Athletes provided the earliest-ever park facility on Vail Mountain


VAIL, Colo. — SSCV’s snowboard program wrapped up an early season training block on Golden Peak last week with an unprecedented level of park terrain created specifically for club athletes.

In partnership with Vail Mountain, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail was able to provide the resources to deliver riders with an early season rail garden and a handful of jumps on their local hill.

“This is a part of our ongoing effort to enhance the facilities on Golden Peak for all programs,” said SSCV Chief Operating Officer John Hale. “Our goal in this effort is to reduce travel and host as many training days as possible on Vail Mountain for multiple programs. We believe this early season training arena for park athletes is a great first step toward that end.”

The snowboard program explicitly requested smaller features to ease the athletes into the early part of the training season — to get them comfortable hitting jumps, spinning, and being back in the air.

“It was really cool that they were able to provide this facility without the crowds being there,” said Snowboard Director Chris Laske. “The coolest thing about the whole experience is being able to watch all of our on-hill programs in one zone on a private venue. I saw what Moguls had up there and what Alpine has up there — and it was really awesome to be able to train together as one club.”

Normally during this time of year, the snowboard crew has traveled over Vail Pass and trained exclusively at Copper Mountain — and they’ll continue to do that this season — but the club hopes to be able to provide as much training as possible for these athletes closer to home.

“It definitely maximized the training time because we were able to get straight to Vail, so obviously that was a huge bonus,” said Laske. “We were able to get a lot more laps in on the jumps.”

The park on Vail Mountain typically doesn’t get up and running until some point in January, but this season SSCV athletes were provided a small rail garden in mid-November and series of jumps a couple weeks later.

“This was a huge step in the right direction for our program, being able to make headway with Vail and knowing they support these athletes was a really positive step,” said Laske. “I’m really excited to see where this is headed.”

Thanks to SSCV coach Rob Bak for putting together this little shredit of the snowboard program’s early season training on Golden Peak: