Stale fish, roast beef and
Sun Valley’s halfpipe serves
"Now the mountain is catering
— DARBY HEANEY, A
By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley, renowned for its
endless groomed runs, perpetual sunshine and classic ski experiences,
delved into the world of new school this year. The long awaited halfpipe
below Race Arena on the Warm Springs side of the resort opened the
mountain to stale fish, roast beef and chicken salad.
Snowboarders from the
Intermountain West will gather this weekend at the Sun Valley halfpipe
on Lower Warm Springs for its first competition: the USASA Rail Jam and
Halfpipe Weekend on Sunday, Feb. 22, to display their maneuvers judged
on amplitude and style.
Express photo by Willy Cook
Don’t worry, nothing has changed
on the gourmet lodge menus. Instead, skiers and snowboarders are pulling
the gastronomic-named maneuvers in the new U-shaped terrain. The 40-foot
wide, 400-foot long pipe dares adrenaline junkies into a new world of
12-foot walls and big air challenges.
On any given day, all ages,
genders and snowriders can be found boosting in the pipe. Termed the
"Dude Tube," "Stunt Ditch" or "U-Jump" by local users, the pipe is
undoubtedly popular on Bald Mountain.
The popularity encourages a mix of
skiers and snowboarders to drop in, be it visiting recreational skiers
or team riders. As snowboarder Darby Heaney commented, "Now the mountain
is catering to everybody." The less experienced, timid users choose to
simply ride the walls, speed checking along the way. Others are
progressively attempting inverted tricks such as the classic McTwist,
Alleyoop and Cab 900 with a melon grab.
The U-shaped terrain, of Sun
Valley’s 40-foot wide, 400-foot long halfpipe dares adrenaline
junkies into a new world of 12-foot walls and big air challenges.
Express photo by Willy Cook
For most, it has been a season of
progression, gaining confidence and comfort in the new terrain. Sun
Valley snowboard coach Chatham Baker said that for his group of young
riders the pipe is "completely progressive. Most of the kids had never
seen or dropped in a halfpipe. It’s cool to see where they are at this
point in the season."
With the progression to bigger
air, the pipe has become a source of entertainment for onlookers as
evidenced by the abundance of cheers and heckles. Onlookers proliferate
alongside the pipe, from the Warm Springs Lodge patio and the Warm
Springs and Greyhawk chairlifts. The crowds bring renewed energy to the
base of Warm Springs. Watching has become an integral draw to the pipe.
This weekend there will be much to
watch as the pipe hosts its first competition: the USASA Rail Jam and
Halfpipe Weekend on Sunday, Feb. 22. Snowboarders from the Intermountain
West will gather to display their maneuvers judged on amplitude and
The competition should raise the
bar for big air in the valley and bring a new serving of maneuvers to
the terrain table.