Telluride Ski and Golf Company CEO Dave Riley announced last week on his blog that Telluride will soon offer nighttime riding in the area formerly known as Competition Hill and the Nastar Course, next to lift 4.
Snowcats worked fast to shape freshly made and leftover snow from the World Cup’s boardercross course on Lower Misty Maiden into what emerged over the weekend as Telluride’s Superpipe, an oversized halfpipe boasting over 16-foot-high, near-vertical side walls.
The area will also boast a limited number of jumps and rails, most of them constructed after the Superpipe is complete. The new park will have full nighttime ride-ability, thanks to the existing overhead lights last used for nighttime on-hill activity when the area hosted the Tubing Hill many years ago.
“I think this is going to be a really big thing for all the kids in Telluride,” said Dylan Cooney, born-and-bred Telluride snowboarder and head coach of the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club Snowboard Team. “My little brother is always complaining that there’s nothing to do in Telluride at night; now he’s going to be at the park riding every weekend night.”
Construction of the Superpipe is “a huge undertaking,” Riley observed last week. The Superpipe will be open will be open seven days a week with nighttime riding offered Thursday through Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. The park and pipe will be served by the surface (Poma) lift 2 at night and Village Express (lift 4) during the daytime.
The unveiling of the Superpipe this year marks the first time Telluride has had a halfpipe on its slopes in three seasons. In addition to offering a nighttime activity for residents and visitors, the new Superpipe will allow Telluride’s local snowboarding and freeskiing competitors a chance to train on their home hill – something they haven’t been able to do for some time.
“Now the kids don’t have to travel so far to train, and that’s really going to benefit them in competition,” Cooney says. In addition, he believes the new pipe will renew local interest in the sport.
“It will really get the whole community interested in park riding again,” he says.
While the Superpipe will undoubtedly draw a large following of the “grommit” variety (young, enthusiastic snowboarders and freeskiers,) the new nighttime aspect has also piqued the interest of a different skiing subset.
Local Jesus Hernandez wrote on Dave’s Blog: Thanks for considering the Tubing hill for the Pipe and park. I was kinda bummed to see the pricing, but I'm still stoked for some night skiing. From working ten-hour days, now I can get some skiing in after work.
Riley says he’s interested to see what the Superpipe, and the new aspect of nighttime riding, will bring to the resort and community.
“The Superpipe, when it was located on Butterfly, really didn’t get a lot of utilization. But it also wasn’t in a good location; this location will, I think, be better. The night lighting definitely adds a new dimension for the destination. I’m in a wait and see mode in terms of what kind of response it gets,” Riley said.
Night tickets will cost $25 per night; a night season pass will cost $200, or $150 if you already own a day season pass. Tickets and passes can be purchased at the Mountain Village ticket office.
The Nastar racecourse is being relocated to lower Butterfly (“bumpy Butterfly,”) the former home to the Superpipe. Jumps and rails are currently under construction at Hoot Park (daytime operation only). And Ute Park, the beginner park area, remains open under Ute Park Express (lift 11.)
Although the Superpipe is scheduled to run until 8 p.m., the ski company is only authorized to run it until 7 p.m. Riley hopes to get approval from Town Council to extend the closing time at its meeting on Jan. 21. Meanwhile, the pipe will close at 7 p.m.