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Breckenridge Gets a 22-Foot Halfpipe

Breck adds four feet to their pipe for the winter.
posted: 09/20/2010
Breck's new pipe will be four feet bigger than this
by Heather Hansman

This winter, Breckenridge skiers will have to be ready to drop into a bigger halfpipe. The resort is in the process of buillding a brand new, 22-footer.

We’ve been talking about it for six years,” says Nick Simon, who is responsible for building and maintaining it. “We wanted to make sure it was standard, once it went to the Olympics we knew it was time.”

22-foot halfpipes are starting to become customary competition venues. The Olympics, X Games, and now the Dew Tour stops will all have the same size pipe.

This summer, Simon and his crew have started building the framework for the pipe out of dirt. “It’s been the worst kept secret in Breckenridge,” he says. They’re shaping walls to be a consistent 17.5-degree pitch, so that when the snow falls it’ll fill in the pipe perfectly. “We’re doing it correct,” Simon says. “This way, we can make it three times as big with the same amount of snow, it’s way more efficient in terms of water and power.”

To shape the pipe once the snow falls, they needed bigger equipment. Luckily, Heavenly had a 22-foot pipe cutter, but had decided against building that big of a pipe. Breck traded the blade section of their 18-foot pipe cutter for Heavenly’s bigger one.

Simon says the pipe will definitely be ready for the December 16th Dew Tour event, and he’s hoping that it will be open earlier so that the Breckenridge team athletes, like Bobby Brown and Keri Herman, and then the public, can session it before the competition.

Speaking of competitions, Simon says Breckenridge has a friendly park and pipe rivalry going with neighboring Copper Mountain. “We always go back and forth, but we pretty much beat them every year,” he says, jokingly.

“This year I want everyone to be like ‘Breck had the best pipe in the country,’” Simon says, turning serious. “I want it to be perfect every day of the year.”

Other places you can ski a 22-foot pipe:
Copper Mountain
Park City Mountain Resort

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