Courtesy of Winter Park
More freestyle skiing pros train in Colorado than anywhere else in the world, especially early season on Breckenridge‘s five terrain parks and two half pipes. If you’re not a park skier but good enough (intermediate level at least) to get to the terrain parks, it’s a spectacular place to watch. If you’ve got the skill, Breck’s park competition run “Freeway,” will push you to the limit! The park has a dedicated lift to allow for maximum practice. Watch Colorado native and X Games champion Bobby Brown work it in video below.
Consistently rated at or near number one for “Best Terrain Parks” by virtually every authority, Aspen’s Buttermilk has five parks designed to accommodate all levels and styles of skiers. Four of the parks are connected along one trail so skiers can enter or exit the terrain of their choice. S3 Park is tailored for beginners with 20 smaller features and is sectioned from the rest of the mountain. If you’re a first time park skier, this is where you should start. X Park is the most famous and advanced park at Buttermilk. It has 25 features and a 22-foot Zaugg cut Superpipe. The slope style line includes jumps that range from 45 to 70 feet in height. These features are labeled “advanced to expert” and intermediate skiers are advised not to attempt. Note, this park closes for one month following Christmas for the Winter X-Games/Aspen Snowmass Open. Video below.
Before reaching the terrain park at Copper Mountain, at the base of the mountain is “Woodward at Copper”, a year-round indoor training facility dedicated to the progression of freestyle skiing. Woodward offers indoor foam pits, trampolines, jib lines, ramps – anything you want to learn freestyle technique in a safe-landing environment. On the mountain, though not as large as Breckenridge, Copper has a progressive terrain park that will challenge the more daring with features like the 22-foot super pipe, one of the biggest ever built. Video below.
Keystone Resort is home to A-51, one of the world’s top rated terrain parks with more features than you can count along three jump lines. Accessed from Peru Express, the terrain park is among the most popular in Summit County, and attracts a large number of progressive young snowboarders and skiers, as well as pros. The beginner section, Freda’s Incubator and Smart Park on the inward side of the park, start with half foot tall jumps, rails and boxes for the aspiring park skier and whole family to enjoy! The park is off to the top side of the mountain, away from crowds, allowing for smooth runs or laps, and is serviced by an auxiliary lift so you never have to leave its boundaries.
Snowmass has three terrain parks – one each for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Expert skiers can try their hand at the 22-foot “superpipe” while beginners can learn on the newer 12-foot pipe. The park is in a separate area of the mountain cutting down on traffic and is serviced by its own chair lift named Coney Glade. Video below.
Winner of a Visitor’s Choice award for its terrain park, Telluride actually has three terrain parks. Ute Park has mini jumps and ride-on boxes for first-timers. Misty Maiden has features similar to Ute but on a larger scale. Hoot Brown Park is strictly for advanced park skiers and contains a new six-jump line.
Historic Howelsen Hill is an in-town, low-elevation ski training mountain in central Steamboat Springs. As home to the largest natural ski-jumping complex in North America, Olympians, freeskiers and snowboarders train here on 50 skiable acres with four chairlifts open to everyone, pro or not, with lift ticket prices around $20. Learn More.