Shaun White training in the primed Olympic Pipe at Cardrona Alpine Resort Shaun White training in the primed Olympic Pipe at Cardrona Alpine Resort CREDIT: Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona takes on role as Olympic training ground for top snowboarders

Saturday 17 October 2009, 8:51AM
By Cardrona Alpine Resort


The world’s best snowboarders and skiers are taking advantage of Cardrona Alpine Resort’s 22ft halfpipe, one of very few in the world currently open, for a private Pre-Olympic Pipe Camp in the lead up to Vancouver 2010.

With the Winter Olympics just around the corner the camp has attracted Olympic medalist Shaun White, X-Games medalist Torah Bright (AUS) as well as top performing snowboarders Crispin Lipscomb (CAN), Ben Mates (AUS), national teams and representatives from New Zealand, Japan, Poland, Canada and Spain, all looking for valuable training time.

Nadia Ellis, Cardrona marketing manager said the demand for the private camp is testament to the first-class Olympic Pipe developed at Cardrona, “It has been extremely exciting to have such a high caliber of international athletes training in our very own backyard. The popularity of the camp certainly suggests we have achieved our goal of providing the best freestyle training facility in the Southern Hemisphere. The athletes have been absolutely thrilled with the pipe,” she said.

Olympic Gold medalist Shaun White (USA) flew back to New Zealand specifically for the first week of the private Pre-Olympic Pipe Camp and was grateful for the training opportunity. "I had a great time, it's awesome to be able to rely on a mountain to have great terrain during the summer time when there's no snow in the U.S," he said.

The Japanese national team is bringing in a 900kg inflatable stunt bag next week (the Bag Jump) and with the support of the park crew will build this into the snow to practice double cork and spin combinations that are the emerging standard in competitions.

In the closing weeks of the season Cardrona management was approached by national teams from all over the world looking for a training facility during October. Cardrona was happy to oblige and retained the services of John Melville, Cardrona's Parks & Pipes manager. The pipe camp commenced on the 5th October and will continue through to the 24th October.

John Melville will then join renowned pipe shaper Steve Petrie from Arena Snowparks in Vancouver to build the 2010 Olympic halfpipe. He will return to Cardrona for the 2010 season.

The 2009 season has been outstanding for the halfpipe competitions staged at Cardrona with the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup Halfpipe as part of 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games and the Burton New Zealand Open where Shaun White landed the first ever back to back double cork 1080 in competition. Judges commented that the competitions have featured some of the most progressive riding seen to date with riders achieving great amplitude off the jumps and increasing level of difficulty.

The season was also a record breaker for Cardrona Alpine Resort for both visitor numbers and accumulated snowfall. The record amount of snow provided excellent on and off piste conditions throughout the season as well as ensuring plenty of snow to keep the terrain park and pipes in prime condition.

For further information visit www.cardrona.com