The mother of all halfpipes
December 15, 2005
When freestyle snowboarding was in its infancy, renegade halfpipes were spawned with shovels, sweat and a little ingenuity.Most pipes were no longer than 100 feet, with walls that topped all of 6 or 7 feet. The unrefined surface on the walls and the variable transitions made the cautionary signs you see at the top of today’s stunt ditches unnecessary.If you’re really curious about the evolution of halfpipes, you should check out the new snowboarding movie “First Descent,” which is playing at the Isis.Or you could just head over to Buttermilk on Saturday for the opening of the Winter X Games superpipe – the most advanced halfpipe on the planet.Consider this: The Buttermilk superpipe is 500 feet long and 18 feet deep, with a span of 54 feet from lip to lip.It’s almost the length of two football fields. The drop from one of the walls to the middle of the pipe is comparable to falling out the window of a two-story building. It’s the mother of all halfpipes, and it’s right in our backyard.Just be careful.Snowmass is slated to open the Elk Camp and Two Creeks lifts on the far skier’s right side of the mountain today, followed by the Assay Hill and Funnel chairs on Saturday. The openings will mean Snowmass will be operating 15 of 21 chairs.Highland Bowl will not open any new terrain until more snow falls, Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said Thursday. The G zones and the Y zones on the bookends of the bowl are open, but the middle of the bowl remains closed.