It’s really where the riders ride |

It’s really where the riders ride

Summit Daily file photo/Brad OdekirkTransworld Snowboarding magazine ranked Copper Mountain's terrain park fifth and its halfpipe ninth in a survey sent to 10,000 readers in April.

COPPER MOUNTAIN – For years, Copper Mountain has boasted it’s where the riders ride, and now the effort and attitude has paid off.

For the first time, readers of Transworld Snowboarding magazine ranked the resort fifth overall.

Copper hadn’t even ranked in the top 10 last year, but this year it not only earned fifth overall but also fifth place for best terrain park and ninth for best halfpipe. Plus, it garnered listings in the best food, best lodging and best terrain categories.

Copper’s employees have been working to improve the terrain parks. Last year, they committed to making more snow – which translated to bigger jumps and pipes – as well as grooming snow more consistently.

“It’s a little bit steeper than most superpipes, and there’s not a lot of people,” said Doug Hagen, Copper Mountain’s terrain park supervisor. “And we’re very meticulous about grooming the terrain park. We groom it every other night. In the past, the consistency was not as high of a caliber. But last year, we made a strong effort to keep the consistency the same so people were a lot more comfortable with the jumps.”

This season, Copper’s three terrain parks will span a total of 27 acres. The largest one, on Loverly trail, will be 20 acres and include 20 more rails and boxes than last year.

“We’re looking at keeping it fresh and making changes to the jib features every couple of weeks or so,” Hagen said. 

The smaller park, on Lower Main Vein, is about 4 acres.

And this winter, Copper’s supporting a new generation of adrenaline junkies by offering a smaller, kids’ terrain park at the top of American Flyer.

“The main terrain park is quite intimidating for never-evers and little kids, so this is a stepping stone for them,” Hagen said.

Beth Jahnigen, part of the public relations team, attributes Copper’s high ranking in Transworld to a commitment to the freeride program, as well as an emphasis on improving the layout and design of the park.

“Entering the game with rankings of fifth in both the park and overall categories, Copper Mountain now really is where the snowboarders ride,” wrote the Transworld editorial staff in its annual resort guide.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at

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