Woodward’s public summer snow park back in business June 9 to Oct. 1 | SummitDaily.com

Woodward’s public summer snow park back in business June 9 to Oct. 1

Hey park rats, don't put storage wax on your skis or boards just yet. There's a whole summer of riding to be done at Copper Mountain.

Beginning tomorrow (June 9), the Big Island Park opens at the base of American Eagle lift in Center Village. Built from the remains of the Main Vein superpipe, it's the only public on-snow park this side of the West Coast, which means it's the only place for jib junkies to get their fix on real, live, manicured snow from June through October.

It also means Copper is home to one of the longest seasons in North America: 11 months, with only May missing from the snow park schedule. Oh, and unlike Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley, this happens every single summer.

"Almost every month of the year Woodward has some kind of park offering," Woodward Copper general manager Morrison Hsieh said. "Starting in November we have that Eagle jib park, so that's got to be one of the longest in North America."

Big Island Park is open to skiers and boarders of all ages on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 9 to Oct. 1. Cost is $25 for a single-day ticket or $199 for a season pass and access is by foot only (no carpets or chairlifts). Features are open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with park manager Noah Schwander and crew changing the flow for up to 15 features every week on Thursdays. That's a new park setup, all week, every week, all summer long.

"I think being able to get out in a t-shirt on soft, safe conditions, it's great," Schwander said. "You can try new things and not worry so much about getting hurt on that hard, January snow. It's just beautiful out there in the summer —the best of both worlds, I guess."

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New for the newbies

This summer season marks the first time that Big Island Park will be open three days per week, as opposed to solely on weekends. Hsieh and Schwander hope that gives die-hard riders more time on the snow, but they also hope it brings more newcomers into the local freestyle community — people like young kids who have maybe never been on snow before.

"We've got a beginner zone, a normal zone (and) a beginner play area, and we'll be changing all of that up during the season," Schwander said.

"That'll give them a taste of the snow in the summer, which is pretty cool," Hsieh added.

The new beginner play area is scheduled to be open seven days per week at the base of the park, with small features like boxes and snow rollers. It will also have kid-friendly Burton Riglet snowboards to demo, Schwander said, and admission is expected to coast less than a full park ticket. The price will be announced soon.

Beyond Big Island

As usual, the base-area Big Island Park features rails, boxes, wall rides and plenty of jibs. It might also boast one or two snow features, but there won't be any jumps lines like at the private, on-mountain park that's built for summer ski and snowboard camps.

If you want a taste of snow jumping in July, though, spots are still available for weeklong summer camps. Cost for those is $1,899 until July 1 or $1,849 through the final session on Aug. 5.

If you want a taste of jumping but can't afford the rate, Woodward is also home to a foam pit for skiers, snowboarders, bikers, scooters and most other wheeled gear. Cost for barn sessions are $35 for one-hour drop-in on Saturdays and Sundays from June 10 to Aug. 20.

Woodward Big Island Park

What: The only public on-snow terrain park in Colorado, with up to 15 features for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, plus new beginner features

When: Friday through Sunday, June 9 to Oct. 1

Where: Copper Mountain Center Village (base of American Eagle lift)

Cost: $25 per day

The park is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Oct. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. A season pass is also available for $199 with unlimited days. Purchase a day ticket or season pass at the Woodward Cage in Center Village or online at WoodwardCopper.com.