8,000 new foam blocks and other improvements highlight Woodward Barn opening at Copper Mountain
COPPER MOUNTAIN — Every time you jump into a foam pit at the Woodward Barn, you take a little piece of the pit home with you.
And after several long years of that, many of those cubes had seen enough, said Emily Terrell with Copper.
The Woodward Barn — Copper Mountain’s massive indoor freestyle training facility — reopened over the weekend with 8,000 new foam cubes and a welcome party on Saturday, offering free access to the many trampolines and park facilities that make the barn a legendary training ground for freeskiers, snowboarders, freestyle BMX riders, skateboarders and, yes, even Rollerbladers and scooter kids. All where present on Saturday for the barn’s annual season kickoff party, which took place both inside and outside the facility.
“I’ve worked this event for five years: This is definitely some of the nicest weather we’ve had,” Terrell said Saturday.
The barn, which was outfitted with a new roof and new birch spring floor over the offseason, was packed all day as kids 5 and older took to the trampolines for free intro sessions. A live DJ spun tunes, snowboards from Weston and Never Summer, facemasks and water bottles from Phunkshun recycled plastic and Burton stickers were given away as kids gathered to see “Joy,” the new snowboarding movie from Summit County local Red Gerard.
“Once again people were really stoked to be here for the annual welcome party,” Terrell said.
Money was being raised Saturday for the High Fives Foundation, which focuses on preventing life-changing injuries and provides resources and hope if they do happen. The High Fives Foundation empowerment fund supported 92 athletes in 2018. Among them was Trevor Kennison, who made headlines earlier this year for riding Corbet’s Couloir in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on his sit-ski during the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s competition in February. Kennison broke his back on Vail Pass in 2014 and told his story to listeners Saturday.
“I laid there buried in the snow from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” he said. “I’m lucky to be alive.”
Kennison now speaks out on behalf of the High Fives organization, which has disbursed more than $365,000 to athletes like him since Jan. 1, 2018, through grants and equipment including wheelchairs, adaptive bikes, standing frames, hand controls, waveskis, sit-skis, outriggers and more.
While freestyle was the focus on Saturday, the U.S. Ski Team’s Alpine squad has also been enjoying Copper Mountain for the last week or so.
U.S. Ski Team athlete Kyle Negomir, a Ski & Snowboard Club Vail alum, said the team started training Nov. 6 and has been loving the surface available at Copper.
“Having full speed training available this early in the season has been awesome,” Negomir said.
Golden Peak is targeting an Nov. 18 start for Alpine training, as well, said Jessie Vandenhouten with Vail Resorts.
The U.S. Alpine team heads to Vail for a fundraiser at Yama Sushi from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Negomir said many Vail athletes should be in attendance including himself, River Radamus and Mikaela Shiffrin. For more information. visit one.bidpal.net/alpinefundraiser.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.