Sunday River has hired Ryan MacCallum to head up our terrain parks this season, so naturally, I caught up with the Peabody, Massachusetts native to play a round of 20(ish) Questions to welcome him to the team.
Where were you before coming to Sunday River?
I was in Vail, Colorado working as a terrain park groomer and lead on my shift.
Have you always worked in the ski industry?
I have! I even went to Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. I’ve been a terrain park builder and groomer for the past 11 years now.
What brings you back East (besides eight peaks of awesome)?
I’ve always wanted to learn as much as I could while out West and bring it back East with me. That was the plan all along but it took me a while to find the right resort. Sunday River’s terrain parks have been famous for a long time, so once the opportunity came up, I started thinking about the move and working toward coming back pretty heavily.
Skier or snowboarder?
I’m a skier.
What do you like to do besides ski?
I like to hike and go exploring in the area with my wife and son.
What are you skiing on these days?
I have a pair of K2 ObSETHed that are my everyday ski, and I also have a pair of Atomic Bent Chetler skis that are my pow days rigs! I’m planning on going a little bit skinnier this year and will be picking up a pair of Moment Meridian.
Do you mostly stick to the terrain parks?
I mostly stick to the terrain parks, but if I’m free riding and there’s snow, you can find me in the trees.
What are your thoughts on the saying, “no friends on a powder day,”?
If you ain’t first, you’re last! There are only a select few that I would wait for on a pow day.
What’s the best breakfast to prep for a day on the slopes?
My breakfast of choice before hitting the slopes is a sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, but the key is to put a hash brown in the middle of the sandwich.
How do you get stoked for ski season?
I get stoked for ski season by watching lots of ski and snowboard edits and movies, whether its park or pow! Plus, I’ve been working on terrain park features this fall, so that means it’s close.
What are your goals for Sunday River’s parks this season?
We are going to put everything out on-hill that we have. It’s going to be crisp and clean, and I want to refresh what everyone is used to in our parks. Long-term, I’d like to keep building upon what’s here as far as infrastructure goes.
What skills do you bring to the parks department?
Beyond grooming, I can weld and build new features—pretty much everything from mowing the grass to building a terrain park!
What’s your favorite kind of feature and why?
It’s definitely a plaza—something with a lot of options and features in the same area. I think it makes it a lot more fun and rideable.
What is PEEPs and why is it important?
PEEPs—the Park Etiquette Education Program at Sunday River—is important because it teaches kids how park etiquette should be. I’m a big believer in respect gets respect, whether that’s letting someone else hit a feature before you, or helping someone out who dropped a pole or fell.The new website this year will reinforce that idea and reward our guests for educating themselves.
You’re new in town: what establishment are you going to claim as your local haunt for après?
Anywhere with good pizza or BBQ!
[A note from the author: I will be sending Ryan the 2016 Best of Bethel Results for some of your suggestions!]
What’s one thing you want everyone coming to Sunday River this winter to know?
That I am a lifelong skier and extremely passionate about what I do and working in the ski industry.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
Old episodes of Law and Order.
Pick a favorite quote:
If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.
Stop by any of our terrain parks this winter to catch a glimpse at what Ryan and the rest of our Park Crew in store, and stay up-to-date on the world jumps and jibs with the State of the Parks report.