I
realized that I was just more of a hands on guy with the parks. I mean I wanted to be out there building. Building, testing, and seeing it grow. I’ve been here for six years at Breck. Maybe a different time, different situation, maybe it turns out differently. But you know, not being part of the crew was actually, well I just needed to be out here again. It’s not like we snowboard all day long, we definately don’t, it’s just being outside, being with your friends. I mean, looking up at the chairlift and seeing your friends and they stop to talk to you. That’s it! That’s what I didn’t have working inside that I missed the most.
Darren: ..alright, next question, I’ll get better!
Justin: So, Were you shredding a whole lot less doing office work?
Darren: (pause) Yes.
Darren: Was I shredding less because of the office work??
Darren: Yeah, totally. I basically could ride on my lunches or if there was a little bit of down time, but, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle in the office so my shred time was definately cut down.
Justin: Okay.. Well, let’s talk about the jumps, they’re soo good every year, why don’t more parks just copy Breck?
Darren: I, well, I think they try to, but, there’s not a lot of turnover with our cat crew and it takes a really experienced team of cat drivers to get it just right and we have a lot of the same guys doing it year after
year. So it’s really the same crew of four that are building Freeway and
Park Lane. We’ve got guys that build jumps that like to work here. They
don’t leave, so that’s good.
Darren: You know it’s Ray, Greg, Mark, and Eric. That’s it, they just get
Justin: Keystone’s jumps are definately getting better, is there any type of rivalry between Keystone and Breck when it comes to building parks?
Darren: Oooh, well yeah maybe a friendly rivalry cause a lot of our friends work over there. We do see a lot of what our neighbors across Swan Mountain Pass are doing. There’s definitely no true hatred type of rivalry, we’re all pretty cool to each other.
Justin: ..alright, last one. The vibe at Key is really different than Breck. Does that same type of vibe come out in their crew?
Darren: Wait, what? What do you mean? (background laughter)
Justin: Do they kind of put out a different vibe, their crew vs. yours.
Darren: Oh, you know. Well they do go out more. I don’t really know. I mean, we’re pretty happy over here and they definately have the same there too.