Playing in the park

As he climbs up the ramp, clad in paint-splattered snow pants, stickered GNU snowboard in hand, Castleton State College senior Ryan Burke smiles down to onlookers below.”I’m gonna 180 the stairs,” he said proudly.

At this he launches himself down the ramp and hits the down rail and the sound of metal scraping against metal fills the air.

It is a cold Thursday night in February and while most students are inside enjoying the warmth of their dorm rooms, the adrenaline junkies of Castleton are outside, making good use of the rail park behind Ellis and Wheeler halls.

“It is a good alternative for when I have classes all day and don’t have time to go to the mountain,” Burke said.

It’s not just snowboarders who frequent the rail park, however.

On this night, there was also a skier on the scene. Not to be outdone by the riders, sophomore Michael Graber showed off his skills as he skates down the ramp and launches himself onto the down rail and smoothly glided down it.

“Don’t worry,” Graber said, with a smirk. “I’m just warming up.”

At this he smiles, pulls his fluorescent orange hat over his head and runs back up the ramp.

“This time I’m gonna hit a three.”

Bill Allen, dean of administration at Castleton and the man in charge of getting the rail park set up, said he is very pleased to hear that the rail park is getting so much use.

“As long as they stay safe, I am glad we were able to set it up,” Allen said.

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