Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Snowboarding [Print without images]

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Squaw opens private pipe to the public

By Megan Michelson
ESPN Action Sports

Get it while you can: Squaw's 22-foot pipe is only open for five days.

After Red Bull athletes finished using the private halfpipe and terrain park built for them at Squaw Valley, the resort opened the 22-foot superpipe to the public on Tuesday. This is the Tahoe area's only 22-foot pipe.

Dubbed Squaw Valley's Red Bull Training Grounds, the park and pipe were designed by Snow Park Technologies as a training site over the past month for athletes like Greg Bretz, Elena Hight, Louie Vito, Sebestien Toutant, Kaya Turski, Simon Dumont and Bobby Brown. Toutant and Brown both recently landed triple cork 1440s in the park.

"Once Red Bull had finished their training sessions on the pipe, we wanted to give Squaw's skiers and riders a chance to experience this awesome feature," said Amelia Richmond, Squaw Valley's media and public relations manager. "The public has never been able to ride a halfpipe of this size in Tahoe before, so we wanted to give them that opportunity."

The only bad news? The 600-foot-long pipe will only be open to the public from now until May 8 (daily from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.). The pipe is closing for a film and photo shoot for Simon Dumont, scheduled for late next week, according to Dumont and sources at Red Bull.

The pipe is located in the Mainline park, accessed by the Siberia chairlift. Squaw's closing date is scheduled for May 30. The resort will be open Friday through Sundays after May 8, with the addition of Monday, May 16 and Monday, May 30.

Richmond says Squaw is currently working on improvement plans for next year's terrain park, but it's too early to say whether or not Squaw will have another 22-foot pipe next year. So, for the next five days, says Richmond, "This is likely your one and only chance to hit a 22-footer at Squaw."