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Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Updated: June 28, 2:11 PM ET
Back Down Under

Snow Park NZ will fire up its lifts this June 26 for the 2010 summer (up here) sesaon. The off-season terrain park mecca drastically reduced operations during in 2009.
TJ Schiller
TJ Schiller handplants at Snow Park in 2008.
Despite its history of being magnificently well attended, Snow Park axed the pipe and jumps from its terrain offering last year. The downsize made nearby Cardrona into the new training site of choice and gave skiers and snowboarders worldwide yet another lament to punctuate with the phrase "the economy."

In 2010, the Park is back with a vengeance. Cold temperatures allowed the resort to begin making snow on June 2, the earliest that Snow Park has ever fired up the snow guns. And with the early snow came another stroke of good news: an Olympic-spec halfpipe expected to be ready on Snow Park's June 26 Opening Day.

"The Global Cutter requires less snow," said Snow Park Operations Manager Sam Lee. His resort's new laser-guided halfpipe grooming tool was designed and built in New Zealand to comform with Olympic specifications — a welcome feature for who now may well be training for the 2014 Games.

The Global Cutter's modest snow requirements are expected to mean much more u-ditch training time for the entire season down under. Says Lee, "the pipe can [now] be open earlier and for more days during the season."