Shaun White, the Olympic medalist in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, signed a contract to represent Vail Resorts. As part of that contract, Shaun White agreed to call NorthStar at Tahoe his “home” resort. NorthStar has recently completed construction of a 22 foot high, 500 foot long superpipe, ostensibly for Shaun White to practice in.
NorthStar's existing little 18 footer remains a dirt shell near the mid-mountain lodge. The new pipe has been moved to a new location off the “Cat‘s Face“ trail. It’s hard to believe where they got all the snow for this superpipe because it’s made entirely of snow. Typically a pipe is molded in dirt, with the final layers being packed snow that is machine carved to form the desired shape.
The superpipe is now open to the public so I decided to give it a go. I’ve tried smaller pipes in the past, with little success. This big boy was intimidating. I dropped in from about two-thirds up and did my thing. Which is next to nothing. I was able to go from side to side and hit maybe two-thirds up on each wall. I only tried it one time, but thinking about it now, I want to go back and figure that thing out.
The rumor mill says they’ll move the superpipe back to the location of the existing 18 footer next year. The location near the mid-mountain lodge is better for spectators, but if you’re trying to learn, having fewer witnesses is a good thing.
The following video shows Shaun White on a similar superpipe, located at Breckenridge Ski Resort. This was the first stop on the Dew Tour.