Okemo Superpipe Opens, First in East

By AlpineZone News |
Jan 29 2014 - 10:35 AM

Okemo SuperpipeLUDLOW, Vt. – Okemo Mountain Resort’s Amp Energy Superpipe made its season debut on Saturday, Jan. 18, as the first halfpipe to open in the East. Measuring 500 feet in length, the Amp Energy Superpipe at Okemo has 18-foot high walls and a span of 54 feet between decks. The slope angle is 16 degrees –achieved with a depth of 14 feet of snow under the bottom of the pipe at the high end. The total amount of snow required to build the Amp Energy Superpipe was 51 acre-feet, which required more than 10 million gallons of water.

“It’s a big project,” said Okemo Director of Mountain Operations Eb Kinney. “We started snowmaking for the pipe on Dec. 27 and started building on Dec. 30. Once the first wall is built we chainsaw-cut the vert and shape it somewhat with an excavator. This speeds up the process for cutting with the Zaugg pipe cutter. It took approximately eight hours of excavator time and 140 hours of cat time. We feel the pipe is a major part of Okemo’s Park program and we all take a lot of pride getting this pipe open.”

Okemo’s commitment to providing skiers and riders with a quality halfpipe experience includes the use of laser technology. By affixing adjustable laser units to a stationary base at the bottom of the superpipe, and attaching a receptor device to the arm of the Zaug Pipe Monster, Okemo’s groomer operators can monitor superpipe shaping for better construction and upkeep.

“We start setting up our lasers in late fall and get all of our points of reference in place so once it gets cold and the mountain is in good shape, we’re ready to start work on the pipe,” said Kinney. “The lasers help us keep a straight line for the vertical and elevation of the floor and decks.”

In addition to being home to the East’s first superpipe this season, Okemo offers a variety of terrain parks, bump runs, glades and ungroomed trails with natural conditions.

Okemo Terrain Parks Manager Jeremy Baronet said, “we are currently rocking 32 features of various sizes and shapes amongst six parks. Temperatures permitting, we are looking at additional snowmaking on Upper Nor’easter and construction of an additional 15-plus features in the Rockstar Superpark.”

Visit Okemo’s Parks and Pipe page for updates. For more information about Okemo, visit www.okemo.com or call (802) 228-1600.