Breckenridge Ski Resort building 22-foot pipe | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge Ski Resort building 22-foot pipe

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

Special to the DailyConstruction has already begun on the new 22-foot superpiper at

Breckenridge Ski Resort announced Monday that it will have a 22-foot superpipe for the 2010-11 season.

The move gives Breck more terrain park pedigree, as it will upgrade from its 18-foot halfpipe to the newer 22-foot industry standard.

“We are taking our time and doing it right,” said Breck pipe builder Nick Simon in a press release from the ski resort. “The terrain park crew is excited to be able to boost the caliber of not only the halfpipe, but the entire terrain park and improve the experience for our guests and athletes.”

Simon, who has worked at Breck for 11 years, is considered one of the best pipe cutters in the world.

The pipe used to be located at the bottom of the terrain park near the Peak 8 base area but will be higher on the mountain this year. In making the move, the Freeway Terrain Park’s layout will be altered.

Construction is underway, and all features are expected to be completed for a nationally televised debut during the first stop of the Winter Dew Tour Dec. 16-19.

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It was at last season’s Dew Tour stop that it became apparent Breck needed the upgrade to the larger pipe.

With the Olympics looming, a number of the world’s top snowboarders decided to skip the Breck stop of the annual winter action sports tour. The pipe at Breck was 4-feet lower on the walls than the Olympic standard, and many athletes felt the switch from 22 feet to 18 feet for a week’s worth of riding would be counter productive to their goals of making the squad that went to Vancouver. In fact, two of the three men who were on the U.S. Olympic Team – Shaun White and Louie Vito – both left Breck off their competition schedule last year.

This year, though, Breck will now join the other two Dew Tour stops – Killington, VT., and Ogden, Utah – with having the 22-foot superpipes.

Copper Mountain debuted its 22-footer last season at the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix.

The pipe at Breck will stay open – and at 22 feet – for the entire 2010-11 season, allowing local riders and guests to cut their teeth on the new competition standard.

It will also help the Breckenridge Freeride Team athletes in their training.

“With a 22-foot pipe, Breck has solidified its place in the snow industry as the very pinnacle of freestyle snowboarding and skiing,” said X Games champ Steve Fisher. “As a resident and team rider, I won’t need to travel anywhere else to train anymore. I will only need to travel to compete.”

The freeride team will be the first to test out the terrain park just prior to the Dew Tour.

The ski resort is scheduled for a Nov. 12 opening day.