ASPEN USES X GAMES TERRAIN
For the second consecutive season, the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club and Aspen Ski Company have paired to build an alpine training venue with left over snow that was made for the X Games Slopestyle competitions. Buttermilk Mountain manager Susan Cross, grooming guru Travis Benson and AVSC Alpine Director, Greg Needell have grouped together over the last two seasons to build an approximately 140m vertical training venue at the bottom of Buttermilk. “We have the snow, we might as well use it,” said Susan Cross.
Last year, Needell regularly drove past the monster jumps on Buttermilk that were made from man-made snow for the X Games. “I thought, we could push that out for use in May,” said Needell. He went to Aspen Ski Company management and Buttermilk management to ask if it was possible and after some discussion, the project was given the green light. Needell jokingly called it “The Buttermilk Glacier Project” which has caught on with the staff and locals. “Right now, there are a lot of teams scrambling to pay for space on the Front Range and in Summit County while we have our own venue in the backyard. It’s convenient and cheap and has created an atmosphere of camaraderie among the different age classes and between the coaches and parents.” Parents have been recruited to help with driving vehicles, etc. The club uses vehicles to drive up to the start through a nearby residential neighborhood. “It is a very unique project and a great opportunity to build a team,” Greg added.
Continuing, “I saw it as a chance to bridge the gap between the end of the season and summer camp; and a chance for the kids advancing an age class to work with their new coaches. This year is an added bonus as our FIS athletes had another chance to get on the new FIS legal GS side-cut.”
AVSC trained GS last weekend and will train Slalom for the next 2 weekends.