Action County: Julian Lamarche
Julian Lamarche is pretty shocked at the position he now holds in life. But that’s exactly what Keystone Resort is doing now that they’ve hired Lamarche to manage Keystone’s A51 and A51 Incubator terrain parks. “When I moved out here six or seven years ago, I never though that someone would pay me to build the stuff that comes into my mind.” he said. “But they keep saying yes to the ideas I come up with.”Larmarche is no stranger to the monstrous parks found on the resort’s western edge – or to any part of the resort – as he has been working there since 1998.He started with the snowmaking crew and quickly earned honors by winning the department’s Rookie of the Year award. Within a year, he was splitting his time between the snowmaking crew and ski patrol, and always had his eye on the terrain park. “When I first started being a ski patroller the park was in its infancy,” he said. “So a couple of patrollers and I took the time to help those guys out.”By applying welding skills he learned while working in snowmaking, Lamarche began creating features that have earned national attention. In 2002, Lamarche built the Bus Rail, a long rail welded directly to a school bus. He followed that up last season with the Barbecue Rail, a 51-foot-long rainbow built with an internal propane system that would light the rail up in flame for photo shoots. Now the entire park is his, and he plans to have fun with it this winter. In what direction do you see A51 going under your helm?”We had such a big transition last year. This year we’re trying to work the kinks out of the park and capitalize on making it better. we’re chaing a few things around. My big focus is the super pipe – what I see as the biggest challenge in the park is getting that right.”It took Keystone months to open its pipe last year. What happened?”Last year was a combination of a lot of things. We had some internal miscommunication; we hadsome problems with the snowmaking system, like every area has. Plus, we chose to focus on other parts of the park. We had such a big increase in acerage last year that the pipe kind of went to the back burner. This year, we’ve increased snowmaking and we’ve brought in people to get it right. We’re laying the foundation to build a good pipe.”Where did you get the idea for the Barbecue Rail?”It’s modeled after the way they use pipes in the oil industry. I had heard the guys out in the oil fields in Alaska use it as oil heaters. I’m not sure why they need to heat oil, but I looked into it. It’s actually the same pipe we use in snowmaking, so that’s what we ended up testing, and it ended up working.”Merle Haggard?”The patrollers think that’s hilarious. They make fun of me for it all the time.”
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