Find open terrain parks at Keystone, Copper, A-Basin and Loveland
Vail Resorts hiring expo
What: A joint hiring expo for full-time and part-time seasonal or year-round positions with Keystone and Breckenridge resorts, with most positions offered on-site at the expo. Positions include mountain operations, retail, hospitality and transportation.
When: Thursday, Nov. 12 from 2-6 p.m.
Where: Keystone Conference Center, 0633 Tennis Club Road in Keystone
Attire is mountain casual (collared shirt with slacks or nice jeans). Hiring managers will want to see a current printed resume with relevant experience, including any certifications. Most entry-level positions begin at $10 per hour. Benefits for all Vail Resorts employees (seasonal and year-round) include a free employee Epic Pass, employee-only events, health and 401K benefits for eligible positions, and training opportunities. For more info on jobs or to apply online, see www.skijob1.com.
In mid-October, about a week before Loveland and Arapahoe Basin announced they were opening for the season after a long warm spell, dozens of anxious skiers and snowboarders headed to the top of Loveland Pass for a bit of early-season jibbing. There were rails, bonk boxes, a picnic table and even a pump track — everything they needed to get their fix.
Sure, the snow was measly, and there were no 80-foot booters, but it didn’t matter. Park rats — and I say that with love — don’t need much more than a thin coat of snow and a beat-up, gouged-up board to have fun early in the season. And, now that Summit County resorts are beginning to open, jib junkies don’t even have to hoof it up the hill.
If there’s on thing November is good for, it’s finding your rail legs again after a long summer out of bindings. Here’s a look at where you’ll find metal this week and weekend at Keystone, Copper, A-Basin and Loveland. Breckenridge opens on Nov. 13, but its park won’t likely be ready for another week or two.
On Opening Day last Friday, dozens (and probably hundreds) of people were wondering why Keystone didn’t welcome the season with any rails or jibs. Isn’t this the home of A-51, the award-winning terrain park known for pro-level jumps and rails and quarterpipes?
The answer was simple enough: The resort didn’t want to simply throw a few rails around and call it good — they wanted to build an actual park.
On Nov. 10, less than a week after opening, park-rat prayers were answered. The early-season park on Scout (The green bunny hill near the top of River Run Gondola) opened with 20 features split between three lines, including a box line, rail line and low-key beginner line. The entire thing is serviced by the convenient (but turtle-powered) Ranger Lift, a three-person chair. If you have an Epic Pass, this is the place to be early in the season. The entire park crew is on-hand for ramp maintenance, so expect nothing less than immaculate features during the weekday and quick repairs on the weekend. A-51 usually opens by December, with new features added regularly during the season.
It feels like only yesterday that Copper finally bid farewell to Central Park, Woodward’s summer snow park found at the base of Center Village. In truth, it closed on Sept. 19, so it might as well be yesterday. Locals could grind to their heart’s content for about 11 months, making Copper home to the longest-running on-snow terrain park in Colorado.
Today, Opening Day skiers and snowboarders have their pick of three or four features on Main Vein. Don’t expect much, just a collection of rails and boxes for most abilities. Come Friday, just two days after opening, Woodward is scheduled to drop the gate on the Eagle Jib Park. It will be home to 10-15 features, most likely including a wall-ride like last season. That’s not very common this early in the season, but, then again, Woodward doesn’t play by anyone’s rules. Expect the park to be relatively quiet on the weekdays, packed on the weekends and immaculately maintained throughout.
The base-area superpipe and upper Woodward parks will open in time for the Copper Revolution Tour stop in early December, but both typically aren’t ready for the public until a week or two after the event.
Loveland wasted no time showing love for park rats with, fittingly enough, the early-season Love Park. On Opening Day, the ski area hosted a small collection of boxes, rails and jibs arranged in two lines on the lower portion of Mambo, one of three greens the cats had prepared for the first chair of the season.
After a little more than a week, Love Park is looking about the same, but don’t expect it to stay that way for long. The park will open in full as soon as there’s enough snow on the main park trails, Straight Flush and Royal Flush near the top of Chair 6. They park will premiere with jumps, rails, boxes, snowmaking pipes and a wallride or two.
You’ve already been there at least once, which means you already know what the park on the final pitch of High Noon looks like. It hasn’t changed much since opening day, but, with Keystone and Copper opening their parks this week, expect the lines to taper off drastically. There’s still a triple-drop rail up top and a low, long snowmaking tube at the bottom.
As of now, there’s no word on when A-Basin’s two regular-season parks — Treeline (intermediate/advanced) and High Divide (beginner), both found at mid-mountain — will be ready. In year’s past, they’ve typically opened in late December or early January with about 20 features total between the two, including a double kicker line on Treeline and entry-level jibs on High Divide.
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