| Copper Mountain HP
Photo courtesy of Copper / Mark Doolittle
5) Copper Mountain, Colorado
Ride the others but come back to ours is the unofficial slogan of the Superpipe at Copper Mountain. And for good reason. Pat Melandowski and Ryan Neptune of Planet Snow Design put collaborative energy into designing the beautiful U-shape look which gives Copper’s Superpipe that certain allure and keeps amateurs and professionals alike coming back for more.
"Because the guys at Planet Snow Design took the time to build the pipe right, the walls feel consistent from the start of the pipe all the way to the finish, from lip to lip and through the transition," says Jamie Wilson of Copper Mountain Resort.
The Superpipe is located in the Catalyst Terrain Park and is 430 feet long with 17-foot-high walls set on a 19 degree pitch. Copper's staff work many hours pushing and mixing snow so that the Superpipe's walls have a consistent blend of snow, making what some consider the best maintained pipe in Colorado.
"If simply seeing this pipe doesn't get you totally excited, then riding it certainly will," says Wilson. For more information on the upcoming Gravity Games at Copper Mountain, check out www.coppercolorado.com.
6) Steamboat, Colorado
At a beach called Half Moon Bay on the Pacific coast, there is a legendary wave which swells to the height of a three story building. Only the best surfers dare to ride the wave they call Mavericks. At Steamboat Mountain in Colorado, they too have an epic wave named Mavericks, albeit frozen, which happens to be the longest Superpipe in North America.
Known for its high accumulations of "Champagne Powder," Steamboat has put itself on the best-halfpipes-in-America map with its impressive 650 foot long, 48 feet wide and 15-foot tall Mavericks Superpipe.
With this massive Superpipe, Steamboat is able to host one of the best halfpipe events in the Rocky Mountains, the SoBe Mavericks Superpipe Challenge. The event attracts men and women from around the world who try to survive the relentless grip of gravity which exudes from the very walls of Mavericks -- not unlike those surfers out in the Pacific. For more information please visit www.steamboat.com.
| Sierra-At-Tahoe HP
Photo courtesy of Sierra-At-Tahoe
7) Sierra-At-Tahoe, California
"Sierra-At-Tahoe has a strong reputation for consistent snow quality and impeccable halfpipe upkeep," says Chris "Gunny" Gunnarson, General Manger of Snow Park Technologies and designer of Lake Tahoe’s 'best kept secret' Superpipe. Located on the snow-prone west side of the famous resort lake, major riders such as Jim Rippey, Shawn Palmer and Chris Englesman have been spotted in Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Superpipe. Film crews commonly gather on the deck to make use of the pipe’s aesthetic features and stunning surrounding views.
Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Superpipe offers 485 feet of riding with 17-foot walls and enough year-round sunshine to get a tan while waiting in line at the entry ramp.
Gunnarson and colleague Josh Chauvet, who are master terrain park designers and founders of Snow Park Technologies, are responsible for the progressive design of Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Superpipe. But it is terrain park manager Scotty Ensminger and head groomer Tyson Terpening who keep the Superpipe in top-notch shape. Together those guys are out there keeping the halfpipe consistently groomed and maintained throughout the day, which gives Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Superpipe a distinct edge over other Tahoe-area halfpipes.
Check out the upcoming "Sick & Twisted" Superpipe Competition at Sierra-at-Tahoe on February 5, 2005. For more information log onto www.sierratahoe.com.
8) Vail, Colorado
Some might say it’s impossible to outshine Vail’s peerless snow quality, expansive chairlift capacity and ambitious Back Bowl expert terrain, but on January 5, 2005 the premier Colorado ski resort unleashed its spankin’ new Golden Peak Superpipe. And things may never be the same again at Vail.
"Our mountain already has as much amazing natural features as one could ever dream of," explains Nicky DeFord, Corporate Communications Manager for Vail Resorts. "But we are now lucky enough to have an awesome new Superpipe, which is helping redefine ski and snowboarding excellence here at Vail."
Designed by in-house creative guru Stephan Laterra, the new Superpipe weighs in at 425 feet long with 18 foot walls and 17 feet of transition. And while Summit County locals are psyched on the new addition, so too is the professional U.S. free-skiing circuit. On January 19th, the US Freeskiing Open held competitions at Vail with the final events staged at the new Superpipe. For more information visit www.vail.com.
9) Timberline, Oregon
The Superpipe at Timberline Lodge has a habit of traveling. After all, it is situated on the side of a major, glaciated peak called Mt. Hood high in the Cascade Range. Snow converges there like moths to a lamp light. And as a result, Timberline’s Superpipe is moved around seasonally so that area snowboarders are blessed with a halfpipe season that is twice as long as most.
"We usually build three or four Superpipes in different locations every season," says Logan Stewart, terrain park coordinator at Timberline. "Which means on good snow years we'll have a Superpipe somewhere on the mountain from the fall all the way through the end of August."