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Adventure of the week: Boreal no longer 'Boringhill' for young boarders

It may not be a nice nickname, but it has endured: Boreal Mountain Resort on Interstate 80 has long been referred to as "Boringhill."

But while Boreal's vertical drop may be small (500 feet), the resort will be playing to its strengths this year: It's the closest resort to Sacramento and among the most popular with young boarders. Boreal is expanding its terrain park to nearly three times its previous size, making it the playground to beat.

In fact, the resort, which in 1992 was one of the first in the nation to open a terrain park, will become the first in Northern California to dedicate itself to all-mountain terrain features. And did we mention that it's open at night?

The resort, which is owned by the same company that owns Alpine Meadows, spent the summer building all manner of new rails and "funboxes." It cost Boreal about $700,000 to expand from about 40 to more than 100 terrain park features.

Dubbed "Jibassic Parks Tahoe," the terrain park will feature a new, 450-foot-long half pipe that is being dug into the ground, not built up with snow, which means it will need much less snowfall to work. While many half pipes have 8-to-10 foot-high walls, the walls on this one will rise a spectacular 18 1/2 feet.

Some of those new features will be premiered Saturday evening, with the Jibassic Pro Rail Jam, which will showcase 20 professional sliders, including Charles Gagnier and Nima Jalali.

"It's all very new and cutting-edge for youth action sports," resort spokeswoman Rachael Woods said. "It's definitely going to be a big playground over there. And it's good for families - parents can ski here, and they don't all want to go speeding down 50-degree slopes. It's a little more mild-mannered."

The prices are mild: a season's pass for full-time college students is an inviting $99, with prices going up from there.

And you don't have to wait for snow to get rolling: midway through last winter, Boreal opened an indoor skatepark, taking advantage of the natural affinity between boarders both on and off snow.

"We have all sorts of kids showing up with a snowboard under one arm and their skateboard under the other," Woods said.

If you go:

Saturday, the new Boreal Mountain Resort will host the first Jibassic Pro Rail Jam, featuring a variety of pro skiers and snowboarders to preview the new terrain park at Boreal.

Charles Gagnier, Nima Jalali, Zach Leech, Jake Davine, Casey Neefus, Robbie Sell and Tanner Rainville are among those competing for $6,000 in prize money on a series of custom-made rails.

Preceding the competition, which will take place at 10 p.m. on 500 cubic feet of trucked-in shaved ice, will be showings of some new snowboarding films. David Benedek's "91 Words for Snow" will show at 8 p.m. and Plehouse Film's "White Shine" will show at 9 p.m. Also showing, the all-girls "As If."

For more information: To get a preview, visit Jibassic Park's new Web site, or call (530) 426-3666, ext. 181. For more information on Boreal: