Some of the world’s best snowboarders will travel to Aspen/Snowmass, and specifically Buttermilk this weekend to for a contest on two 22-foot-tall superpipes that will be constructed side-by-side, complete with rails, wallrides, channels and other unique features sprinkled throughout the custom-built snow feature.
Located at the base of Buttermilk Mountain, the double pipe will allow riders to transfer back and forth between the two halfpipes in a single run, opening up an endless number of potential lines and combination of tricks that are not possible in traditional halfpipe contests.
Riders will be judged not only on their technical abilities, but even more importantly, on their style, creativity and use of the course.
Thus far, 16 riders have confirmed their attendance at the Red Bull Double Pipe event, including 11 current and former Olympians led by Louie Vito, Danny Davis, Greg Bretz, Taylor Gold and Scotty Lago. Additional names will be announced prior to the event, so go to www.redbull.com/doublepipe for the most up-to-date athlete list and event updates.
“A double pipe? Are you kidding me? Two side-by-side halfpipes with transfers and options all over? This is the kind of thing that our team at SPT has been dreaming about, and only a company like Red Bull can bring something like this to life,” says Chris Gunnarson, President & Founder of Snow Park Technologies, designers and builders of snow parks, pipes and event courses around the world. “It's one thing to design this concept on a computer, but the build plan for something this immense already has our heads spinning.”
On Saturday, March 22, all competitors will ride in a three-hour session during the semi-finals. Riders can drop-in to the halfpipes at any time during the open session in order to warm up and practice their runs.
Then, once they are ready, each person will notify the starter so their run will be officially judged. Each competitor can take up to three judged runs during the three-hour time period, with the best single run score counting towards the overall ranking.
The top eight competitors will advance to Sunday’s Final. During Sunday’s Finals, the top eight riders will start in reverse order (from #8 through to #1), with each competitor taking a total of three runs.
The overall winners will be determined by their single best score out of the three runs. For both the Semi-Finals and the Finals, riders will be judged based on Overall Impression on a 1-100 point scale, taking into account not only their technical abilities, but also their style, creativity and use of the course.
“What’s great about this style of event format is it’s designed to maintain a fun atmosphere during the contest, replicating the feel of a regular day on the mountain and having fun riding with your friends,” say Competition Director Liam Griffin. “Because this double pipe feature is so unique and unlike any typical halfpipe competition, we want to utilize a format that also reflects the creative style we expect to see during the contest. That’s also why we’re going to judge on Overall Impression rather than individual tricks, or specific criteria such as Amplitude and Difficulty – because we expect the riders to use both superpipes in a single run and develop potential trick combinations that have never been seen before.”
Each superpipe in the Red Bull Double Pipe feature will be over 550’ long, approximately 68’ wide, and 22’ tall with an approximate 4’ wide spine located in between each pipe. Including the outside walls, the overall feature will be 180’ wide and over 550’ long, making it the largest halfpipe structure built to date, according to Red Bull.
The Red Bull Double Pipe contest will air on NBC on Saturday, April 12 at 2 p.m. EST, as part of the Red Bull Signature Series. The event at Buttermilk will be free and open to the public. The current superpipe located on Buttermilk will be closed to the public during the event construction efforts, but following the contest, the Red Bull Double Pipe will be open for the public to ride the same course as the pros.