Change in policy at terrain park has curbed business at health care centre 

Business at the Whistler Health Care Centre has changed dramatically since new measures were introduced to Blackcomb's terrain park.

"It seemed that last year every second person was coming in on a backboard," said head nurse Francesca Cole.

"I remember thinking that we never had enough beds."

This season Whistler-Blackcomb introduced higher standards for skiers and boarders to get into the park.

Helmets are now mandatory.

A special $15 pass is required and checked every time a skier or rider enters the park, and they must be expert riders to get in.

And terrain park users must sign a liability waiver on top of that.

"This is one of the world's leading parks," said Christopher Nicolson, pubic relations and communications manager with Whistler-Blackcomb.

"It's not like the mountains where you have a full spectrum (from green runs to double black diamonds) that anyone can use."

Cole said the injuries in the health centre were mostly upper body and upper limb last year. Health care workers saw more spleen injuries from snowboarders falling on rails.

"We saw a lot less after the changes to the terrain park," said Cole.

These are the same kind of injuries that the health centre deals with during the summer months.

Last summer was one of the busiest at the centre as the nurses and doctors tended to a host of mountain biking accidents.

Again, most of the injuries were to the upper body as bikers fell over their handlebars.

The Nintendo GAMECUBE Terrain Park — Highest Level is located just underneath the Catskinner chair.

It has two "hike a rail" sections separate from the jumps to provide jibbing and jumping within one area.

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