Steamboat Resort will renovate, reopen to give young athletes extra training
The work will result in the biggest halfpipe ever built at Steamboat
The resort may be closed to the public starting Monday, April 17, but will reopen shortly after for athletes with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to train from April 27-30 and again May 4-7.
In order to best accommodate the athletes, Bashor will undergo a facelift.
Steamboat Resort’s senior slope maintenance manager Jake Ingle was a driving factor in putting the renovation and opportunity together. He built venues for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team for 15 years, as well as building the superpipe for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
“I feel like it is super important to continue Steamboat’s Olympic history, and part of that is providing good training opportunities for our kids,” Ingle said. “With the epic snow year we are having, I thought it would be a good idea to do a little after-the-season freestyle camps.”
Training will be available to SSWSC’s Alpine, snowboard, freeski and moguls athletes, who will train on Voodoo, the Park Smalley Big Air jump and at a new-look Bashor.
“They’re going to make the halfpipe bigger, they’re going to take it from a regular 18-foot halfpipe to a 22-foot superpipe,” said SSWSC Chief Operating Officer Jon Nolting. “They couldn’t do that without all the snow we have. They’re going to create a new jump line next to the pipe for our snowboard and freeski athletes, which will be features they need for training.”
The resort added more snow in Bashor this season than previous years to help make the additions possible. The changes will not be permanent and are only designed for the upcoming SSWSC training.
Ingle’s plan is to shorten the length of the halfpipe while increasing its height using a halfpipe cutter sent from Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, Canada.
“When they sent it to us, they also sent the 22-foot piece for the top of the cutter, and it has been laying in our boneyard and never been used,” Ingle said. “I dug it out, fixed it all up and we are going to build the first 22-foot pipe at Steamboat.”
Nolting said the value of the training will vary for each sport.
Alpine athletes typically travel to other mountains in the state for post-season training to get as much on-snow volume as possible. This will not add days of training for them, but it gives them an opportunity to sleep in their own bed, continue competing in their spring sports and do it all at a lower cost.
For moguls athletes, this will be enhanced training from what they would typically get otherwise and can be great experience on a course that was used for the Junior National Championships this year.
The freeski and snowboard athletes get bonus training in a cost-effective way. They will also have the opportunity to train alongside high-level athletes on the U.S. National Team.
“Not only will we be able to use the course, but they have national team athletes coming in and national team coaches to train on those features as well as our kids,” Nolting said. “We’re really excited that our kids will be able to both train on good features and also be there with their national team heroes.”
According to Nolting, the key is to take advantage of the snow on the ground while they have it because these sports cannot continue at full capacity without it.
Top European programs have the advantage of training on nearby glaciers year-round, while Steamboat doesn’t have that luxury. Having this extension should make a big difference.
“The other thing that is great about having it here is we are offering training down to age 9 for our skiers and even a little younger for our snowboarders,” Nolting said. “Those kids would never have any additional training opportunity, and for them we are hoping it is really fun and allows them to stoke more of that passion for their sport.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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